PART 4 OF 5
DAVID WOLFE / NFL PLAGIARIZATION
OF PHILLIP JOHNSON'S "DARWIN ON TRIAL" (continued)
David's next paragraph from "Science or science?":
> Natural selection is the most famous element in Darwinism, but it may not
> be the most important element. Selection merely preserves or destroys
> something that already exists. The mutation element has to provide the
> favorable innovations before natural selection can retain and encourage
> them. Mutations are thought to stem from random errors in copying the
> commands of the DNA's genetic code. To suppose that such random errors
> could reconstruct even a single complex organ like a heart or lung is as
> reasonable as saying a dictionary could result from a print shop
Above we have another cut-'n-splice job, plopping sentences next to each
other that occur in considerably separated passages in DOT--compare below:
> [p.31, last para.]: Natural selection is the most famous element in
> Darwinism, but it is not necessarily the most important element. Selection
> merely preserves or destroys something that already exists. Mutation has
> to provide the favorable innovations before natural selection can retain
> and encourage them. [p.37, 3/4 the way down the pg.]: Mutations are
> thought to stem from random errors in copying the commands of the DNA's
> genetic code. To suppose that such a random event could reconstruct even
> a single complex organ like a liver or kidney is about as reasonable as to
> suppose that an improved watch can be designed by throwing an old one
> against a wall.
I gotta admit here--I truly do think I prefer David's "as reasonable as
saying a dictionary could result from a print shop explosion" to Johnson's
metaphor of getting an improved watch by throwing it against a wall.
Frankly, it's much more picturesque and pretty danged humorous--it did give
me a satisfying laugh. :-) (Hey, I'm serious!) On the other hand, I also
got a good chuckle at the transplant surgery of substituting "liver or
kidney" for "heart or lung," although I'm sure David didn't intend it to be
humorous--but I mean, why bother, the ruse is so easy to see through, it's
almost comical. ;-)
> Just how the unique respiratory system of birds could have evolved
> gradually through natural selection and mutation from the standard
> vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to imagine or prove.
> Especially when we bear in mind that the maintenance of respiration is
> absolutely vital to the life of the organism -- even the slightest
> malfunction leads immediately to death.
Compare that with this quotation in DOT of Michael Denton's "Evolution: A
Theory in Crisis" [p.36, 3rd para.]:
> Just how such a different respiratory system could have evolved gradually
> from the standard vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to
> envisage, especially bearing in mind that the maintenance of respiratory
> function is absolutely vital to the life of an organism to the extent that
> even the slightest malfunction leads to death within minutes.
And we go on to David's next jury-rigged paragraph:
> One eminent scientist of the mid-twentieth century, who concluded
> Darwinian evolution had fallen apart, was the geneticist Professor Richard
> Goldschmidt of the University of California at Berkeley. Goldschmidt
> issued a now famous challenge to the Darwinists, listing a series of
> complex structures from mammalian hair to hemoglobin which he concluded
> could not have been produced by the accumulation and selection of small
> mutations. Goldschmidt found Darwinian evolution could not account for
> more than variations within the species boundary; he thought evolution
> beyond that point must have occurred in single jumps through
> macromutations (many other eminent scientists and mathematicians have come
> to understand this as well and have been categorized as saltationists,
> including: Pierre Grasse and Professor Richard Thompson and the
> mathematicians Schutzenburger and D.S. Ulam). Goldschmidt described that
> the decisive step in evolution, the first step towards macroevolution, the
> step from one species to another, requires another method than the sheer
> accumulation of micromutations. The idea that an accumulation of
> micromutations leads to new organs and species is a mathematical
Mirroring the above and revealing the plagiarism, we have these two
passages from DOT:
> [p.37, beg. with 1st line]: One particularly eminent scientist of the mid-
> twentieth century, who concluded that it had absolutely broken down was
> the German-American geneticist, Professor Richard Goldschmidt of the
> University of California at Berkeley. Goldschmidt issued a famous
> challenge to the neo-Darwinists, listing a series of complex structures
> from mammalian hair to hemoglobin that he thought could not have been
> produced by the accumulation and selection of small mutations. Like Pierre
> Grasse, Goldschmidt concluded that Darwinian evolution could account for
> no more than variations within the species boundary; unlike Grasse, he
> thought that evolution beyond that point must have occurred in single
> jumps through macromutations. [p.40, middle of 2nd para., quoting
> Goldschmidt]: "The decisive step in evolution, the first step towards
> macroevolution, the step from one species to another, requires another
> method than the sheer accumulation of micromutations."
