March 23, 2013 — 40 total views by Richard Milton
It isn’t scientific investigation of Darwinism that’s forbidden — it’s public debate of the findings of such research. Most educated, rational people will find it almost impossible to believe that the debate of Darwinism through mainstream news papers and the principal TV channels is forbidden. I still find it hard to believe myself.
The article below was first commissioned and later censored by the Times Higher Education Supplement. (The circumstances under which it came to be censored, following the intervention of Dr Richard Dawkins, are described in the pages on Scientific Censorship).
The readers of the Times Higher Education Supplement (a large proportion of the University lecturers of Britain) have thus been prevented from learning of its contents. Now you have the facts before you and you can make up your own mind. WATCH!
Neo-Darwinism: time to reconsider
By Richard Milton
It was the dazzling gains made by science and technology in the nineteenth century through the application of rational analysis that led people to think of applying reason to other fields.
Following the brilliant success of reason and method in physics and chemistry — especially in medicine — it was natural for science to seek to apply the same analytical tool to the most intractable and complex problems: human society and economic affairs; human psychology; and even the origin and development of life itself. The result was the great mechanistic philosophies of the last century: Marxism, Freudianism and Darwinism.
The simplicities and certainties of these systems mirrored the intellectually well-ordered life of Victorian society with its authoritarian values and institutionalised prejudices. Now, a century later, all three systems have run their course, have been measured by history, and have been ultimately found to be inadequate tools of explanation.
Unlike Marx and Freud, Darwin himself remains esteemed both as a highly original thinker and as a careful researcher (his study of fossil barnacles remains a text book example for palaeontologists). But the theory that bears his name was transformed in the early years of this century into the mechanistic, reductionist theory of neo-Darwinism: the theory that living creatures are machines whose only goal is genetic replication — a matter of chemistry and statistics; or, in the words of professor Jacques Monod, director of the Pasteur Institute, a matter only of “chance and necessity”. 1
And while the evidence for evolution itself remains persuasive — especially the homologies that are found in comparative anatomy and molecular biology of many different species — much of the empirical evidence that was formerly believed to support the neo-Darwinian mechanism of chance mutation coupled with natural selection has melted away like snow on a spring morning, through better observation and more careful analysis.
Marxist, Freudian and neo-Darwinist systems of thought ultimately failed for the same reason; that they sought to use mechanistic reductionism to explain and predict systems that we now know are complexity-related, and cannot be explained as the sum of their parts.
In the case of neo-Darwinism, it was not the mysteries of the mind or of the economy that were explained. It was the origin of the first single-celled organism in the primeval oceans, and its development into the plant and animal kingdoms of today by a strictly blind process of chance genetic mutation working with natural selection.
In the first five decades of this century — the heyday of the theory — zoologists, palaeontologists and comparative anatomists assembled the impressive exhibits that generations of school children have seen in Natural History Museums the world over: the evolution of the horse family; the fossils that illustrate the transition from fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal; and the discovery of astonishing extinct species such as “Archaeopteryx”, apparently half-reptile, half-bird.
Over successive decades, these exhibits have been first disputed, then downgraded, and finally shunted off to obscure museum basements, as further research has shown them to be flawed or misconceived.
Anyone educated in a western country in the last forty years will recall being shown a chart of the evolution of the horse from “Eohippus”, a small dog-like creature in the Eocene period 50 million years ago, to “Mesohippus”, a sheep-sized animal of 30 million years ago, eventually to “Dinohippus”, the size of a Shetland pony.
This chart was drawn in 1950 by Harvard’s professor of palaeontology George Simpson, to accompany his standard text book, Horses, which encapsulated all the research done by the American Museum of Natural History in the previous half century.
Simpson plainly believed that his evidence was incontrovertible because he wrote, ‘The history of the horse family is still one of the clearest and most convincing for showing that organisms really have evolved. . . There really is no point nowadays in continuing to collect and to study fossils simply to determine whether or not evolution is a fact. The question has been decisively answered in the affirmative.’ 2
Yet shortly after this affirmation, Simpson admits in passing that the chart he has drawn contains major gaps that he has not included: a gap before “Eohippus” and its unknown ancestors, for example, and another gap after “Eohippus” and before its supposed descendant “Mesohippus”. 3 What is it, scientifically, that connects these isolated species on the famous chart if it is not fossil remains? And how could such unconnected examples demonstrate either genetic mutation or natural selection?
Even though, today, the bones themselves have been relegated to the basement, the famous chart with its unproven continuity still appears in museum displays and handbooks, text books, encyclopaedias and lectures.
