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Evolutionary Manifesto by John Davison (part I)

Dr. Davison has been a professor of biology for over 45 years. He is among the few elite who have managed to get a pro-ID paper published in a peer-reviewed journal. I very much enjoyed reading An Evolutionary Manifesto.

I am opening a thread to focus on the preface and introduction of his work. If I sense that readers enjoyed the discussion, I will open more threads on the rest of the manifesto.

Here is the eloquent preface to his work:

Preface

This work represents an elaboration of material presented by the author in courses offered here at the University of Vermont, especially Biology 255, The Comparative Physiology of Reproduction and Biology 202, Quantitative Biology. It is my hope that this treatise will reach not only the professional biologist but all others who realize how little we really understand concerning the history of life on this planet. I have assumed little in the way of background and I have defined most technical terms as they appear. The basic ideas put forth here were first published in 1984. I hope that this expanded and more completely documented treatment will reach a larger and more receptive audience. My own background is in General and Developmental Physiology which is to say that I am interested in how things work. Like others before me, I have come to the realization that Darwinism simply does not work. That conclusion has led to a series of questions which I pose and attempt to answer. Answering one question often leads to asking another. Only by asking questions is one compelled to provide answers. I employ that approach throughout this presentation.

Among those questions are the following: Is evolution finished? Is sexual reproduction incapable of supporting evolutionary change? Is selection, natural or artificial, incapable of producing new life forms? In contrast to the Darwinian view, has evolution proceeded by means of leaps (saltation) rather than gradually through intermediate forms? Is there an alternative to Darwinism which, unlike that hypothesis, is compatible with all the facts revealed by paleontology, embryology, cytology, taxonomy, physiology and genetics? Do internal factors have a role in evolution? Is evolution irreversible? Is the individual, rather than the population, the instrument of evolutionary change? Are there laws governing evolution? Is there compelling evidence that evolution (phylogeny), like the development of the individual (ontogeny), involves the release or derepression of preformed information? Finally, the most controversial question of all: Has evolution been guided? With the exception of the last question, to which no certain answer will probably ever be given, I will answer yes to each of these questions. I realize these claims will seem outrageous to the doctrinaire Darwinian. I can only explain that I have not arrived easily at these convictions but have been driven to them through a host of incontrovertible realities that demand those responses. I ask only that the evidence be heard. I cannot overemphasize the debt that I owe to my many predecessors, especially those six to whom I dedicate this work. Their monumental contributions speak for themselves and they should be given serious consideration by every thinking person. Without them I would have been unable to proceed. Whenever possible, I quote them directly so there can be no misunderstanding about what they meant. Most of the quotations from authors not in the cited literature are from the sixteenth edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. I owe a very special debt to Dr. Judith Van Houten, Chair of the Department of Biology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to freezing my salary, her continuing and largely successful attempts to isolate me from the students have served only to provide me with a powerful incentive to continue the search for the truth concerning the great mystery of Evolution. We are once more reminded of the profound significance of Arnold Toynbee’s celebrated aphorism:

The Virtues of Adversity

Introduction

I begin with the very last words in Darwin’s Origin of Species: … endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

I will show that the last three words are without foundation for the vast majority of higher life forms, both those which have existed in the past as well as those which are still extant today. I am aware of the effect of such an assertion and I am delighted to accept the responsibility of demonstrating its validity. Several years ago, when I was still teaching introductory biology, a rumor got started among the students that I didn’t believe in evolution. I finally responded in lecture by indicating that the rumor was entirely correct. I told the students that I did not “believe” in evolution; I knew that it had occurred. I hoped by this means to impress upon the students the difference between matters of belief (faith) and matters of knowledge. Darwinism is a matter simply of belief since the progressive evolution of no creature now living has ever been demonstrated. As an experimentalist I am not impressed by unconfirmed hypotheses and accordingly I began casting about for possible explanations for this remarkable state of affairs.

Accepting the reality that evolution has occurred leads to the question as to whether or not it is still occurring and, if not, why not? I will present a substantial body of evidence indicating that the evolution of higher organisms is at a virtual standstill, a conclusion that had been reached by others long before me. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the huge debt that we all owe to some of the greatest biologists of the twentieth century. Among them are the Russian ichthyologist and zoogeographer Leo S. Berg (1876-1950), the geneticists Richard B. Goldschmidt (1878-1958) and William Bateson (1861-1926), the paleontologists Otto Schindewolf (1896-1971) and Robert Broom (1866-1951) and the French zoologist Pierre Grassé (1895-1985). Each is a widely acclaimed scholar of the first rank and not one could be described as an armchair theoretician.

They had each disclosed major difficulties with the Darwinian model and had discussed them at great length in their books and papers. I am very pleased to be able to consolidate and incorporate many of their common and often independent conclusions into a new hypothesis
of organic evolution. This is a truly international assemblage of investigators with Otto Schindewolf coming from Germany, Robert Broom from Scotland and later South Africa, Leo Berg from Russia, Pierre Grassé from France, William Bateson from England and Richard Goldschmidt, a naturalized American who escaped Nazi Germany. All the more remarkable then is the unity of their perspectives on the complete failure of the Darwinian hypothesis.