The following paragraph of David's is one for which I couldn't find a
source in DOT, so we'll assume that it's an original:
> The theory of natural selection is inadequate to account for
> macroevolution -- it explains no mechanism by which macroevolution can
> occur. Because Darwinian gradualism is incapable of explaining
> macroevolutionary leaps and the origin of complex organs, an unknown
> factor has been introduced by materialist science itself into materialist
> philosophy (Science). This strikes at the very core of the "religious"
> materialist beliefs of so-called scientists. Science does conflict with
> science, because Science, as a philosophical religion is not empirical.
David's next paragraph:
> Scientists might consider questioning their belief that the Laws of Nature
> are always and everywhere uniform. They fail to understand that the rules
> which govern science at one level of magnitude differ from the rules which
> govern science at another level of magnitude, we see this in physics,
> relativity, quantum mechanics, etc. With this in mind the Darwinists need
> to supply a scientific theory as to how macroevolution occurs.
...and the plagiarized source? Why...where else but DOT?: :-) [p.69, 3rd para.]
> Scientists like to assume that the Laws of Nature were [sic] always and
> everywhere uniform, because otherwise they could not make inferences about
> what happened in the distant past or at the opposite end of the universe.
> They do not assume that the rules which govern activity at one level of
> magnitude necessarily apply at all other levels. The differences between
> Newtonian physics, relativity, and quantum mechanics show how unjustified
> such an assumption would be. What the Darwinists need to supply is not an
> arbitrary philosophical principle, but a scientific theory of how
> macroevolution can occur.
David's next section begins:
> If evolution were correct, then we should find that the embryonic
> development of animals would retrace the evolutionary picture. Organisms
> should start out in life as relatively similar organisms and then form
> their differing features later. This picture is so pleasing to
> evolutionists, generations of students have been taught this as fact. But
> it is anything but a fact.
Compare his second and third sentences above with the following ones from DOT:
> [p.72, 3rd para.]: The differing organisms in a single group (like
> vertebrates) should start out in life as relatively similar organisms and
> then form their differing features later. As with Haeckel's law, the
> picture is so pleasing that generations of biology students have been
> taught it as fact.
...and again back to David:
> In reality, the embryonic patterns represent a monumental puzzle for the
> evolutionary theory. Although it is true that different vertebrate types
> pass through an embryonic stage at which they resemble one another, they
> develop to this stage very differently. Each vertebrate egg, upon
> fertilization undergoes cell divisions and movements characteristic of its
> class: fish follow one pattern, amphibians another, birds another, and
> mammals yet another.
...which has as it's plagiaristic source the following from DOT:
[p.72, last para. thru p.73, first 3 lines]:
> Far from providing the simple confirmation that Futuyma suggests, the
> embryonic patterns generate a monumental puzzle for the theory. Although
> it is true that vertebrates all pass through an embryonic stage at which
> they resemble each another, in fact they develop *to* this stage very
> differently. After a vertebrate egg is fertilized, it undergoes cell
> divisions and cell movements characteristic of its class: fish follow one
> pattern, amphibians another one, birds yet another, and mammals still
> It is well known among embryologists that vertebrate embryos develop along
> different lines which converge in appearance midway through the process,
> then diverge again until they finally develop -- in totally different ways
> -- similar organs, limbs, and bones.
> Darwin thought embryology was a guide to evolutionary genealogy, if that
> is so, then embryology is telling us vertebrates have multiple origins and
> did not inherit similar characteristics from a common ancestor.
...and the above two paragraphs are not so coincidentally derivative, we
think you'll agree, from the following sentences in DOT: [p.73, 3rd para.]
> That vertebrate embryos develop along different pathways, only to converge
> in appearance midway through the process, then diverge again until they
> finally generate (in diverse ways) similar bone structures in their limbs
> are facts well known to embryologists.... If embryology is our best guide
> to genealogy, as Darwin thought, our guide seems to be telling us that
> vertebrates have multiple origins and did not inherit their similiarties
> from a common ancestor.
A little side note: In the example above, it's easy enough to see, of
course, that Johnson's concluding phrase in the first sentence ("It is well
known among embryologists") has been inserted at the beginning, and David's
recast version of Johnson's initial phrase ("That vertebrate embroys
develop along different lines") has been merely been shoved into second
place in the phrase order. This wouldn't be worth much comment here except
that as with a number of previous similar instances I haven't commented on
until now, it seems David doesn't care much for sentences that have as
their structure, "That [such-and-such fact(s)] is the case, is [phrase of
assessment to conclude sentence]," and pretty consistently re-edits or
rephrases them. (Perhaps he feels the more academically formal sentence
construction of the original would be too much of a giveaway to the
plagiarism--as if all the rest of the clues and direct word-for-word
copying aren't enough already.)