The remarkable “Archaeopteryx” also seems at first glance to bear out the neo-Darwinian concept of birds having evolved from small reptiles (the candidate most favoured by neo-Darwinists is a small agile dinosaur called a Coelosaur, and this is the explanation offered by most text books and museums.) Actually, such a descent is impossible because coelosaurs, in common with most other dinosaurs, did not posses collar bones while “Archaeopteryx”, like all birds, has a modified collar bone to support its pectoral muscles.4 Again, how can an isolated fossil, however remarkable, provide evidence of beneficial mutation or natural selection?
Neo-Darwinists were quick to claim that modern discoveries of molecular biology supported their theory. They said, for example, that if you analyse the DNA, the genetic blueprint, of plants and animals you find how closely or distantly they are related. That studying DNA sequences enables you to draw up the precise family tree of all living things and show how they are related by common ancestry.
This is a very important claim and central to the theory. If true, it would mean that animals neo-Darwinists say are closely related, such as two reptiles, would have greater similarity in their DNA than animals that are not so closely related, such as a reptile and a bird.
Fifteen years ago molecular biologists working under Dr Morris Goodman at Michigan University decided to test this hypothesis. They took the alpha haemoglobin DNA of two reptiles — a snake and a crocodile — which are said by Darwinists to be closely related, and the haemoglobin DNA of a bird, in this case a farmyard chicken.
They found that the two animals who had _least_ DNA sequences in common were the two reptiles, the snake and the crocodile. They had only around 5% of DNA sequences in common — only one twentieth of their haemoglobin DNA. The two creatures whose DNA was closest were the crocodile and the chicken, where there were 17.5% of sequences in common — nearly one fifth. The actual DNA similarities were the _reverse_ of that predicted by neo-Darwinism. 5
Even more baffling is the fact that radically different genetic coding can give rise to animals that look outwardly very similar and exhibit similar behaviour, while creatures that look and behave completely differently can have much in common genetically. There are, for instance, more than 3,000 species of frogs, all of which look superficially the same. But there is a greater variation of DNA between them than there is between the bat and the blue whale.
Further, if neo-Darwinist evolutionary ideas of gradual genetic change were true, then one would expect to find that simple organisms have simple DNA and complex organisms have complex DNA.
In some cases, this is true. The simple nematode worm is a favourite subject of laboratory study because its DNA contains a mere 100,000 nucleotide bases. At the other end of the complexity scale, humans have 23 chromosomes which in total contain 3,000 million nucleotide bases.
Unfortunately, this promisingly Darwinian progression is contradicted by many counter examples. While human DNA is contained in 23 pairs of chromosomes, the humble goldfish has more than twice as many, at 47. The even humbler garden snail — not much more than a glob of slime in a shell — has 27 chromosomes. Some species of rose bush have 56 chromosomes.
So the simple fact is that DNA analysis does _not_ confirm neo-Darwinist theory. In the laboratory, DNA analysis falsifies neo-Darwinist theory.
An even more damaging blow to the theory was the discovery that the very centrepiece of neo-Darwinism, Darwin’s original conception of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, is fatally flawed.
The problem is: how can biologists (or anyone else) tell what characteristics constitute the animal or plant’s ‘fitness’ to survive? How can you tell which are the fit animals and plants?
The answer is that the only way to define the fit is by means of a post-hoc rationalisation — the fit must be “those who survived”. While the only way to characterise uniquely those who survive is as “the fit”. The central proposition of the Darwinian argument turns out to be an empty tautology.
C.H. Waddington, professor of biology at Edinburgh University wrote; “Natural selection, which was at first considered as though it were a hypothesis that was in need of experimental or observational confirmation, turns out on closer inspection to be a tautology, a statement of an inevitable although previously unrecognised relation. It states that the fittest individuals in a population (defined as those who leave the most offspring) will leave most offspring. Once the statement is made, its truth is
George Simpson, professor of paleontology at Harvard, sought to restore content to the idea of natural selection by saying; “If genetically red-haired parents have, on average, a larger proportion of children than blondes or brunettes, then evolution will be in the direction of red hair. If genetically left-handed people have more children, evolution will be towards left-handedness. The characteristics themselves do not directly matter at all. All that matters is who leaves more descendants over the generations. Natural selection favours fitness only if you define fitness as leaving more descendants. In fact geneticists do define it that way, which maybe confusing to others. To a geneticist, fitness has nothing to do with health, strength, good looks, or anything but effectiveness in breeding.” 7
Notice the words; “The characteristics themselves do not directly matter at all.” This innocent phrase fatally undermines Darwin’s original key conception: that each animal’s special physical characteristics are what makes it fit to survive: the giraffe’s long neck, the eagle’s keen eye, or the cheetah’s 60 mile-an-hour sprint.
