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RAW-FOOD  October 1997

RAW-FOOD October 1997

Subject:

Science or science? Wolfe/NFL plagiarism--PART 5

From:

Ward Nicholson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 12 Oct 1997 21:02:51 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (422 lines)

PART 5 OF 5

DAVID WOLFE / NFL PLAGIARIZATION
OF PHILLIP JOHNSON'S "DARWIN ON TRIAL" (conclusion)

Our next example...

Ward's earlier comment:
>> Evolutionists themselves debate suddenness (the "punctuated equilibrium"
>> school) vs. gradualism, but it is not at all central to the debate of
>> whether evolution occurs or not....

David's supposedly personal reply...

> Even mentioning Gould's "punctuated equilibrium" theory is bound to give
> skeptics the impression that Darwinists are making weak excuses for their
> inability to describe the fossil record.  Why would Gould even formulate
> such a theory?  No matter how earnestly so-called experts insist they are
> only arguing about the "tempo" of evolution, and not about whether it ever
> happened, many astute minds will think that the evidence is missing
> because step-by-step transitions never occurred.

...turns out to come from this location in DOT:
[p.141, last sentence thru p.142, 1st para.]

> An explanation of the punctuated equilibrium controversy, for example, is
> bound to give skeptics the impression that Darwinists are making lame
> excuses for their inability to find supporting fossil evidence for their
> claims about macroevolution. No matter how earnestly the experts insist
> that they are only arguing about the *tempo* of gradualist evolution, and
> not about whether it ever happened, a few bright teenagers are likely to
> think that perhaps the evidence is missing because the step-by-step
> transitions never occurred.

David once again:
> Ward, I used to believe that you actually read the scientific journals,
> now I know you don't.  Gradualism is scientifically bankrupt.  Gradualism
> does not explain the process which supposedly transformed insects into
> humans. Gradualism is not anywhere visible in the laboratory or the fossil
> record.

I can't help suppressing a "wow" here. Four absolutist statements--and
three out of four of them false:

(1) David says he "knows" that I don't, or haven't, read scientific
journals. (In his dreams! :-) I have, and occasionally still do even now,
even though I am not doing much active reading of the research these days
due to other interests, so long as there is information there to be
explored that I am interested in. Check out all the footnotes in Part 1 of
the October 1996 interview of mine that appeared in Health & Beyond
reproduced at Chet Day's website (http://www.chetday.com/ward1.html)--a
good number of them references to either journal articles or other sources
from the scientific literature--and every one of them checked and often
double-checked for accuracy and fair representation. (Anyone interested,
ask me for the references to the footnotes, which are now available via
email, and I will be happy to send them to you at no charge. They cover all
footnotes from the entire three-part interview series--which is also
available from me, although via snailmail, at nominal cost--send me email
if you have an interest.)

(2) Gradualism is supposedly "bankrupt"--this might be a fair assessment of
Johnson's view. My take was that Johnson doesn't go quite that far in
general, although some specific passages do, but there is certainly room
for interpretation on this particular point.

(3) Gradualism doesn't explain the transformation of "insects into
humans"--now this could only conceivably be true in the sense the overall
statement is nonsensical, because as we saw before, evolutionists don't
even *say* insects could have been transformed into humans.

And (4) Gradualism isn't "anywhere" visible--again, even Johnson
begrudgingly admits that, in fact, it *is* visible in at least the case of
Archaeopteryx in the fossil record as the transitional form leading from
reptiles to birds (p.49 and pp.80-81), which he cedes as a data point in
favor of the Darwinists; and fruitflies in the laboratory (p.19, p.68,
p.175); for at least a couple--enough to rebut David's claims of "isn't
anywhere visible." (There are a number of others that could be listed if
sources beyond Johnson were being examined here, but even restricting
ourselves to the single source David seems to have relied on, this is
enough to refute the absolutism.)

Ward's earlier comment:
>> The basic and easy way to show anti-evolutionist arguments for the
>> creationist ideas they are is simply to point out that if you believe
>> there are different fossil forms, and you believe the dating methods are
>> in any way accurate to even a rough level, then you have to account for
>> how all these different fossil forms got there. Ask them what they
>> propose leading to the different fossil forms if they don't believe
>> earlier ones gave rise to later ones somehow.

David's reply:
> The truth is, I do not know how the fossil forms got there.  It is not
> explainable at this time.  I know one thing, however, they did not get
> there through Darwinian evolution.
>
> Scientists have often studied the effects of phenomenon (such as gravity)
> which they could not explain by natural law.  Just because they could not
> explain it, does not mean the laws which govern gravity do not exist!

