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Mike Sutton
Mike Sutton
Dr Mike Sutton is the author of 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret'.


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Peter Takes the Darwinists Bowling: Denigrating Deifying Dysologists in the History of Science Confirm the Frozen Donkey Hypothesis (No. 1)

Mar. 29, 2015 5:14 am

The Wikipedia page on Patrick Matthew publishes a quote from Professor Peter J.Bowler - historian of biology. Bowler's quote provides unquestionable confirmation for the Dysology Hypothesis . His statement is made as a retort to the published expert analysis of the discovery of natural selection by Jim Dempster.

Peter Bowler (1983, p. 158) Evolution: the history of an idea, (1st and all revised editions). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p158 :

"One writer has even gone so far as to hail Matthew as the originator of the modern evolution theory (Dempster 1996). Such efforts to denigrate Darwin misunderstand the whole point of the history of science: Matthew did suggest a basic idea of selection, but he did nothing to develop it; and he published it in an appendix to a book on the raising of trees for ship building. No one took him seriously, and he played no role in the emergence of Darwinism. Simple priority is not enough to earn a thinker a place in the history of science: one has to develop the idea and convince others of its value to make a real contribution. Darwin's notebooks confirm that he drew no inspiration from Matthew or any of the other alleged precursors."

Bowler, it might be critically argued, appears to think that anyone engaging in critical scholarship in the area of contested discovery of the theory of natural selection is engaging in some kind of intellectual heresy against the deified science icon Darwin. He accuses others of "denigrating Darwin" in the Wallace and Darwin priority and plagiarism debate (Bowler 1996 p, 113)

'The efforts to denigrate Darwin serve only to conceal the real differences between the two naturalists' approach to transmutation. Careful reading of Wallace's paper reveals that in several important respects his theory failed to duplicate the essence of Darwin's thinking. Wallace had no interest in artificial selection and refused to treat it as analogous to the natural process, even later years."

Not only is Bowler out of line for denigrating critical scholarship with his 'How very dare they denigrate Saint Darwin' posturing, he also gets his facts completely wrong. Because Wallace, in his 1858 Ternate Paper, does use the analogy of artificial selection to explain Natural selection - just as Matthew did when he originated that bombshell analogy in 1831, and just as Darwin did in his unpublished essay of 1844 and in The Origin of Species (1859).

Bowler repeats exactly the same mistake in his later book Darwin Deleted. In that later book Bowler writes (2013, p. 31):

`Alfred Russel Wallace also conceived a basic idea of natural selection, although we shall see that he understood its implications rather differently. Wallace also missed key elements of the case Darwin presented, most obviously the analogy between artificial and natural selection.’

Biased Darwinists are self-servingly hapless when it comes to peer reviewing bias claptrap - just so long as it celebrates their namesake - it seems that anything goes.

Bowler - in writing a book for a popular audience - and, therefore, for all scientists as well as biologists, fails to distinguish between "the biologists' analogy" - which includes only things that are alike - and the general use of the term analogy - which includes comparing things to explain how they are alike, or else comparing them in order to explain why they are unalike.

Adopting as he does, without explanation only the biologists' restricted special use of the term 'analogy', Bowler conveniently fails to mention that Darwin replicated an analogy invented by Matthew in 1831 to explain his discovery of natural selection.

Loren Eiseley (1979, pp.71-73) believed Darwin plagiarised Matthew's (1831) prior use of the analogy of artificial selection to explain natural selection and even replicated a specific example of trees raised in nurseries in his unpublished essay of 1844.

By neglecting to distinguish between the "biologists analogy" and the general understanding of the term, Bowler has penned another absolute fallacy by telling us that Wallace did not deploy the artificial selection analogy. Because in his own Linnean Society paper, Wallace (see Darwin and Wallace 1858), whilst specimen hunting in the jungles of the Far East, in actual fact, does incredibly replicate Matthew's prior- discovery that artificial selection is the key to explaining natural selection. Wallace (1858) wrote

Here is what Bowler, and Darwin's other biased "gatekeepers of the faith" peer reviewers have missed for decades, until a social scientist - yours truly - spotted it standing out like a great big blue frog on a a green pasture:

Wallace (1858) wrote in his Ternate Paper:

`...those that prolong their existence can only be the most perfect in health and vigour - those who are best able to obtain food regularly, and avoid their numerous enemies. It is, as we commenced by remarking, "a struggle for existence," in which the weakest and least perfectly organized must always succumb.' [And]: `We see, then, that no inferences as to varieties in a state of nature can be deduced from the observation of those occurring among domestic animals. The two are so much opposed to each other in every circumstance of their existence, that what applies to the one is almost sure not to apply to the other. Domestic animals are abnormal, irregular, artificial; they are subject to varieties which never occur and never can occur in a state of nature: their very existence depends altogether on human care; so far are many of them removed from that just proportion of faculties, that true balance of organization, by means of which alone an animal left to its own resources can preserve its existence and continue its race.'