By way of contrast, Ernst Mayr, in his opus magnus, The Growth of Biological Thought (1982), deals with these six skeptics as follows. Broom is not even mentioned. The books by Grassé (1973) and Berg (1969) are listed in the bibliography, but no reference to either author is made in the text. Goldschmidt and Schindewolf are dispensed with in a few words. Only Bateson is given a remotely even-handed treatment. Perhaps it is understandable why Mayr shortchanged these scientists since on page 132 he made his position indelibly plain (literally) by describing himself as a “dyed-in-the-wool Darwinian”!

The new mechanism, which I have called the semi-meiotic hypothesis, is based upon an obvious fact that has been before us for a very long time. It has to do with the manner in which the sex cells, the eggs and sperm, are formed. This process, known as meiosis or chromosome reduction, occurs in two steps. Prior to the first meiotic division the chromosomes become duplicated as they do in mitosis. Then two divisions take place. The first returns the chromosome number to the diploid state and so can be considered to be a form of diploid presexual reproduction. This first division takes place in a special way which I feel provides the mechanism of macroevolution. Also since the second division cannot occur until the first has taken place, the first meiotic division is logically the more primitive of the two and accordingly must have evolved first (Davison 1984 1993 1998). Upon this premise I proceed.

[ Here is a link to the next installment: Evolutionary Manifesto by John Davison (part II-1,II-2,II-3) ]

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50 Responses to Evolutionary Manifesto by John Davison (part I)

  1. OK, you with impunity in academia compare “speciesism” to racism or say that pedophilia may be about “love” but heaven forbid you criticize Darwin.

    And then we ask what is wrong with our schools.

  2. Dr. Davidson,

    As I understand your hypothesis, macroevolution, when it did occur, happened in large steps in a small amount of time, that the structural chromosomal changes during the first stage of meiosis, governed not by chance but by being front-loaded (i.e. designed) get expressed in an individual. Hence, you essentially arrive at a picture which implies instant speciation. Pardon my ignorance, but I don’t understand, then, how this hypothesis would preserve the new species. When the individual that results from this kind of speciation dies, how are its new, macro-evolved characteristics and structures passed on, if not through sexual reproduction?

  3. Josephus63, it’s Davison. No ‘d’. You’re in big trouble now.

  4. Davison asks:

    Is the individual, rather than the population, the instrument of evolutionary change?

    Compare to another professor of Biology:

    The large-scale differences of form between types of organism that are the foundation of biological classification systems seem to require another principle than natural selection operating on small variations….

    Organisms are as real, as fundamental, and as irreducible as the molecules out of which they are made…

    The recogonition of the fundamental nature of organisms, connecting directly with our own natures as irreducible beings, has significant consequences regarding our attitude to the living realm….

    Darwinian biology has no principles that can explain why a structure such as a tetrapod limb arises and is so robust in its basic form

    Brian Goodwin
    How the Leopard Changed Its Spots (1992)
    Professor of Biology, Schumacher College, UK

  5. 5

    Thank you very much for the kind words Salvador and for introducing my favorite dart board. I like the “installment plan” method of presentation. At the rate it is being presented it will take quite some time which suits me fine.

    Josephus 63

    The answer to your questions will appear in subsequent installments, assuming there are any.

    The entire Manifesto with the many objections to it can be found over at “brainstorms” where it received a great deal of attention, nearly all of it negative, emanating of course from the usual suspects, devout, dedicated, deranged, “dyed-in-the wool” Darwinians. I think it came close to a forum record for number of comments. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. They always do and apparently I always am!

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  6. John,

    Regarding your preface, and because this may be the one time some of this can get a public hearing. You mentioned your 2 very popular biology courses. For the reader’s benefit I found this: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ANTIDARWINIAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT:

    In 1984 I published the first of a series of papers offering
    a new hypothesis of organic evolution: “Semi-meiosis as an
    Evolutionary Mechanism” appeared in the Journal of Theoretical
    Biology. 1984 also happens to be the title of George Orwell’s
    novel, the significance of which will soon become evident.

    I have always enjoyed teaching Introductory Biology and that
    experience has been instrumental in causing me to question the
    neo-Darwinian view of the evolutionary process. After leaving the
    staff of Biology 1 and 2, I introduced a new course designed expressly
    for non-science majors: Zoology 8 (The Animal World). This course
    proved to be popular and enjoyed enrollments of around 100 students.
    The last two lectures were concerned with the mechanism of evolution,
    and in those lectures I introduced the semi-meiotic hypothesis and
    contrasted it with the neo-Darwinian view.

    Sometime in the fall of 1991 the chairman called a secret meeting of
    the tenured faculty at which he introduced a petition which served to
    eliminate Zoology 8 from the departmental offerings. He then exited
    the room leaving a majority of the faculty to sign the petition.
    I knew nothing of this until the newspaper appeared and Zoology 8 was
    missing. I was unable to have the course reinstated. As the course
    was outside the departmental curriculum, this action was a clear
    violation of not only my academic freedom but also that of those
    students who had chosen to study with me.