Compare the first sentence in the second paragraph of David's reply above
with the following sentence from DOT:

> [p.115, 1st para.]: ...scientists have often studied the effects of a
> phenomenon (such as gravity) which they could not explain by natural law.

This one's an exact word-for-word copy. And I wonder if David understands
the implications of the assertion in his final sentence, because one could
easily and justifiably substitute the word "evolution" for "gravity" in it,
so that it would read like this: "Just because they [scientists] could not
[fully] explain it, does not mean the [natural] laws [or principles] which
govern evolution do not exist!" I would have to agree.

Ward's earlier comment:
>> For creationism, you have appeal only to a supernatural God, or to
>> unverified spores from space or extraterrestrials, with no scientifically
>> supportable chain of evidence as such for that being the mechanism of how
>> fossil forms actually appeared. It's religion or science--that's the
>> choice you put to people--which is it going to be?

David's reply:
> Religion or Science?  Science *is* Religion.
>
> Consider the words of Phillip Johnson: "Theists do not throw up their
> hands and refer everything to God's great plan, but they do recognize that
> attempts to explain all of reality in totally naturalistic terms may leave
> out something of importance.  Thus they reject the routine non sequiturs
> of scientism which pervade the Darwinist literature: because science
> cannot study a cosmic purpose, the cosmos must have no purpose; because
> science cannot make value judgments, values must be purely subjective;
> because science cannot study God, only purposeless material forces can
> have been involved in biological creation; and so on."

The comment which comes to mind here is that "considering the words of
Phillip Johnson" [from p.210, 4th para. in this instance] seems to be
almost the only thing David has been doing here. :-O

----------

David begins his conclusion to "Science or science?" with another quote
(this one acknowledged) from DOT (as if a suitable quote might have come
from somewhere else, eh? :-) )

> A New Paradigm

> "If there are so many problems with Darwinism, and no satisfactory
> alternative within the framework of evolution, why not reevaluate the
> framework?  What makes our scientists so absolutely certain that
> everything really did evolve from simple beginnings?" -- Phillip Johnson,
> Darwin On Trial

The above is from DOT, p.62, last para. Page numbers would sure be nice,
though, in the original. Granted, of course, that one probably doesn't want
to give them if you have other things to hide, and people might start
looking into your sources too closely. :-(

David continues:
> What we need is a new paradigm based on the facts.  What we need is a new
> group of people, healthy enough to reason clearly.  What we need is a
> fresh surge of creativity into the study of biological origins.  A new
> paradigm does not just propose different answers to the questions
> scientists have been asking, or explain the facts differently; it suggests
> entirely different questions and different possibilities.

...and so does the plagiarism continue from DOT, from which we reproduce
the following: [p.123, 3rd para.]

> A new paradigm does not merely propose different answers to the questions
> scientists have been asking, or explain the facts differently; it suggests
> entirely different questions and different factual possibilities.

The first half of David's paragraph above is original, but--with the
evidence set in front of us--the second is quite obviously not.

>From David:
> It is possible that life is -- what it seems to be -- the product of
> creative intelligence.  If that were true, this would certainly not end
> science (but certainly would end Science) because there would still be
> tremendous work to be done in deciphering the genetic language, in
> determining how the whole system of life operates, and in investigating
> the mysteries which abound.  Of course, the Science religion would lose
> the illusion of total mastery over Nature.  Scientists would have to face
> new levels of reality outside the vain conundrums of Science.

...and from the corresponding plagiarized paragraph from DOT:
[p.112, 3rd para.]

> Why not consider the possibility that life is what it so evidently seems
> to be, the product of creative intelligence? Science would not come to an
> end, because the task would remain of deciphering the languages in which
> genetic information is communicated, and in general finding out how the
> whole system *works*. What scientists would lose is not an inspiring
> research program, but the illusion of total mastery of nature. They would
> have to face the possibility that beyond the natural world there is a
> further reality which transcends science.

Again we have David's capitalized, mumbo-jumbo-ized "Science" and "Science
religion" substituted here for Johnson's straightforward conventional
terminology, and a bit of rewriting of some other phraseology, but it
doesn't do much to disguise the plagiarism with the source laid out before
us.

David then says:
> Darwinists claim they are scientific, but if the scientific method were
> the primary value at stake here, Darwinism would have long ago been
> limited to the changes and fluctuations visible within species groups,
> where it would have no important philosophical implications.  However,
> what happened beginning in 1859 was that the budding Science religion
> (establishment) got carried away with blind enthusiasm, and thought it had
> uncovered an entire creation story when it had only discovered the
> mechanism of natural selection within species.