Simpson’s reformulation means all this must be dropped: it is not the characteristics that directly matter — it is the animals’ capacity to reproduce themselves. The race is not to the swift, after all, but merely to the prolific. So how can neo-Darwinism explain the enormous diversity of characteristics?
Not only are neo-Darwinist ideas falsified by empirical research, but other puzzling and extraordinary findings have come to light in recent decades, suggesting that evolution is not blind but rather is in some unknown way _directed_. The experiments of Cairns at Harvard and Hall at Rochester University suggest that microorganisms can mutate in a way that is beneficial.8
Experiments with tobacco plants and flax demonstrate genetic change through the effects of fertilisers alone.9 Experiments with sea squirts and salamanders as long ago as the 1920s appeared to demonstrate the inheritance of acquired characteristics.10 Moreover, as Sir Fred Hoyle has pointed out, Fossil micro-organisms have been found in meteorites, indicating that life is universal — not a lucky break in the primeval soup. This view is shared by Sir Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the function of DNA.11
In the light of discoveries of this kind, the received wisdom of neo-Darwinism is no longer received so uncritically. A new generation of biologists is subjecting the theory to the cold light of empirical investigation and finding it inadequate; scientists like Dr Rupert Sheldrake, Dr Brian Goodwin, professor of biology at the Open University and Dr Peter Saunders, professor of mathematics at King’s College London.
Not surprisingly, the work of this new generation is heresy to the old. When Rupert Sheldrake’s book A New Science of Life with its revolutionary theory of morphic resonance was published in 1981, the editor of “Nature” magazine, John Maddox, ran an editorial calling for the book to be burned — a sure sign that Sheldrake is onto something important, many will think. 12, 13
The current mood in biology was summed up recently by Sheldrake as, ‘Rather like working in Russia under Brehznev. Many biologists have one set of beliefs at work, their official beliefs, and another set, their real beliefs, which they can speak openly about only among friends. They may treat living things as mechanical in the laboratory but when they go home they don’t treat their families as inanimate machines.’
It is a strange aspect of science in the twentieth century that while physics has had to submit to the indignity of a principle of uncertainty and physicists have become accustomed to such strange entities as matter-waves and virtual particles, many of their colleagues down the corridor in biology seem not to have noticed the revolution of quantum electrodynamics. As far as many biologists are concerned, matter is made of billiard balls which collide with Newtonian certainty, and they carry on building molecular models out of coloured ping-pong balls.
One of the twentieth century’s most distinguished scientists and Nobel laureates, physicist Max Planck, observed that; ‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’
It may be another decade or more before such a new generation grows up and restores intellectual rigour to the study of evolutionary biology.
 Monod, Jacques, 1972 edn. Chance and Necessity. William Collins. Glasgow.
 Simpson, George G. 1951. Horses. Oxford University Press.
 Simpson, George G. 1951. Horses. Oxford University Press.
 Norman, David. 1985. Encyclopaedia of Dinosaurs. Salamander Books. London.
 Patterson, Colin, presentation to the American Natural History Museum, 5 November 1981.
 Waddington, C.H., 1960, Evolutionary Adaptation in Tax Vol. 1, pp 381-402.
 Simpson, George G. 1964, This View of Life, Harcourt Brace and World. New York.
 Cairns, J., J. Overbaugh, S. Miller. 1988. The origin of mutants. In Nature 335: 142-145.
Hall, Barry G. Sept. 1990. Spontaneous point mutations that occur more often when advantageous than when neutral. In Genetics Vol. 126, pp. 5-16.
 Durrant, Alan. 1958. Environmental conditioning of flax. in Nature, Vol. 81, p. 928-929.
Hill, J. 1965. Environmental induction of heritable changes in Nicotiana rustica. in Nature, Vol. 207, pp. 732-734.
Cullis, C.A. 1977. Molecular aspects of the environmental induction of heritable changes in Flax. in Heredity. Vol. 38, p. 129-154.
 See Koestler, Arthur. 1978. The Case of the Midwife Toad. Hutchinson. London, for an account of the experiments of Paul Kammerer at the Vienna Institute for Experimental Biology 1903-1926.
 Hoyle, F. 1983. The Intelligent Universe. Michael Joseph London.