    After the chairman left the university, he was succeeded by
    a member of the department who was a signatory to the Zoology 8
    petition. At that time my salary became fixed and it has remained
    so ever since. The new chair is also an Associate Dean of the
    College of Arts and Sciences, a precedent which I regard as dangerous.
    The chair also arbitrarily relieved me of my two advanced courses,
    Biology 202 (Quantitative Biology) and Biology 255 (Comparative
    Reproductive Biology). These courses were electives which had been
    approved by the department and the Graduate College. I was able with
    some difficulty to get these courses reinstated only to discover that
    Biology 202 had been deleted from the catalog, resulting in an
    enrollment of 3 in contrast to 30 the previous year. The chair
    also capped the enrollment of Biology 255, an action I was able
    to reverse by informing the registrar. The chair refused to take
    responsibility for these actions. The chair introduced the hitherto
    unknown practice of “peer review”, in which a colleague enters the
    classroom unannounced and later reports his impressions to the chair.

    The peer the chair chose to review me was a signatory of the Zoology 8
    petition. You can imagine the rest! The chair also demanded of all
    faculty that they surrender to her on two weeks’ notice copies of
    course syllabi and examinations. I am happy to report that I refused
    to comply. By now I hope you will have noted the identity of these
    policies with those of the dystopian government of Orwell’s 1984:
    the Thought Police, Big Brother is watching you, etc.

    In October 1997 a new president was inaugurated at the University
    of Vermont. Long before her arrival on campus I informed her of
    all of the foregoing and more, all of which was fully documented.
    I was confident that these policies would cease. I never received
    any acknowledgement of my correspondence thus qualifying as
    an Orwellian unperson.

    I warned the new president that if I should receive a zero raise
    for the fourth consecutive year, I would do everything in my power
    to expose the policies of this administration to the intellectual
    world. That unfortunately has now become necessary, and constitutes
    the sole motivation for this memorandum. What we are witnessing here
    is the enormous influence monolithic neo-Darwinism can have in at
    least one state university.

    Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing
    to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

    — George Orwell, 1984

    Do you have any outlines of your courses still available? It would be interesting to compare the outline with the material in the manifesto.

    Salvador

  7. 7

    Salvador

    I have no outlines for my advanced courses and never did have much of an outline for them except when I was teaching introductory biology which was team taught. I was always a sort of “seat of my pants” type teacher anyway. A lot of my students hated my guts because of that because it meant they had to attend lectures which is one of the reasons I didn’t use outlines much. I didn’t use text books either but used to put a lot of important stuff on the overhead projector and give them time to copy it. I always conducted reviews before exams with the same material. They never knew what I was going to say next. Neither did I always. I never lectured directly from notes. A few of the better students really liked me, darn few. I hear from them occasionally. A lot of my students thought I was crazy. Many still do I am sure. I hope so.

    You have to remember that UVM has always been pretty much of a party school for the children of wealthy out of state parents who just want to get rid of the kids anyway so they can party themselves without the sweet darlings knowing about it. Many of these children are not interested in becoming educated anyway, being more interested in drugs, sex and booze.

    UVM has a fine Med school. That is about it.

    Most Vermont high school graduates go out of state for college as UVM is one of the most expensive schools in the nation. The reason for this is because they graduated very few people well enough educated to become millionaires. They also were stupid enough to eliminate football and with it of course Homecoming, which is when all the alumni come back and write the checks don’t you know.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  8. 8

    I submitted. Where is my comment?

  9. 9

    I submitted a lengthy and detailed response to Salvador’s question. It did not appear and I want to know why.

  10. There it is, John (#7). It got caught in the Spam filter. Sorry bout that. Probably because of the phrase you used in the end of the second paragraph.

  11. 11

    I want a list of all the members of Uncommon Descent who wield the power of arbitrary unexplained deletion or worse, prevention even of presentation. I have already had several innocuous posts deleted at a thread initiated by DaveScot. I naturally assume it was he that deleted them. Can the author of the thread delete or interceept and cancel messages or is that a privelege granted to only a select few? I cannot imagine that Salvador would have deleted my latest message. Who are the people that employ such tactics and what is the justification for their actions? What are their names? I feel this is something that every patron of this forum should know. Is that an unreasonable request?

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  12. 12

    I see my post did finally appear. I would still like an answer to my questions concerning those with the power of arbitrary deletion. Surely every “author” does not have that capacity. I have already established that DaveScot has that power and has exercised it without explanation.

    I have always been very much above board in my many dealings with internet forums and expect the same from them. Who are the current “blogczars” here and why should they even exist? It is a mark of great insecurity.

  13. 13

    Scott

    What phrase was that? I don’t want to repeat it.

    I can see it all now. “Davison is paranoid too.” You bet he is and for darned good reasons.

