Five articles follow:
Evolution and…Biological Race Theory No. 52 Dr Bergman
Bergman, Evolution & Race Theory No. 54 Dr Potter
Factors…Determining…Worldview No. 64 Dr Bergman
Creative Science No. 66 J H Williams
Waiting for Bergman No. 66 Dr Potter
Evolution and the Origins
of the Biological Race Theory
DR JERRY BERGMAN
(Investigator 52, 1997 January)
Scientists have almost universally concluded that the human races are largely equal in regard to innate intelligence and most other traits. In spite of the wide social disparities between the races in the West, no more than approximately one standard deviation difference in mean intelligence exists between the whites and blacks. This fact is contrary to a basic requirement of naturalistic evolution: in order for selection to take place, differences must exist between individual organisms for selection to select from. For selection to work, something first must cause races to develop, a process which in Darwinian terms is called speciation. As evolution progresses, the contrast between groups must become greater, producing development of new definable divisions. The lack of major differences between races, especially in intelligence, the factor most crucial for the major contrast between Homo sapiens and 'lower' forms of life, creates a major difficulty for current evolution theory. In addition, misuse of the theory of evolution was an important factor in the extreme forms of racism, especially that against blacks and Jews, that flourished at the turn of the century and for many years beyond.
postulates that an enormous
number of largely random DNA copying errors called mutations produce
changes in the gene pool of a species. Some of the changes produce a
which confers upon the organism a slight survival advantage compared to
those species without it. The environment generally affects the
with these changes in such a way that the organism (or organisms) with
the slight advantage will have a greater chance of surviving, and
of reproducing and passing on its characteristics to its progeny)
organisms without the advantageous characteristic will be less likely
survive to pass this characteristic onto their offspring. The result is
that the organisms with the advantageous characteristic will gradually
increase in numbers, and those without it will numerically decrease.
composition of the gene pool will eventually change, altering the
of both individual members and the population as a whole.
THE SURVIVAL ADVANTAGE OF HUMANS
difference between humans
and animals is the brain.2
Humans are classified as a high level
primate with a brain superior to all others. Intelligence is the
which blesses humans with their major survival advantage over all other
animals.3 Upright posture, the development of a thumb and
other characteristics differentiate humans from other primates, but the
crucial difference – and the factor responsible for humankind's
achievements – is clearly the brain, especially the cerebrum:
It is hypothesized that human evolution resulted from a fortunate set of conditions which caused some primates by the process of selection to develop a slightly higher intelligence than others. This 'intelligence edge' conferred upon them a clear survival advantage, improving compared to their less fortunate relatives their ability both to escape predators and secure life support elements from the surrounding environment.5 All other things being equal, the higher the intelligence, the more successful the organism will likely be in obtaining food, escaping predators and finding shelter. Intelligence also enables an animal to more effectively learn survival methods and tricks from its life experiences so as to both successfully escape and avoid possible predators in the future.
This survival advantage would consequently slowly result in those primates with higher intelligence numerically increasing and, likewise, those with less intelligence decreasing. The former group would eventually become more numerous, resulting in a fairly defined group which was separated from others by their higher intelligence. Importantly, even within this fairly defined group would exist individual differences in intelligence. These differences would enable certain group members to be more likely to survive than their peers.
This occurs by several identical or similar mutations occurring which confer a survival advantage on two or three individuals, so eventually these traits would likely spread throughout large sections of the breeding population. If this population was reproductively isolated, the result would be a state of affairs in which the race that inherited these mutations would be in this area superior to the others. In each isolated group, we would expect that several would eventually become superior in at least one way compared to other populations. Consequently, the separate discernible groups would eventually grow in numbers as the beneficial traits numerically spread throughout an isolated population.
