Home » Intelligent Design » Paul Kammerer: Evolution’s Legacy of Shame

Paul Kammerer: Evolution’s Legacy of Shame

As an old proverb has it, first they’ll reject the truth and then they’ll appropriate it and say they knew it all along. Enter Paul Kammerer, the Austrian biologist who almost a century ago was assailed as a fraud for his anti Darwinian findings. His crime: he found evidence for Lamarckism–the idea that organisms can pass on traits they have acquired to their offspring. Kammerer ended up committing suicide and now, almost a century later, evolutionists are figuring out that he was right. Guess what they’re calling him now? That’s right, Kammerer has now been crowned an “evolutionist.” Today’s Orwellian headline reads:   Read more

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26 Responses to Paul Kammerer: Evolution’s Legacy of Shame

  1. Speaking of shame, there’s currently a petition making the rounds intended to secure a formal apology from the British government for its treatment of Alan Turing, the computing pioneer whose work in code breaking was instrumental in England’s war effort against the Nazis. Being still under the influence of the statist laws of the sort that the devoutly religious implement whenever they are capable of doing so, the government criminally prosecuted him for his homosexuality and given the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration. He soon committed suicide. If the fact that Kammerer was ridiculed by proponents of evolution constitutes some sort of great crime for which defenders of evolutionary theory should today feel ashamed, does the state-ordained persecution of a great scientist and hero by way of statist laws supported by the religious also constitute something for the “renewal of culture” crowd ought to be ashamed?

  2. Thanks Cornelius. Interesting story. I guess it shouldn’t surprise.

    It doesn’t seem that anything is a problem for evolutionists. I’ll bet Darwin, upon meeting God said he “knew it all along”. Heh. Sad.

    I found an article on Mr. Kammerers ordeal. Very interesting.

    http://www.uselessinformation......index.html

  3. First of all, Kammerer WAS an evolutionist. Lamarckism was one of the first evolutionary theories. It differs from Darwinian evolution by claiming that acquired characteristics can be inherited.

    Secondly, I remember reading about Kammerer in “The Case of the Midwife Toad” by Arthur Koestler and if I remember rightly after 30 plus years, India ink was found injected into some sort of “mating pad” or “nuptual pad” on the midwife toads in Kammerer’s lab.

    I believe Koestler speculated that one of Kammerer’s grad students did the dirty work and Kammerer was just a victim.

    Personally, I don’t know, but I do know that a Lamarckian evolutionist like Kammerer is an evolutionist and as a college professor writing on evolution, so should you.

  4. 4
    EndoplasmicMessenger

    Hello all,

    The sad story of Paul Kammerer is told in Arthur Koestler’s The Case of the Midwife Toad. Those who mistakenly believe that science is a purely objective endeavor characterized solely by level-headedness should read this book.

    Of course, those in the ID controversy already know this.

  5. How disturbing… This kind of religious, dogmatic belief should have absolutely no place in the world of science. Science is supposed to be about objectivity and following the data wherever it leads, even if you don’t like the result — though it’s clear that fallible humans have repeatedly failed to live up to that standard.

    As the empirical research into Intelligent Design theory continues, its supporters need to hold themselves to a higher standard, remaining constantly vigilant in order to avoid making the same mistakes the worshipers of Evolutionism did.

  6. Science is objective; it’s the scientists who are not. It stalls science when ideology crowds out rational thinking and empirical evience.

  7. 1)Kammerer’s work involved fraud (likely not by him). Why should any other scientist blindly accept the results without the experiment being repeated. Science can be brutal and if you can’t provide convincing results for a new theory, you very well might be ridiculed.

    2)Darwin accepted Lamarckian thought to some degree.

    According to the book by the ID supporter onathan Wells
    “The politically incorrect guide to Darwinism and intelligent design”

    Second, Darwin entertained various ideas about heridity including the Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics. “I think there can be no doubt,” he wrote in the sixth edition of The Origins of SPecies, “that use in our domestic animals has strengthened and enlarged certain pars, and disuse diminished them; and that such modifications are inherited.” So there were similarities between some of Darwin’s views and Lamarck’s, though Darwin placed a greater emphasis on the role of natural selection than on acquired characteristics.