See also, Crick, Francis, 1981. Life Itself. Macdonald. London.
 Sheldrake, Rupert, 1988 edn. A New Science of Life, Paladin London.
 Nature 1981, Vol. 293, pp 245-246.
Copyright 2005 by Richard Milton
Darwin doesn’t work here any more
Richard Milton spent some twenty years studying the geology and palaeontology of the British Isles before writing Shattering the Myths of Darwinism.
“It was the absence of transitional fossils that first made me question Darwin’s idea of gradual change. I realised, too, that the procedures used to date rocks were circular. Rocks are used to date fossils: fossils are used to date rocks. From here I began to think the unthinkable: could Darwinism be scientifically flawed?”
“I became an almost daily visitor at the Natural History Museum, looking more closely again at all the famous evidence I had been taught about: the evolution of horses, Archaeopteryx — half-reptile, half-bird — the peppered moth, the Galapagos finches and all the other totems of Darwinism.”
“One after another they crumbled as I subjected them to even routine journalistic scrutiny. At first I thought I must be mistaken — then I began to discover one by one the many scientists around the world who had already realised the emperor has no clothes, but who cannot speak out without jeopardising their careers and even their jobs.”
“At this point my long years as a journalist took over and I started turning over stone after stone and making one amazing discovery after another. In fact, all the scientific work to show that Darwinism doesn’t really work had already been done. Plenty of people with a religious agenda had tried to to overturn the theory. But no-one had put it all together before from a purely scientific standpoint.”
“As a science journalist and writer with a lifelong passion for geology and palaeontology — and no religious beliefs to get in the way — I was in a unique position to investigate and report on the state of Darwin’s theory in the 1990s. The result was unambiguous. Darwin doesn’t work here any more.”
Copyright 2005 by Richard Milton
About the Author
Formerly a design engineer, Richard Milton has been a writer, journalist and broadcaster for more than 30 years writing mainly on science and technology. He is the author of five books, both fiction and non-fiction and speaks regularly in both Britain and the United States. His titles “Alternative Science” and “Shattering the Myths of Darwinism” have been published in Britain and America and, in translation, in countries that include Italy, Greece, Germany, Japan and Thailand.
“You should be banned from the airwaves”
The headline above is a direct quote from one of the many scientists who complained after NBC broadcast Mysterious Origins of Man. Few of his colleagues would be so rash as to express these sentiments out loud, but many privately think them. Sadly, some of those individuals have not just thought the words but have appointed themselves censors of what the public can be told about science.
To suggest that scientific censorship occurs in television broadcasting and the print media in Britain or the Unites States sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theory. Yet consider these recent examples.
In 1995, a TV film was shown on both sides of the Atlantic entitled Too Close to the Sun, dealing with the highly controversial subject of cold fusion. The film was admirably balanced and included interviews with both experimenters and ‘skeptics’. Halfway through, the film showed an interview subject who is a distinguished senior American physicist from an equally distinguished American research institution. There’s nothing unusual about such an appearance — except that this scientist appeared in silhouette, his identity disguised.
Remember, this was not “60 Minutes” but a science programme, and he was no Cosa Nostra bag man but a professional scientist. He was concerned that if his institution discovered he had been spending research funds on a forbidden subject like cold fusion, then his research grant, or even his tenure, might be in jeopardy.
Sadly, as explained in these pages, his fears have been fully justified by recent events:-
- Eric Laithwaite became a ‘non-person’ after he addressed the Royal Society on anti-gravity.
- Forrest Mims lost his Scientific American job after telling the editor he didn’t believe in Darwinism.
- Jacques Benveniste was dismissed by his Institute for investigating homeopathy.
Warwick Collins’s biology career ended when be publicly identified a flaw in Darwinist theory.
Robert Jahn was demoted by Princeton for investigating paranormal phenomena in the lab.
The Times Higher Education Supplement commissioned an article criticising Darwinism but censored it following intervention by Richard Dawkins.
The Open Society and its Enemies
I experienced the witch-hunting activity of the Darwinist police at first hand when I published Shattering the Myths of Darwinism and found myself subjected to a campaign of vilification. I had expected controversy and heated debate, because that is in the nature of Darwinism. But it was deeply disappointing to find myself being described by a prominent academic, Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins, as ‘loony’, ‘stupid’ and ‘in need of psychiatric help’ in response to purely scientific reporting.