Also, within each group would exist discernible differences which would confer upon them a survival advantage compared to the population which was not part of the 'better' group. Thus, a 'superior' race would sooner or later develop within the group which would eventually predominate. Within each race would exist ongoing evolution, and this evolution would produce discernible differences between the subgroups in each group which would become more and more distinct. By this process, eventually evolving out of this defined group would be another group having an even higher mean intelligence. This subgroup would in time become differentiated enough to be classified as a race or subspecies, and eventually as a species. Evolution theory concludes that it was through this process that modern Homo sapiens resulted.6
The source of evolution, therefore, is differences within the species.7 If every member of a population had an identical genotype, evolution could not occur for the reason that it results from nature's selecting from existing differences. Without differences, one organism could not possess an advantage over any other. Survival and reproduction success would then depend only upon fortuitous factors, and not upon any innate advantage that specific structures confer. For an organism to possess a structural survival advantage compared to others, structural differences must first exist. Even a population that is homogeneous for some trait would sooner or later become heterogeneous for mutation-caused traits that gave a selection advantage. Because it would take centuries for the population to again become homogeneous for that trait, trait variety would be by far the most common condition in the natural history of most animals.
Evolution also requires changes in the environment that result in increased adaptation by some organisms, and this in turn would force other living things to also become better adapted in order to survive. Examples of these environmental alterations include changes in the mean temperature, in the composition of the land, the type and distribution of the foliage, and the kind of animals in a particular region.
The increasing level of adaptation of an animal type will enable them to increase numerically, thus consuming a greater amount of the available life support resources. Then, in response to the lower amount of food, their competitors would also need to continually increase their level of adaptation and improve their survival techniques to successfully compete. Consequently, the existence of differences within the gene pool is crucial to both the survival and evolution of an animal species.8 Differences are imperative to provide nature something to select from, and without these differences adaption improvement could not occur. An organism's continued successful competition with the ever-increasing complexity around it requires the first step, biological differences. This is especially true of the evolving competition and defence systems that protect an animal from the competition of plant and animal organisms within its environment.
The assumption that most animals have maximized their adaption, and thus little evolution is occurring today, is offered more as an effort to respond to difficulties in the theory than it is as a conclusion based on empirical evidence. Because of the recent drastic changes in the environment recently brought about by humans, evolution should be occurring at a far more rapid pace today than in the past.9, 10
Theoretically, this process will continue forever, and humans will continue to evolve to new heights in the future. Even in the last few thousand years, it is claimed that persons with a greater intelligence had a better chance of surviving. As Pilbeam11 explained:
Not only is
but as Smith noted, its extremely rapid increase is viewed as crucial
Significant differences are often required for evolution because minute differences in many traits would not confer to any one member a large enough advantage over the other members of the culture or society to effect life or death differences during the fertile years. The differences would have to be great enough for a clear survival advantage to exist up to the end of the animal's reproduction period. The difference between humans and lower mammals is enormous, and according to most evolutionists this evolution occurred in a relatively short period of time. Consequently, clear differences must exist for what is actually megaevolution to occur.13
In summary, for
evolution to occur,
biological differences within the species Homo sapiens is
to enable selection to select. The crucial factor that has given humans
their survival advantage is their intelligence. If this factor was
important in producing the numerical success of Homo sapiens, it
follows that intelligence would still be of critical selection
today. Although some evolutionists argue that it is now less important,
much of the reason for this conclusion is because they now recognize
enormous harm to society that this belief has produced.14, 15 Most
structural differences which effect the intelligence that blesses us
a survival advantage and which are genetically transmittable, even if
first developed in a single organism, would likely eventually spread
future generations. The net effect is they would produce a defined
that is superior to the original group, resulting in a new race.