    3) What we see with epigenetics is different than what Lamarck believed. His theory postulated that if use and strengthen an organ, that this change will be passed on to offspring, and this is clearly not true.

    http://genomicron.blogspot.com.....n-did.html

  8. BarrettBrown,

    Are you saying we should just keep our heads in the sand and not learn from the past?

    And I will let you in on a little secret. The homosexual lifestyle is a blight on society. And teaching such things to children, I have no words for those depraved idiots.

    But hey! At least we aren’t in their bedrooms. Right? Why are they in ours?

    There is NO shame in prosecuting someone who breaks the law. As it’s been said, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!

    http://townhall.com/columnists.....ty_to_kids

  9. What we see with epigenetics is different than what Lamarck believed.

    Agreed. I keep seeing people saying “Lamarckianism is coming back”. But while the ideas are similar I’ve long felt that epigenetics, foresighted mechanisms, etc. should be distinctly categorized.

  10. IRQ Conflict:

    “Are you saying we should just keep our heads in the sand and not learn from the past?”

    No, and it takes a special brand of dishonesty to make that assertion based on what I wrote.

    “And I will let you in on a little secret. The homosexual lifestyle is a blight on society. And teaching such things to children, I have no words for those depraved idiots.”

    I’ll let you in on another little secret – “depraved idiots” are actually words!

    The true blight on society is the statist legislation that your crowd has always implemented whenever possible,as I noted last night in response to this unusually ridiculous post.

    “But hey! At least we aren’t in their bedrooms. Right? Why are they in ours?”

    We’re not in their bedrooms anymore, thanks to the work of actual Americans who value individual liberty as opposed to people such as yourself who value state control. And “they” are not in your bedroom; I assume you’re pretending that the acknowledgment of homosexuals and their rights constitutes some sort of invasion of your “right” to live in a society in which speech is controlled.

    “There is NO shame in prosecuting someone who breaks the law. As it’s been said, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!”

    So, there’s no shame in prosecuting a war hero who’s done nothing to anyone, and offering him either jail time or castration, but there’s lots of shame in scientists taking issue with the falsified research of another scientist?

  11. BarrettBrown,

    Hitler, anti-semite, anti-christian, 20 million dead.

    Turing – suicide – hiw own choice.

    Those darn Christians!!!! Great comparison, thanks for pointing out what each side did wrong fairly during and after the war.

    Care to include comparisons to Stalin or Mao? Yet another 100 million innocent dead?

    BTW, homosexuals were brutally murdered by Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

    Please read a little history.

  12. IRQ: And I will let you in on a little secret. The homosexual lifestyle is a blight on society.
    ….
    There is NO shame in prosecuting someone who breaks the law. As it’s been said, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!

    DATCG: Turing – suicide – hiw own choice.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Brown, it appears that the UD regulars seem to think that Turing got what he deserved. Appalling.

  13. IRQ Conflict#8

    But hey! At least we aren’t in their bedrooms. Right? Why are they in ours?

    I almost hesitate to ask, but do homosexuals really force themselves into your bedroom?

  14. “Hitler, anti-semite, anti-christian, 20 million dead.”

    Hitler once said, “As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”

    This is not to say that Hitler was actually a Christian in any sense, but he obviously geared his movement in large part to a Christian audience. You may remember how most members of the Nazi war machine were either Catholic or Protestant.

    “Turing – suicide – hiw own choice.”

    It was Kammerer’s own choice to commit suicide, too. Is this your first debate?

    “Those darn Christians!!!! Great comparison, thanks for pointing out what each side did wrong fairly during and after the war.”

    I didn’t make that comparison or bring up the Nazis at all. You did.

    “Care to include comparisons to Stalin or Mao? Yet another 100 million innocent dead?”

    I’m not an advocate of Stalin and Mao, and I’ve never claimed that there haven’t been murderous atheist tyrants. Incidentally, they simply had the technology and infrastructure to perpetrate the same degree of mass killing that the Crusaders and Jihadists tried accomplish – and would have, had they had access to the railroads, rifles, tanks, and planes that the 20th century atheist tyrants possessed.