    “Even a paranoid can have enemies.”
    Henry Kissinger

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  14. John,

    Even some of my comments get held up by a mechanical system of spam trapping, if that makes you feel better. For every 1 legitimate post at UD there are about 2 posts from “Affection Starved Houswives” (or some other scandalous site) trying to get into the threads. These scandalous comments get trapped in a computerized spam filter. Unfortunately some legitimate comments from you and me get thrown into the pile.

    Until I or one of the 12 authors or adminstrators get around to cleaning the spam filter, it will get held up. Generally, however, no one likes sorting through the trash, thus the comments in the spam filter are the last thing to get taken care of. Please let us know if something gets caught in the spam filter, and someone will attend to it.

    Each thread is controlled by the starter (in this case it would be me), but can be overridden by Bill Dembski, Denyse O’Leary, Joel Borofsky, and 2 or three computer system administrators. I don’t believe DaveScot can delete posts from this thread, but he can delete and edit from threads he starts. While you are my guest on a thread and as long as you focus on techincal and scientific and historical issues, I see no reason you should have any problem.

    Please be patient with the spam filter issue. Were it not for this, this thread would be spammed to death with offers from “affection starved houswives”.

    Hope this explains things.

    Salvador

  15. John,

    If I may suggest, for your safety, keep a copy of substantive posts. If something gets lost in the shuffle, we’ll be able to recover it if you have a copy.

    Salvador

  16. “Who are the current “blogczars” here and why should they even exist? It is a mark of great insecurity.”

    Ha! From the mouths of babes shall come the truth…

    Professor Davison, while I couldn’t disagree more with your thoughts on evolution and ID, I applaud you for pointing out what many of us who read this blog have long known, the Orwellian repression you refer to in your memorandum, is standard operating procedure for DaveScot and the “blogczars.”

    I’d also like to say that I have no issue with someone teaching an elective, college course about ID, if students sign up for it, so be it. It’s the high school biology intrusion by ID that I take offense to, but I digress…

    Although the ID proponents tout “open dialogue”, “meaningful debate,” etc, that is not the case on the UD blog. Pro-evolution posters are routinely blocked (the governing rules of the blog admit as much), and one of DaveScot’s favorite aspersions is “troll” for anyone who disagrees with ID.

    So I take much delight in the irony of a post which decries the “Orwellian” tactics taken by the Chair and faculty of your department on a blog which makes no bones about its own censorship tactics. I doubt this post will even make it through, such is the “insecurity” of this bunch to contrarian points of view.

  17. 17

    Salvador
    Thank you for the clarification. It is always nice to know the ground rules before engaging in any team sport, especially if you are a free agent like myself. I want nothing to do with teams and they want nothing to do with me either. As near as I can determine, the major evolutionary factions wanted nothing to do with Broom, Berg, Bateson, Grasse, Goldschmidt and Schindewold either, some of the greatest biological minds of two centuries. I dedicated my Manifesto to them.

    “No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men”
    Thomas Carlyle

    “A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself.”
    Robert Burton

    The six I listed are the giants and I am the dwarf. Those two quotations appropriately introduce the Manifesto.

    So much for Ernst Mayr, Stephen J. Gould, William Provine, Richard Dawkins and the hundreds of other devout, “dyed-in-the-wool, “prescribed,” “born that way,” atheist Darwinian mystics. What a bunch of losers they really are.

    As I used to say over at EvC until Percy couldn’t take it any longer and banned me for life, just three little words -

    Who is next?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  18. John,

    Were it not for your papers I wouldn’t have even known 4 of the 6 names you mentioned (I knew of Goldschmidt and DeGrasse, but only in passing). Also, I didn’t know that Berg was the mentor to Nobel Laureate Dobzhansky unless you had mentioned it…

    You said:

    I have always enjoyed teaching Introductory Biology and that experience has been instrumental in causing me to question the neo-Darwinian view of the evolutionary process.

    Were you somewhat ambivalent to origins issues until you started teaching? What was your viewpoint before you started teaching intro biology. When did you teach intro biology, and how long was it before you began to question neo-Darwinism?

    Salvador

  19. 19

    I was never convicned of Darwinism even as a graduate student and I am skeptical by nature of all matters anyway. I am a “prescribed” trouble maker also, no doubt about it. All real scientists are to one extent or another.

    I have taught introductory biology beginning in 1954 at Washington University in St. Louis, a great University and off and on at several instituions since. I have been on the faculty of 5 universities and learned much from each. When you enter a classroom and face 300 or more students, it makes you think twice before you tell them anything. For years I refused to even discuss the matter of evolution beyond saying that it definitely took place. Everything was fine until I decided to openly challenge the Darwinian myth which led to my removal from the departmental introductory course at UVM.

    The rest is as you have presented in my essay – “What it means to be an antiDarwinian at the University of Vermont.” Scary isn’t it?