...which is--as we have learned to expect by now (surprise, surprise...
NOT!)-- oh-so-very-similar to what Johnson has to say in DOT:

> [p.117, last para. thru p.118, 1st para.]: If empiricism were the primary
> value at stake, Darwinism would long ago have been limited to
> microevolution, where it would have no important theological or
> philosophical implications.  Such a limitation would not imply acceptance
> of creationism, even in the least restrictive definition of that term.
> What it *would* imply is that the scientific establishment after 1859 was
> carried away by enthusiasm, and thought it had proved an entire creation
> story when it had only filled in some minor details.

But wait, there's still more! :-) As David puts it:

> If Darwinists truly accepted the scientific method, they could still hope
> to find a materialistic explanation for everything, but now they would
> have to admit they have made a monumental mistake by imposing Darwinism
> upon empirical scientific facts (such as the fossil record) which clearly
> prove otherwise.  Darwinists are not actually interested in science, what
> they are interested in is maintaining the religious worldview of Science--
> without Darwinism, Science would have no creation story.  A retreat on
> an issue of this importance is a deathblow for the Darwinian
> establishment.

...which is (yep, you guessed it) not much different from how Johnson said
it himself:

> [p.118, 1st para.] If Darwinists accepted the primacy of empiricism, they
> could still hope to find a naturalistic explanation for everything, but
> for now they would have to admit that they have made a big mistake.
> [p.118, 2nd para.]: ...empiricism is *not* the primary value at stake. The
> more important priority is to maintain the naturalistic worldview and with
> it the prestige of "science" as the source of all important knowledge.
> Without Darwinism, scientific naturalism would have no creation story. A
> retreat on an issue of this importance would be catastrophic for the
> Darwinian establishment...

Yes, as the essay builds to its climax, the capitalized term "Science"
continues to be hammered home, replacing where possible what NFL apparently
sees as Johnson's too-insipid term "scientific naturalism." Let's put some
real drama into it, boys! Yes folks, science with a small "s" as most
people understand it isn't really science, it's "Science" which is
Religion--even more so than religion itself! Go ye out into all the world
and preach the Gospel of mysterious sudden creation of species to the
unsaved animal food-eaters. Save them from the misleading paleolithic
dietary recommendations implied by the incantations of the white-robed ones
with their dangerously beguiling Religious theories of evolution from
insects to humans, and who carry the sacrilegious test-tubes trailing
mysterious wisps of mist meant to masquerade as the Holy Ghost itself! :-)

And now for David's final paragraph, which we proudly announce appears (but
for the first sentence, darn :-( ) to be a complete original:

> In overview, Darwinian philosophy is a religious artifact of
> (un)scientific (un)naturalist materialist belief, it has nothing to do
> with the real history of life.  The theory of evolution is a philosophical
> excuse to let the base passions run wild.  It is an exact outer reflection
> of humanity's weakened internal physical and mental condition due to ever
> increasing cooked-food addiction and unnatural living.   Darwinism is the
> creation story of the Science religion.  It can only leave its followers
> spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically bankrupt, because it
> is unnatural.

Though the majority of the paragraph is original, unfortunately it turns
out that even in composing his conclusion David was not entirely speaking
his own mind. Here is the source upon which the first sentence was in part
channeled (perhaps in seance :-) ) from DOT:

> [p.162, end of 2nd para.]: I can illustrate [Gould's] point by asking
> readers to imagine how Darwinists would react to a suggestion from me that
> I "respect" their theory as an artifact of naturalistic belief, and in no
> way mean to disparage it when I say that it has nothing to do with the
> real history of life.

Regarding the rest of the paragraph and specifically its concluding
sentence, one can only comment here that NFL, or at least David Wolfe, does
not seem to have any need of Darwinism to render himself, in his own words,
"spiritually bankrupt" (not to mention morally so) if he feels he has to
resort to plagiarism to mount a response to criticism. And that is perhaps
the most telling commentary that can be made concerning just how much real
effect eating a total raw-food diet actually has on a person's mental
health and state of consciousness.

And that concludes the essay, except for a second copyright notice at the
end once again claiming ownership of the words that David/NFL stole from
Phillip Johnson... (Unfortunately for Stephen Arlin and Fouad Dini, they
might find themselves in trouble too, since the copyright is here claimed
not by David, but the NFL entity itself.)

> Copyright 1997
> Nature's First Law
> PO Box 900202
> San Diego, CA  92190 USA
> 1-800-205-2350
> The World's Premier Catalog of Raw-Food Diet Books, Booklets, Videos & Audio
> Tapes.