His embarrassing errors of fact aside, Bowler's dysology is easy to break down by numbers.

1. The first sentence exposes Bowler as a dysological Darwin deificationist. Deifying scholars is a perversion of science and leads, obviously, to huge bias when faced with dis-confirming evidence for their ideas, discoveries, or the current mainstream view of their work.

Bowler, in my opinion, is writing like a pseudoscholalry zealot. And yet desperate Darwinists, seeking to dig up any old rusty ammunition to throw at the threatening new discovery that Matthew's (1831) prior published hypothesis was read by naturalists who influenced him and were well known by Darwin, quote it like a magical mantra. As Though Bowler's words are "The Truth" - 'because it is written'.

In this regard, Darwinists, many of whom proudly proclaim their atheism, are behaving like pre-Enlightenment Age religious zealots. That is rather painfully ironic.

2, The first sentence reveals that it is Bowler who fails to understand the whole point of the history of science, because it is he who is promoting pre-Enlightenment thinking. Brodie, A. (2007) in his book 'The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation'. Edinburgh. Birlinn Ltd, explains what post-Enlightenment thinking involves:

'The enlightened person accepts the word of authority not as something to which he has to say ‘yes’, but as something to which it is appropriate to subject to critical analysis. The question for the enlightened person therefore is whether the word of authority can stand up to cross-examination before the tribunal of reason. If it can then it is accepted because it is sanctioned not by authority but by reason. If on the other hand it cannot withstand the cross-examination then it has to be discarded, however exalted the source.'

Kuhn (1962; pp.1-2) provides a classic prose on of what the project of the history of scientific discovery actually involves:

“If science is the constellation of facts, theories, and methods collected in current texts, then scientists are the men who, successfully or not, have striven to contribute one or another element to that particular constellation. Scientific development becomes the piecemeal process by which these items have been added, singly and in combination, the ever growing stockpile that constitutes scientific technique and knowledge. And history of science becomes the discipline that chronicles both these successive increments and the obstacles that have inhibited their accumulation. Concerned with scientific development, the historian then appears to have two main tasks. On the one hand, he must determine by what man and at what point in time each contemporary scientific fact, law and theory was discovered or invented. On the other hand, he must describe and explain the congeries of error, myth and superstition that have inhibited the more rapid accumulation of the constituents of the modern science text. Much research has been directed to these ends, and some still is.”

3, Bowler writes "Simple priority is not enough to earn a thinker a place in the history of science: one has to develop the idea and convince others of its value to make a real contribution."

Again, this is absolutely untrue. Bowler is just making it up as he goes along. Because, in point of fact, under the long established Arago Effect rule of the Royal Society, as explained by Merton (1957), priority is everything (see my Rational Wiki essay). More so, one does not have to prove one's own original hypothesis nor develop ones ideas further to be attributed with credit as an original great thinker in science. Fleming did no such thing, neither did Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs. The reason for the Arago Effect priority rule is that no amount of confirmatory evidence gathering for another's prior published hypothesis can ever transmute that hypothesis into your own idea.


For more than three decades, Professor Peter Bowler has been successfully publishing complete historical fallacies with major publishing houses of the Darwin Industry on the topic of the discovery of natural selection. He is no minor academic. Bowler is currently an eminent Professor of the History of Science at Queens University Belfast. According to his Wikipeda page, he: '... is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a corresponding member of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. He was President of the British Society for the History of Science 2004-6.'

The case of the eminent Darwinist, Professor Peter Bowler's, published mistakes and his published fallacies, which slipped under the biased radar of Darwinist peer reviewers, and other critics in his field, is confirmatory evidence in my opinion, that Darwinists cannot be trusted to be truthful, objective or scholarly when it comes to addressing critical scholarship in the field of contested discovery of the theory of natural selection- at least where their namesake's questionable priority is concerned.

Darwinists - as a group - appear unfit to peer review this subject, since the evidence shows they are biased towards their namesake at the expense of the truth and the facts, and therefore at the expense of the reputation of science.

Unless Darwinists adapt to deal rationally, honestly, accurately and objectively with the dis-confirming evidence (Sutton 2014) for their namesake's independent discovery of a prior-published theory they face the ignominy of confirming the Frozen Donkey Hypothesis.

A lengthy and dogged discussion of this blog post - between myself and Dr Mike Weale (a statistical geneticist and Darwinist) - can be found on the PatrickMatthewProject.

Mike Weale sees the term 'artificial selection' to mean something completely different than human selective breeding of animals and plants. For my own part, as Mike knows, I take it to mean the same as the experts who authored an article on it in the highly respected editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Artificial selection (or selective breeding) differs from natural selection in that heritable variations in a species are manipulated by humans through controlled breeding. The breeder attempts to isolate and propagate those genotypes that are responsible for a plant or animal’s desired qualities in a suitable environment. These qualities are economically or aesthetically desirable to humans, rather than useful to the organism in its natural environment."

I think I am right, Mike thinks he is right. In the end, we agreed to differ and move the debate on in another direction.

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