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  20. John,

    Were you aware of this pro-ID peer-reviewed paper by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig. Lonnig took a lot of flak, but managed to get published. I only have the abstract available, but it seems to have some parallel to your ideas about predetermined chromosomal re-arrangements which you mention above:

    CHROMOSOME REARRANGEMENTS AND TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTS

    Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany; e-mail: [email protected]

    There has been limited corroboration to date for McClintock’s vision of gene regulation by transposable elements (TEs), although her proposition on the origin of species by TE-induced complex chromosome reorganizations in combination with gene mutations, i.e., the involvement of both factors in relatively sudden formations of species in many plant and animal genera, has been more promising. Moreover, resolution is in sight for several seemingly contradictory phenomena such as the endless reshuffling of chromosome structures and gene sequences versus synteny and the constancy of living fossils (or stasis in general). Recent wide-ranging investigations have confirmed and enlarged the number of earlier cases of TE target site selection (hot spots for TE integration), implying preestablished rather than accidental chromosome rearrangements for nonhomologous recombination of host DNA. The possibility of a partly predetermined generation of biodiversity and new species is discussed. The views of several leading transposon experts on the rather abrupt origin of new species have not been synthesized into the macroevolutionary theory of the punctuated equilibrium school of paleontology inferred from thoroughly consistent features of the fossil record.

    Salvador

  21. 21

    Thank you Salvador. The use of the term “punctuated equilibriun ” is meaningless jibberish and the abuse of two words that used to have real meaning until Gould and Eldredge got a hold of them.

    “If you tell the truth, you can be certain, sooner or later, to be found out.”
    Oscar Wilde

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  22. Is the individual, rather than the population, the instrument of evolutionary change?

    This is an interesting question because many, if not all, ‘Darwinists’ say that populations evolve, yet freely admit that the mutations occur in individuals and natural selection acts on each individual. NS being the result of differences in survival & reproduction among individuals of a population that vary in one or more heritable traits- page 11 “Biology: Concepts and Applications” Starr 5th edition.

    So if each individual can be considered a population (within a population) then it is populations that drive evolution.

  23. 23

    As near as I can understand, every heritable genetic change originates in a single cell in the reproductive lineage of a single individual organism. Population genetics never had anything to do with creative evolution as it deals only with the distribution of allelic genes among sexually reproducing creatures occupying a common environment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that sexual reproduction can exceed the species barrier. Dobzhansky’s valiant experimental attempt with Drosophila convinced this investigator that it is quite impossible. The Darwinians pretend his experiments were never performed. They also pretend that Julian Huxley never claimed that evolution was finished. They even steadfastly refuse to test Darwin’s finches, among the easiest of all birds to domesticate. The canary is a finch. Darwinians, with few exceptions, are not scientists. Scientists test their hypotheses and reject them when they prove inadequate. Even the few that are, like Dobzhansky, refuse to accept their own findings.

    I honestly feel that if Dobzhansky had remained inRussia with his mentor Leo Berg, we might be discussing Bergian rather than Darwinian evolution today.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    There are sins of commission as well as of omission. The Darwinians are masters of both.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  24. Leo

    A troll is much more than just someone who disagrees with ID. I tend to disallow disagreement that is ignorant, trite or repetitive, uncivil, and inflammatory. In other words if you’re anti-ID and stupid, boring, mean, or provoking then I don’t want you cluttering up my threads. It’s neither complicated nor unfair except to those who somehow think they have a right to say whatever they want and see it appear in print on someone’s blog.

  25. 25

    This is for Leo 1787 whoever that really is.

    The course which I taught for non-majors was called “The Animal World.” Nowhere in that course did I ever mention Intelligent Design and the Intelligent Design movement has never influenced me in any way. I have reached my conclusions on purely scientific grounds and without any reference to the existence or nonexistence of an intervening power. Quite the contrary, I have indicated here and elsewhere that a higher power is quite unnecessary and I see no evidence that one now exists. What I have proposed is that one or more original intelligences, far beyond our power to comprehend, must have been involved in the distant past. To blatantly deny such an obvious requisite as the Darwinians insist on doing is, in my opinion, absurd.

    I am sorry you see no merit in my evolutionary views. Maybe you will become convinced with subsequent installments. I think, based on my experience, that will fail. It matters not anyway as my convictions are now published. Besides I am a scientist, not a snake oil salesman like Richard Dawkins. I don’t need to convince anyone. Absolute truth is not subject to debate, only to discovery and verification.

    “If you tell the truth you can be certain, sooner or later, to be found out.”
    Oscar Wilde

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  26. John,

    Just to let you know, I’m thinking of posting the first 1/3 or 1/2 of part II in about 4 days. I want to allow the readers a little more chance to study and discuss the preface and introduction. When I see that they’re ready to move on I’ll start posting parts of part II.

    It was amazing that Lonnig studied the connection of chromosomal re-arrangement and predetermined macro-evolution. I wish I had his full paper because then I could look at his references and see where he got his ideas! That would be an interesting bibliography. It appears now that at least a few more individuals are interested in pre-determined, pre-planned evolution.

    Salvador

  27. 27

    Leo1787, whoever that is.