But oops, we're not quite done yet. There is another strategem offered that
also attempts to pull the wool further over our eyes too... the following
"Reference" list that David added, which deserves some comment as well:

> References
>
> Books:
> Darwin, Charles "The Descent Of Man" & "Origin Of The Species"
> Denton, Michael, "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis"
> Gish, Dr. Duane, "Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!"
> Gould, Stephen J.-- various articles
> Johnson, Phillip, "Darwin On Trial"
>
> Periodicals:
> Science, various issues from 1980 to the present.
> Nature, various issues from 1980 to the present.
>
> Videos:
> The Evolution Conspiracy
> Professor Richard Thompson On Evolution

To someone like myself who has done some amount of past study of scientific
literature in order to be able to write on the subject of evolution as it
applies to diet, this reference list has all the earmarks of having been
padded. We have already seen earlier the evidence showing that David's
various quotes of Stephen Jay Gould, Colin Patterson, Duane Raup, and
Charles Darwin mostly or in their entirety came from DOT, not the original
works. Thus, while I wouldn't want to state it as a certainty, one has to
be strongly skeptical that the two Darwin references above, as well as the
shoddily referred-to Gould references (cited only as the laughably
presented "various articles") are anything but padded ones, and likely the
Denton reference as well, though of course complete proof isn't possible by
the nature of things here.

And not only does David do a very shoddy job of citing any references to
begin with here (no page numbers, no publishing information, no volume
numbers or dates, etc., from any of the sources at all), we see that as
with the Gould reference, the purported "sources" Science and Nature--the
longstanding refereed scientific journals--were referenced only as "various
issues from 1980 to the present." This offhand, almost contemptuous style
lacks any kind of integrity or credibility in its manner of reporting
sources at all. If one is serious about their references, you don't merely
write "various issues of such-and-such a journal": you give author(s),
year, title, publishing info and/or issue number or date, and if you are
really on the ball (actually, this is a virtual requirement for journal
articles), page numbers, so others can easily track them down. And if you
also have integrity, you had better hope you actually did at least look at
the journal article and understand something about what it said, and that
it figured in the writing or thinking behind your paper somehow, or someone
may just come along and check it out for themselves--and if they do, you
shouldn't have any cause for concern.

Not only does David not seem to understand *how* to cite references
believably, or even how to fake them (yet--perhaps he will after finishing
reading this post), he seems to completely misunderstand that the reason
*why* is so that people can follow up and investigate the subject further
for themselves if they have an interest, or to verify an author represented
their research fairly. If he had understood this and still intended to
plagiarize, then LISTING a source that one is plagiarizing from is,
frankly, not just brazen, it is stupid.

This led me to take a trip to the local university library while running
errands one day to look at the other books listed as part of the reference
list. I could not find any indication from the information contained in the
"Science or science?" post that the other references had actually been read
or utilized as sources. And again, while there is of course no absolutely
conclusive way one can prove that this particular reference list was
padded, after having detailed the extensive plagiarization from "Darwin on
Trial," I think it should be clear that there is little room left in the
post in which even general background information from the other sources
listed above could have conceivably appeared. This doesn't mean David or
NFL may not have actually read something from these other sources, but I
trust anyone can see by now why we have to remain intensely skeptical it
was done, or was done to any degree constituting more than a desultory
glance.

----------

I have saved one of the comments addressed directly to me in David's
"Science or science?" posting here for last, because it makes a good
conclusion to this series:

David:
>The Challenge
>
>I hereby challenge you Ward to a debate on the theory of evolution before our
>peers.  The truth does not fear investigation.

David, perhaps someday when you have shown you can be consistently honest
and truthful so that a debate might be worth the time, perhaps I would find
a debate interesting. Until then, why don't you start working on the task
of building a better track record for honesty and stating what you know or
don't know in good faith, rather than out of deceit, and giving other
people credit for their own words without stealing or distorting them for
your own purposes. Right now your reputation in my eyes for engaging in
good-faith discussions is in shambles, and you, along with (unfortunately)
your other two colleagues in NFL, are not individuals I respect enough as
trustworthy human beings to be worth talking to much beyond this series of
postings. (If Stephen Arlin and Fouad Dini were aware of the plagiarism and
had any integrity either, they would have had enough sense to stop you from
posting it.)

I hope you mean what you say, also, David--that "the truth does not fear
investigation," such as the kind that has been made here. Perhaps such
exposure of your deceit for public examination might cause you to consider
taking the opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Here's to the hope that you
decide to do so. You want respect? Earn it.

END PART 5

--Ward Nicholson <[log in to unmask]>


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