David next taps out the following verbiage apparently from his own keyboard:
> Consider the mammals. It is very difficult to pick a specific common
> ancestor for all mammals as it is to pick any therapsid ancestors. This
> situation has led some paleontologists to consider a disturbing theory
> that mammals, long assumed to be a natural "monophyletic" group
> (descendants of a common mammalian ancestor) were actually several groups
> which had evolved separately from different lines of therapsids --
> multiple origins. The notion that mammals as a group evolved from
> reptiles as a group through a broad clump of diverse therapsid lines (the
> type of transformation suggested by embryology) is not Darwinism.
> Darwinian transformation requires a single line of ancestral descent.
...but unfortunately, as so many times before, we must consider the
possibility it emanated from elsewhere, and therefore we offer this passage
from DOT for comparison:
> [p.79, middle of 2nd para.]: ...structural differences among the early
> mammals make it just as difficult to pick a specific mammal descendant as
> it is to pick any specific therapsid ancestors. This baffling situation
> led some paleontologists to consider a disturbing theory that mammals,
> long assumed to be a natural "monophyletic" group (that is, descended
> from a common mammalian ancestor) were actually several groups which had
> evolved separately from different lines of therapsids. [p.78, 3rd para.,
> last few lines]: The notion that mammals-in-general evolved from
> reptiles-in-general through a broad clump of diverse therapsid lines is
> not Darwinism. Darwinian transformation requires a single line of
> ancestral descent.
Has David no shame, no sense of respect or compunction in restraining
himself here from appropriating the words of another and presenting them as
completely his own? Apparently not, because we see next in some of his
responses to my own earlier post of 9/15/97 that criticized his essay "On
Form and Actuality" that even when he is responding to me as if himself
here, he still sometimes resorts to letting Johnson be his stand-in again.
As this post is already getting so incredibly lengthy, I won't go through
the formality of repeating the entire sequence of comment-and-response from
both my earlier side of the conversation and David's, but let's take a look
at the relevant responses containing distortions of the facts, and the
instances where David is abdicating and letting Johnson do his talking for
him. (So as not to give a misleading impression here of the degree of
David's plagiarism in this section of responses made to me personally, I'll
repeat here my estimate from earlier that his "personal" comments here
amount to roughly one-quarter plagiarism. (This figure does not include the
use of a few deceptively used quotations that are also thrown into the
mix--again, ones which were taken from, but not attributed to, DOT.)
> Notice that Ward and omnivorous theorists depend on the theory of
> evolution to support their hypothesis that humans are natural omnivores.
> Because of this dependence, Ward and omnivorous theorists may be deeply
> disturbed to discover the theory of evolution is incorrect and is loaded
> with major, irreconcilable flaws. In this paper I dismantled the theory
> of evolution and thus also dismantled the philosophical basis for the
> religion of "Science" (as opposed to science: the application of the
> scientific method as a form of knowing). The religion of Science (with
> its deductions based on faith, such as gradualism, common ancestors, etc.)
> embodies the philosophy of (un)scientific (un)naturalistic materialism
> which is the basis of omnivorous thinking.
Now this particular paragraph is all David's as far as I can tell. But are
we to believe that "I" (meaning David) "dismantled the theory of
evolution"? Hardly a true statement--it merely perpetuates the lie (not to
mince words) that David is supposedly the one doing all the talking here.
Even if one were to believe the "dismantling" part of David's statement to
be true, any credit for that would have to go to Johnson. What David *does*
get credit for in the earlier part of his exposition is blatant and massive
plagiarization and not a whole lot else.
> Common sense, physiology, anatomy, cause and cure of disease and
> unhappiness, psychological predisposition, propensities of children, and
> many other factors all clearly point to the fact, humans are biological
> vegetarians. The only leg omnivorists have to stand on is evolution, which
> is hardly a stable premise as I have demonstrated.
Once again, David digs himself even deeper into the lie by quite explicitly
claiming responsibility for having demonstrated what were in reality ideas
taken pretty much straight from the mouth of Phillip Johnson.
> Ward, let's see your hard evidence that evolution does occur. I have
> clearly demonstrated the massive discrepancies between the theory of
> evolution and the fossil record. After 140 years of searching for
> transition types, still none have been found. Embryology clearly
> contradicts evolution. Macromutations cannot be described by natural
> selection. Clearly the burden is on you to prove evolution actually
> occurs. Consider the turnabout of Colin Patterson, the one-time senior
> paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and author of the
> museum's text on evolution, who in 1981 stated in a lecture at the
> American Museum of Natural History, "Can you tell me anything you know
> about evolution, any one thing...that is true?"