It was equally unpleasant to discover that, behind my back, Dawkins was writing letters to newspaper editors alleging that I am a secret creationist and hence not to be believed. This kind of behavior culminated in March 1995 when a British weekly newspaper, the Times Higher Education Supplement commissioned me as a freelance journalist to write a critique of Darwinism and trailered the article in one of its editions, by saying ‘Next Week: Darwinism – Richard Milton goes on the attack’.
Dawkins contacted the editor, Auriol Stevens, falsely alleged that I am a secret creationist, and covertly lobbied against the publication of my article, although he had not seen it.
I wrote the following letter to the editor, appealing to her not to give in to this kind of unscientific bullying:-
Times Higher Education Supplement
66-68 East Smithfield
London E1 9XY
16 March 1995
Dear Ms Stevens,
I know that my article on the decline of the neo-Darwinist theory
of evolution has caused some controversy and is bound, if
published, to cause even more. May I draw your attention to two
points that I believe are important?
The first is that it has been said, by some scientists, that I am
a secret creationist opposed to neo-Darwinism for religious
reasons. I am not a creationist and my criticisms of the neo-
Darwinist mechanism are purely scientific objections — as any
reading of the article itself clearly shows.
The second point is far more important. I believe that the great
strength of science and the scientific method is its openness to
debate. Science is strong because errors are exposed through the
process of open argument and counter-argument. Science does not
need vigilante scientists to guard the gates against heretics.
If the heresy is true it will become accepted. If false, it will
be shown to be false, by rational discourse.
In his “The Open Society and its Enemies” Sir Karl Popper says
that the great value of the scientific method is that it saves us
from “The tyranny of opinion”. If neo-Darwinists can counter the
evidence I present, let them do so. If they seek to prevent my
writing being published because they don’t like it, then it is
not just I that fall victim to the “tyranny of opinion”, it is
all of us.
If this article were about any other subject — finance,
politics, the economy — I know it would be welcomed as well-
written and thought-provoking even if its claims were
controversial. It is only because it is about neo-Darwinism, a
subject on which some biologists feel insecure and ultra-
sensitive, that doubts have been raised about it.
As a former newspaper editor myself, I am ashamed to say that the editor of the paper gave in to this bullying and suppressed my article.
The attempted censorship failed because I published the article widely on the Internet, putting it into the public domain and making many in the academic world aware of the extreme lengths to which some of their colleagues are prepared to go to censor free discussion. (Click here to read the text of Darwinism — time to reconsider)
Not long after, in 1996, an American geologist, David Leveson of New York University, attacked me in the Journal of Geoscience Education alleging that I am a ‘creationist ally’.
I found this kind of bullying, bad faith and intellectual dishonesty in prominent academics both depressing and a little disturbing. It is like lifting a corner of the veil of civilized behavior and finding something very much like intellectual fascism hiding underneath. Most liberal-minded people who have not themselves experienced this kind of thing will find it hard to believe such behavior takes place in civilized society, since there is little sign of it on the surface unless, like me, you begin to ask controversial questions.
Let me make it unambiguously clear that I am not a creationist, nor do I have any religious beliefs of any kind. I am a professional writer and journalist who specializes in writing about science and technology and who writes about matters that I believe are of public interest.
For anyone, anywhere, to say that I am a creationist, a secret creationist, a ‘creationist ally’, or any other such weasel-word formulation, is an act of intellectual dishonesty by those who have no other answer to the scientific objections I have raised publicly.
Most scientists privately accept that there are serious objections to Darwinism such as those cited in these pages and privately they will admit to the objections. However, they have become reluctant to discuss them in public (and in a forum like the Internet they will deny them altogether) because they fear that they will aid their critics and unwittingly discredit their own profession. In some cases, they feel it is better to be discreet, pretend that there is nothing wrong, or even to tell a ‘little white lie’ in the interests of the greater good of science.
I cannot criticize anyone who feels this way about the profession they love — I would be tempted to do the same myself if I were a scientist.
It would be encouraging to think that the forces of academic censorship and the suppression of dissent were a thing of the past in today’s open, multi-media communications-linked world. Sadly, the malign influence of those who appoint themselves scientific vigilantes is becoming, if anything, even more widespread. Richard Dawkins, for instance, has now been appointed professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University.
Dawkins has already shown the kind of methods he uses to foster the ‘public understanding of science’ when he covertly campaigned to have my article for the Times Higher Education Supplement suppressed. It is depressing to find that a professor of the public understanding of science interprets his role as meaning he must supervise the information that the public and academic community are allowed to see and hear, and hence prevent them from gaining access to evidence that contradicts the accepted Darwinian doctrines.