    “BTW, homosexuals were brutally murdered by Mao, Stalin and Hitler.”

    I know. And the brutal murder of homosexuals has been practiced and advocated by religious zealots as well, obviously, as it is today in Tehran – as for Howard Ahmanson, one of the Discovery Institute’s biggest financial backers, he no longer thinks it’s “necessary” to kill them, but he says he wouldn’t be opposed it being done. So, there you go; you’ve accidentally compared literalist religious zealots in general and one of DI’s biggest contributors to the ChiComs, the Soviets, the Nazis, and the Iranian government.

    “Please read a little history.”

    Maybe I should read it out loud to you.

  15. Louis CK on the subject things have turned to.
    DATCG:

    homosexuals were brutally murdered by Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

    Damn, I guess I’d better dismantle my Mao-Stalin-Hitler shrine. Now what dictators will this atheist worship?

  16. BarrettBrown, it takes a special brand of dishonesty to turn my question into a statement.

    “We’re not in their bedrooms anymore, thanks to the work of actual Americans who value individual liberty as opposed to people such as yourself who value state control.”

    I’m not a fan of big government. But I am a fan of law and order. two things that the liberal mind is more and more in opposition to.

    What you deem “State control” I deem “To serve and protect”. Lawlessness is not freedom my friend.

    “And “they” are not in your bedroom; I assume you’re pretending that the acknowledgment of homosexuals and their rights constitutes some sort of invasion of your “right” to live in a society in which speech is controlled.”

    I take it you didn’t bother to read the linked article I posted eh? When I say they are in our bedrooms it is a play on their original argument. Their foot in the door policy of arguing for “rights” and that conservative Christians have no right to be in their bedroom.

    It has nothing to do with freedom of speech and you know it. It has everything to do with corrupting our children.

    http://americansfortruth.com/n.....rades.html

    This kind if garbage goes on all the time as the (so-called) police look the other way.

    Warning Graphic content:

    http://americansfortruth.com/n.....-laws.html

    Freedom of speech huh? Yeah, right.

    I will say this again. The homosexual lifestyle is a BLIGHT on society. It always has been. And always will be regardless of your politically correct views.

    “Homosexual sex is dangerous — the CDC says “gay” and “bi” men are 50 times more likely than other groups to have HIV. And yet homosexual sex clubs flourish across the country.”

    Hows that “speech” working out for ya?

  17. One more point I would like to make. Who is it that opposes and is trying to ban home schooling?

    “Once I have elected to send my child to public school, my fundamental right does not allow me to direct what my child is exposed to in the public school.”

    http://www.mcpscurriculum.com/.....ions.shtml

    Test results:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.....st_results

    I’m curious. What do you think the motive is in this story?

    “Miller had previously refused to comply with Vermont’s orders for visitations, claiming Isabella reported being compelled to bathe naked with Jenkins while visiting and came home speaking of suicide. ”

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?f.....geId=86541

    There are strong ties that link homosexual (deviant) behavior to pedophilia (deviant) behavior.

    http://www.traditionalvalues.o.....edophilia/

    I’ll give you a hint. Today’s word is “precedent”.

    Stick your “free speech”! <- Note, this is not a question.

  18. 18

    This kind of historical re-assignment is much like the way they “crowned” Lysenko as a “lamarckian”, as opposed to a “darwinian”, when in fact Darwin was the biggest promoter of “lamarckism” ever. Darwin even believed that circumsicion was heritable. It’s a historical crime, since Lysenko merely believed in a re-vamped version of Darwin’s theory pangenesis — a theory designed to explain inheritance of acquired characters, mutilations, etc.

  19. IRQ Conflict: “The homosexual lifestyle is a BLIGHT on society. It always has been. And always will be regardless of your politically correct views.”

    I’m a homosexual and I agree my lifestyle is a terrible blight. I live in a very suburban neighborhood with my partner who I have been monogamous with for 19 years. I work for a high-tech company and pay a considerable amount in taxes every year (I earn well over 6 figures). I do not attend “homosexual clubs” and don’t know anybody who does (most of our friends live similarly blight-inducing lifestyles). Neither do we “recruit” people to homosexuality. Yes, we are quite the blight!!! I say, stone us just like the Bible commands!