    I am hardly a “babe” at 78 and this evolutionist is hardly being blocked here at Uncommon Descent or don’t you regard me as an evolutionist? I am confident that Salvador will not block any response you might choose to make.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  28. 28

    Whatever you say Salvador. It is your thread.

  29. Leo 1787,

    Take the UD challenge. Provide an intelligent defense of neo Darwinism. I have been reading this site for about a year and have yet to see anyone able to do so. Nor have I seen it on any other site that has different moderators. We are waiting for someone to step up.

  30. 30

    The trick is don’t delete or bannish them. Let them prove what “prescribed” intellectual cowards they really are when they fail to show. It is not really their fault. They were simply “born that way.” They are congenitally deaf, like pure white cats, to Einstein’s “music of the spheres.” It worked for me at my old blog where I proved it beyond any reasonable doubt.

    prescribedevolution.blogspot.com

    I bet it will work here too, but you have to give them every opportunity to demonstrate what pathetic victims they are of their “prescribed” fate.

    Set them up in the other alley Salvador.

    Who is next?

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  31. I’m glad I was able to generate such discussion…

    John, no offense meant by the “From the mouths of babes…” comment, I simply couldn’t resist the Biblical reference on this blog.

    As to your comment about not requiring a designer, and that the “original intelligences” that may be or are beyond our power to comprehend, how do we test that? If something is a priori beyond our power of comprehension, where does that lead us in our scientific quest for knowledge? (And for the record, I’m firmly convinced that life does exist on other planets, what form, what level of intelligence, and to what degree they were or are able to overcome the difficult physics of space travel to deliver DNA to earth is another story. I fully support such programs as SETI.)

    It also raises one of the key points (an argument, by the way, I am not allowed to make, per the Moderation policy) about the properties of the “designer” or in your case “original intelligence.” Where did the entity come from? How did it “design” life on earth, by what physical mechanisms? Does it continue to design on the fly, or has it planted its seeds and vanished? More important than answers to these individual questions is, how does one even create a test to TRY to answer them? I’d much sooner believe some distant race of beings seeded the earth millions of years ago through a physical mechanism (i.e. bacteria arriving here on a comet) than I would some abstract “designer” created us through mechanisms we will never be able to understand and cannot test in any way.

    Your point about absolute truth not being subject to debate is refreshing, however I think truth can be subjective, as in the case with the entire arguement between evolutionists and proponents of ID. And, your findings may be published, but so are those of Dembski, Wells, and even Johnson, who is hardly an expert on biology. So what does it mean to be published? In the original post, it is noted that your work has undergone peer review, please indicate which scientific body or bodies did the review, I would like to read any critiques available.

    Jerry, there is way too much material freely available on evolution for me to post a defense of Darwinism here, forget about reading blogs that are unabashedly pro-ID, and visit the American Museum of Natural History in NY (the Darwin exhibit is still running), and then tell me there is no evidence for evolution. The evidence is there, if you choose to ignore it, that is your business.

    As for DaveScot, perhaps you should read the rules of Moderation for this blog again, where it says:

    2) Potential Trouble – newly registered users go on this list at least for their first comment and if you are an ID-critic you’ll probably stay on it. Anyone from the trusted list who has gone astray also ends up here. People on this list must have all their comments approved by an editor before they show up on the blog.

    Therefore I repeat my assertion that it is hypocritical to create a post complaining about censorship and at the same time make it company practice to do just that. I never claimed you have to be fair, but don’t pretend that you are.

  32. 32

    Well I agree with you about censorship but I sure don’t agree about the truth. I have no respect for Darwinsism or Darwinists. I also have no respect for those loke your self who use an alias. I made that clear long ago. If one cannot divulge his identity I say he does not deserve any respect and he gets none from me. That practice is half what is wrong with internet communication. Imagine a scientific literature based on unknown authors.

    Besides this thread has absolutely nothing to do with anything you have presented. Go do it somewere else. I recommend EvC or Panda’s Dislocated Pollex or maybe Pharyngula or some other Darwimpian hen party. Cackle cackle!

    This thread is about my Manifesto, not about your “prescribed” ideology or your hang ups about the administration of this forum. This thread is being moderated by Salvador and as far as I can tell no one else.

    Set them up in the other alley Salvador. This is growing tiresome.

    “Im an old campaigner and I love a good fight.”
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  33. Leo,

    In the interest of keeping the peace, can you hold off on further comments on this thread? Thank you for your participation, even though I disagree. However, I will have to defer to Dr. Davison since this thread is about his work, and he should have some say as to what sort of dicsussion he wishes to entertain regarding his work.

    So if you could hold off further comments here, I would appreciate it.

    thanks,
    Salvador

  34. Fair enough, thank you Salvador for the respectful nature of your request.

  35. Sorry Salvador, one more question, block it if you like, but it is directly related to the work. I would very much like to read any peer review articles, etc on Prof. Davison’s work, so if someone could point me to a URL I would appreciate it.

  36. 36

    I await the next installment. I suppose I could go somewhere else to read it, but I think this may work better for me in small bites.