Through the use of the no-room-for-nuance language such as "none have been
found," "clearly contradicts," "cannot be described," etc., I'm happy
enough to concede that the first few sentences probably come from David.
However, now take a look at the following from DOT, and compare with the
last sentence of David's paragraph above:
> [p.9, last para. thru p.10, first 2 lines]: That very point was the theme
> of a remarkable lecture given by Colin Patterson at the American Museum of
> Natural History in 1981. Patterson is a senior paleontologist at the
> British Natural History Museum and the author of that museum's general
> text on evolution. ...Patterson asked his audience... "Can you tell me
> anything you know about evolution, any one thing...that is true?"
This is a question that *David* supposedly thought to ask me himself?
Somehow I don't think so. David appears to have done little thinking for
himself about any of this.
Ward's earlier comment:
>> The Wolfe paper is in fact unavoidably a form of creationism in saying
>> that the different fossil forms over the eons appear whole and complete
> This is not "creationism" but simply a fact. The fossil record
> demonstrates conclusively that different fossil forms over the eons appear
> whole and complete "suddenly."
> The greatest problem the fossil record poses for Darwinism is the
> "Cambrian explosion" of around 600 million years ago. Nearly all the
> animal phyla appear in the rocks of this period without a trace of the
> evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists would predict. As the staunch
> Darwinist Richard Dawkins puts it, "It is as though they were just planted
> there, without any evolutionary history."
That "the fossil record demonstrates" what David claims "conclusively" I
will take to be another one of David's absolutist statements that distorts
and pushes things to the point where they become falsehood. In a number of
cases, the fossil record is not conclusive one way or the other (and
Johnson is usually fair enough in reporting this fact). Apparently David
needs backup, though, to make his case in words he's not up to composing
himself: compare his second paragraph above with the following from DOT:
[p.54, 3rd para.]:
> The single greatest problem which the fossil record poses for Darwinism is
> the "Cambrian explosion" of around 600 million years ago. Nearly all the
> animal phyla appear in the rocks of this period, without a trace of the
> evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require. As Richard Dawkins puts
> it, "It is as though they were just planted there, without any
> evolutionary history."
Again, here we have more direct plagiarization, plus another deceptive
appearance that David has read widely enough to be on fairly intimate terms
with the original source material of not only Darwin, Gould, David Raup,
and Colin Patterson, but now Richard Dawkins too.
Ward's earlier comment:
>> ...Whether something is sudden or not is just a question of how
>> microscopic the timescale is. Line up enough sudden and random--but
>> microscopic--mutations at the molecular level of DNA, and voila, you have
>> "gradual" evolution looked at from afar. It's all a question of the
>> "resolution" of the lens or microscope/telescope--how wide a view of
>> time--you are taking.
> This is a great theory, now prove it. In 140 years this has never been
> shown. The fossil record on the whole testifies that whatever "evolution"
> might have been, it was not the process of gradual change in continual
> little changes adding up which you imply. As an explanation for
> modifications within populations, Darwinism is an empirical doctrine. As
> an explanation for how complex organisms came into existence in the first
> place, it is pure philosophy.
> This argument is also a tautology. It is so clever, most people who use
> this reasoning don't recognize it is tautological. The prevailing
> assumption in evolutionary science circles seems to be that speculative
> possibilities (such as accumulated micromutations leading to new species),
> without experimental confirmation are all that is really necessary because
> evolution "just must be right." The logic goes: Nature must have provided
> whatever evolution had to have, because otherwise evolution would not have
> happened. The theory itself is tautological; it provides whatever
> supporting logic is necessary, while side-stepping the facts.
Compare David's "personalized" response to me above, with these two
additional nuggets to be found in DOT; first...
> [p.117, beg. with middle of 4th para.]: The fossil record on the whole
> testifies that whatever "evolution" might have been, it was not the
> process of gradual change in continual lineages that Darwinism implies. As
> an explanation for modifications in populations, Darwinism is an empirical
> doctrine. As an explanation for how complex organisms came into existence
> in the first place, it is pure philosophy.
> [p.43, 2nd para.]: The prevailing assumption in evolutionary science seems
> to be that speculative possibilities, without experimental confirmation,
> are all that is really necessary. The principle at work is the same one
> that Waddington, Medawar, and Mayr invoked when challenged by the
> mathematicians. Nature must have provided whatever evolution had to have,
> because otherwise evolution wouldn't have happened. The theory itself
> provides whatever supporting logic is essential.
Any questions on that one, folks? (Nope? I didn't think so--me neither.) :-)
END PART 4
--Ward Nicholson <[log in to unmask]>