  20. 20

    JTaylor,

    So it would seem that quite often homosexuals in general are judged for the worst offenses of certain individuals among them, rather than for the facts of their own lives, which don’t reflect the assumed nature of all of them.

    I too am a homosexual, although I choose to not live the lifestyle, but I sympathize with you, given the distortions that you point out. Christians who hate gay people need to stap doing so. I say this unashamedly as a Christian myself. The thing I am really ashamed of is the perversions some Christians project upon gay people as if they are all a bunch of perverts dancing naked in the streets. My family – several of them Christians, are also at odds with this type of Christian heresy of hate. Reverand Phelps might have some friends here. I hope not.

    I will say this: I am against teaching young children about sexual relationships, whether gay or straight, and I am against forcing parents to teach children about lifestyles they themselves find objectionable. If we are to have a free society however, we need to allow openness to varying points of view, but we don’t need indoctrination into a particular point of view. We don’t need to be accepting to all points of view either. Some things are good, and some are not. “Tolerance” is a meaningless word in a society that accepts all human behavior as good.

    Gay activists as well as anti-gay activists need to back off each other. Live and let live. It is not the gay lifestyle that is a blight on society. What is a blight on society is certain individuals among any group (gay or straight), exhibiting shameless acts in public, and expecting us to tolerate it. Prostitutes offering themselves on street corners for all to see, are just as offensive as gay leather-fiends exposing their genitals at public festivals where (apparently)some liberal teachers want to bring their elementary school students.

  21. JTaylor, something you might want to chew on:

    http://www.traditionalvalues.org/urban/one.php

  22. Alright, enough. No more discussion about homosexuality or Hitler or any other irrelevant topic not related to this post. Let’s keep this thread topic on-track and discuss the actual post.

  23. I see that Clive has deleted my post that provides a more balanced source of information on the homosexuality topic than that provided by IRQ Conflict

    If Clive does not wish this topic to be discussed then in fairness he should also delete IRQ Conflicts inflammatory remarks too.

  24. JTaylor,

    IRQ Conflict had a comment “pending approval” that I did not approve on this subject. You wrote your comment after my comment closing the discussion of homosexuals, when you ought to have known better than to post it.

    I don’t expect you to know that I didn’t let one of IRQ’s comments through, so I don’t hold it against you, but I do think you ought not to assume otherwise and give a false representation of moderation.

  25. JTaylor, I told you, no more discussion of it, not even in an underhanded way embedded in a “different” topic.

  26. hdx:

    Kammerer’s work involved fraud (likely not by him). Why should any other scientist blindly accept the results without the experiment being repeated.

    AFAICS, there’s no dispute that Kammerer’s specimen was tampered with at some point (not necessarily by him, as you say). But, according to the ever-reliable WP:

    Not long before the toad had been brought to England by Kammerer to be displayed during lectures as a specimen of an acquired characteristic and had been handled by eminent zoologists, all of whom doubted the possibility of Lamarckism being valid. None of the irregularities discovered by Noble were detected at the time and, since Noble found the injected ink was rather conspicuous, this suggests that the “act of sabotage” had been committed shortly before Noble’s visit to Vienna when Kammerer was no longer working at the institute.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/inde.....=311873655

    WP seems to cite only Koestler for the above claim, so I wouldn’t take that to the bank for now. (It would be interesting to be clear on what Sander Gliboff ( http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.endeavour.2005.10.001 , http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=a.....t=18276062 ) says about this: anyone have access? Even Peter Bowler http://books.google.ie/books?i.....;lpg=PA245 says that Kammerer made a genuine observation, though obviously that doesn’t necessarily imply that he showed others an untainted specimen.) But if Kammerer did produce a clean specimen, and other, “anti-Lamarckian” zoologists did get to inspect the specimen closely before it was later compromised, then the later tampering was never adequate grounds to reject Kammerer’s evidence.

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