  37. To Leo1787,

    (alleged) Evidence for “evolution” should NOT be conflated for evidence for the blind watchmaker. And all evidence beyond what is observable, testable and repeatable is very subjective- and that type makes up the bulk of “evidence” for both evolution and the blind watchmaker thesis.

    For example how could one test or falsify the premise that the bacterial flagellum “evolved” in a population in which not one bacterium had a flagellum? Now add “evolved via some blind watchmaker process” to that.

    IOW it isn’t that people ignore the evidence- it is that said evidence is not only subjective it isn’t subject to testing, or verification.

    But anyway Leo the following are some aerticles that should answer your questions about the designer and the specific mechanism (design is a mechanism) used:

    The Designer’s Identity?:

    Suffice it to say, I have little patience with the “identify the designer” rhetoric. It’s not just an example of sloppy thinking. It’s a form of sloppy thinking that gunks up any sincere interest in design. It turns an attempt to adhere to logical, responsible thinking into a sinister motive. So perhaps, there is a better question to ask. Why do ID critics refuse to publicly acknowledge that it is illogical to identity the designer using the criteria of mainstream ID (IC and CSI)?

    ID and Mechanisms 1:

    To say that ID has no proposed mechanism means only that we don’t specifically know how ID was implemented. So what? Do we have any good reason to think that if ID was implemented at the origin of life (for example), then we should be able to determine how ID was implemented? Of course not. The truth of ID does not entail the ability to describe the process of design. Thus, the inability to describe the actual process that was implemented is essentially meaningless apart from its rhetorical appeal.

    And I will say it again- Design is a mechanism.

    The designer and the process, although interesting questions, are separate from whether or not the object/ structure/event in question was designed and can we study it so we can understand it. ID was formulated to detect and understand the design in question. That is because IDists know that the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer or the process in the absence of direct observation or designer input is by studying the design (in question).

    For example if we only had today’s airplanes and jets to study how could we possibly learn anything about the Wright Brothers? We couldn’t.

  38. 38

    I’ll be happy to have Salvador serve it up anyway he chooses. It is his thread to do with what he wants. I am just a visitor here.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  39. 39

    The nature of God or Gods or their present existence have no place in any scientiic discussion, but I defy anyone to be able to rationally and arbitrarily deny a past existence for one or more of them.

    “Of all the senseless babble I have ever had the occasion to read, the demonstrations of these philosophers who undertake to tell us all about the nature of God would be the worst, if they were not surpassed by the still greater absurdities of the philosophers who try to prove that there is no God.”
    Thomass Henry Huxley, Collected Essays

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  40. 40

    I beg to differ Joseph. It is the task of the scientist to disclose the means by which the design was implemented. The reality of Intelligent Design is not to be questioned and never should have been. The means by which it has been expressed is the heart of the matter. That is what real evolutionary and developmental science is all about. It is also what the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis is all about. Chance had nothing to do with any of it.

    “Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance.”
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 134

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  41. To my creationists brethren out there, the debates over evolution are not quite so cut and dried as previously. There has been a growing minority of creationists who subscribe to rapid pre-programmed evolution proceeding from a limited set of first creatures. I believe the term is polyphyletic origins.

    Thus, discussions regarding Dr. Davison’s work are of great interest to creationists like myself. The modern creationists such as those in the Baraminilogy Study Group would be classified as Polyphyletic Hyper Evolutionists. I would put myself in that category.

    No one really knows how many lineages there really are. Of current interest is the evolution of Marsupials and Placentals. Did two lineages mysteriously acquire similar characteristics or did several creatures simultaneously split into marsupial and placental modes? Whatever interpretation is made, there is a powerful impression of a foreordained design. It is of course possible they were all specially created, but many creationists, myself included would consider that a last-resort explanation. I introduced the topic : Marsupials and Placentals: a case of front-loaded, pre-programmed, designed evolution. I even suggested steps that can be taken to confirm the hypothesis. If successful it may give direct laboratory confirmation of Dr. Davison’s Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.

  42. 42

    Salvador

    There is no question that marsupials and placentals are related, however distantly, because they are both mammals. It is their distance apart that renders their remarkable similarities all the more striking. They provide powerful evidence that both groups were reading the same “blueprints” during their evolutionary radiation. As such they provide direct support for a “prescribed” evolution as I proposed in the PEH paper. To imagine that such similarities could have arisen by chance is absurd. For one reason, both groups became extinct. The saber-toothed marsupial and placental cats which I pictured in the PEH paper lived millions of miles apart temporally and thousands of miles spatially, both in the New World. The marsupial Thylacosmilus atrox is from the Pliocene of Patagonia while the placental Eusmilus sicarius is from the Oligocene of South Dakota (Schindewolf, Problems in Paleontology, page 261). The only living marsupial native to North America is the opossum.

    There is thus no reason to postulate separate creation of these two groups and plenty of reasons not to, especially since the reason I have proposed for their similarities offers an alternative explanation for their remarkable similarities.

    Nevertheless, having said that I feel it would be a serious mistake to summarily reject Leo Berg’s unqualified statement -

    “Organisms have developed from tens of thousands of primary forms, i.e. polyphyletically.”
    Nomogenesis, page 406

    Oddly, Berg never really defines what he means by “primary forms.” I can say with confidence however that he did not mean separate creation. I think what he meant was that there were tens of thousands of organisms at one time that still retained the power to produce offspring drastically different from themselves, an interpretation with which I am in complete agreement. The numbers of such creatures, which I call “evolvers,” has steadily decreased until today I see no evidence that any still exist. This finds a parallel in ontogeny where, as once the adult has been reached and often even before, its cells can no longer undergo further differentiation. In that sense Ernst Haeckel was right on with his famous aphorism – “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” also known as the Biogenetic Law.

    Let’s stop picking on Haeckel shall we? He was a fine zoologist, a deep thinker and an incredible artist. I am confident that if he were alive today he would no longer be a Darwinian. Neither would Charles Darwin.

    How anyone can still be a Darwinian escapes me entirely. Maybe that pronunciamento will wake up the atheist, chance happy, mutation intoxicated, Darwinian mystics here and elsewhere. Somehow I doubt it. We critics of “the one true faith” simply are not allowed to exist. We never have been.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  43. John,

    Leo Berg used the term “convergence” in Nomogenesis. Unfortunately, I do not have a better phrase for the phenomena of several independent lineages evolving the same features. This of course touches on definitions of homology, etc. I noticed you actually used the word “convergence” in your manifesto on page 41, but with some qualifiers.

    If you could offer some suggestions about the terminilogy regarding the issues of homology, homoplasy, and convergence, I would be appreciative.

    I don’t have issue with your explanation. It would be handy however to have a term for convergence. Since Berg uses the word, I don’t see why it can’t be used. Every one understands what it is, even though, for the Darwinians, as Sternberg observed, it’s something of an epicycle!

    Salvador

  44. 44

    Salvador

    To me the term “convergence” suggests a gradual approach to a common morphology. I don’t believe there is any evidence for gradualism in any aspect of the fossil record.

    Neither of course did Schindewolf or Goldschmidt. In The Material Basis of Evolution, Goldschmidt cites Schindewolf’s comments from his 1936 book – Palaeontologie, Etwicklungslehre und Genetik.

    “He shows by examples from fossil material that the major evolutionary advances must have taken place in single large steps, which affected early embryonic stages with the automatic consequence of reconstruction of all the later phases of development. He shows that the many missing links in the paleontological record are sought for in vain because they never existed: ‘The first bird hatched from a reptilian egg.’”
    The Material Basis of Evolution, page 395

    I discuss this in greater detail in my Manifesto, as subsequent installments will hopefully demonstrate.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  45. 45

    Incidentally I have now abandoned both of my earlier blogs as they have served their purpose in demonstrating the lengths to which my several critics from both sides of the ideological fence have been willing to go to discredit me, my character, my honesty and my science. Some of them continue to “relentlessly pursue me like the IRS” to such blogs where I am unable to respond such as Panda’s Thumb, EvC, Pharyngula, FringeSciences and some of the lesser known blogs and newer blogs such as -

    udoj.blogspot.com/

    and

    alanfox.blogspot.com/

    where I am also denied the right to respond.

    Accordingly I have opened a new blog with the provocative URL

    theendofevolution.blogspot.com/

    You are all welcome there and can be confident that you will never be banned and will not even be deleted provided only that you remain reasonably civil. I am a great believer in the right of every human being to express himself freely and without restraint of any sort, especially in matters scientific which are the ones of the utmost lasting significance.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution is undemonstrable.”

  46. Leo1787

    I don’t think I need to reread the moderation policy. I wrote the moderation policy.

  47. 47

    I have never found a moderation policy useful myself. It is the God given right of every person to make a perfect fool of himself.

    Salvador

    How about moving along with part 2. I suggest a new thread so it doesn’t disappear into the sunset. Also I am not getting any younger.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable,”
    John A. Davison

  48. John,

    It will be up in about 15 minutes. I was occupied with the Blyth thread earlier. Thank you for your patience.

    Salvador

  49. Here is a link to the next installment: Evolutionary Manifesto by John Davison (part II-1,II-2,II-3)

  50. John Davison:
    I beg to differ Joseph.

    That is OK.

    John Davison:
    It is the task of the scientist to disclose the means by which the design was implemented.

    It is? How would one do that in the absence of direct observation or designer input? I say the ONLY way is by studying the design in question.

    John Davison:
    The reality of Intelligent Design is not to be questioned and never should have been.

    Agreed.

    John Davison:
    The means by which it has been expressed is the heart of the matter. That is what real evolutionary and developmental science is all about. It is also what the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis is all about. Chance had nothing to do with any of it.

    OK- Can we make some hypotheses about the implementation process? Sure. What I am saying is that is separate from design detection and the study of it.

    The following articles give good arguments in my favor:

    ID & Mechanisms I

    ID & Mechanisms II