THE NOTION OF RACE
Biologically, 'races' are often called subspecies and are defined as animal groups that are physiologically and chromosomally distinct from other members of the species but which can interbreed. In humans they are differentiated primarily by such characteristics as skin and hair color, hair texture, and skull, nose and eye shapes.16 In evolutionary theory, the survival advantage factor is the chief explanation for the existence of most differences. Because these differences result from the survival advantage that they confer upon an organism, an evolutionist must assume differences between or within a group likely exist because they provide some inherent survival advantage for the animal. Since the key survival advantage of humankind over 'lower animals' is intelligence, consequently differences in this trait likely also exist between the races. This is exactly what has been assumed by many eugenicists, evolutionists, sociologists, and psychologists, both before and since the time of Darwin.17-21 This conclusion has justified a wide variety of governmental and scientific policies, not the least infamous were racial genocide programs.22, 23
Human evolution is generally divided into two types:
(1) monophyletic or the Adam and Eve theory, the widely accepted view that all races descended from one common ancestor, or a very small number of highly interbreeding progenitors.(2) polyphyletic, the view that humankind evolved from many lines, thus the races today are fundamentally different because different races had different ancestors. 24 M Eiseley25 notes that this view was advocated by the French anthropologist Pouchet, who in 1864 discussed the implications of evolutionary theory and anthropological investigations which had shattered the belief that all races were descendants of Adam and Eve, thus in a literal sense were brothers. In Pouchet's words, 'What will become of the Unity of the human species, if we can prove that certain races are not a whit more intelligent than certain animals…?' 26
Klaatsch, a prominent German evolutionist, concluded that human races differed not only because of survival factors, but also for the reason that they polyphyletically evolved from different primates. The blacks came from the gorillas, the whites from the chimpanzees, and the orientals from the orangutans, and it is for this reason that some races are superior. He concluded 27 that 'the gorilla and the Neanderthul man' have a close biological affinity to'a large number of the living African blacks…'
only one of
advocating a polyphyletic view of human evolution. Other similar ideas
were proposed, and some were widely accepted for many years.28, 29
In a revealing statement, Klaatsch stresses that:
of race as we
know it had its modern roots when social Darwinism was embraced by many
scientists.32, 33 The works of Darwin's cousin, Francis
the founder of the eugenics movement, were of a major influence.34
Cohen concluded that:
Many of the
outspoken racists, and racial inferiority views were assumed lobe
and thus were less a subject of debate or concern than one today would
assume. 36, 37 Haller concludes that
The success in
breeding cattle, dogs
and other animals with certain desired characteristics gave empirical
to the concept of racial breeding as advocated by eugenicists and later
Hitler and others.40 This idea was central to the eugenics
which was in vogue in the middle of the last century and supported by
of the most prominent scientists of the time.41, 42 Eugenics,
the notion that humans could improve the race by selective breeding,
also highly accepted by the educated public, especially in Europe and
Americas. Sir Arthur Keith, one of the leading evolutionary
of our century, stated that he was proud that:
DARWINISM AND RACISM
Darwin's most famous
work, often abbreviated to
The Origin of Species, was The Origin
of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of
Races in the Struggle for Life. As Koster notes about Darwin's view
on race, he:
some races (such
as blacks) were inferior to others became so widely accepted that, as
concluded: 'the subject of race inferiority was beyond critical
in the late nineteenth century.' 45 Although Darwin
all forms of slavery, he did conclude that one of the
evidences for evolution was the existence of living'primitive races'
he believed were evolutionarily between the 'civilized races of man'
The missing link wasn't missing but, many evolutionists of the time concluded, lived in Australia and other far-off places.47 The existence of some living races was openly viewed as irrefutable evidence of a graduation of living creatures 'linking' humans to the monkeys (or today 'to our common primate ancestor'). This 'scientific conclusion was interpreted as compelling evidence for evolution, thus a large number of biology textbooks of the time discussed the 'hierarchy of the races' topic.
The man who some
the actual modern 'discoverer' of evolution by natural selection,
also espoused essentially the same idea.48 In his words,
This was the essence of Darwinism, and race differences and fitness of these differences (racism) was at its core.
Although Darwin was far less racist than many of his disciples, especially Spencer, Haeckel, Hooton, Pearson, and Huxley, his theory providedthe basis for the latters' extreme racism. As Poliakoy50noted, Darwin's primary spokesman in Germany, Ernest Haeckel, was'the great ancestor' of Nazi biology theoreticians. Importantly, Darwin did little to oppose this conclusion which spread like wild-fire from his works.51 Since Darwin's writings were critical in the development of evolutionary theory, his thoughts on the application of his theory to racism are crucial to understand how the racism theory spawned. Although he was known as a kind and gentle man, Darwin openly gave his support to eugenic ideas which gradually won acceptance in the scientific community, both in Europe and the United States. Darwin, evidently highly influenced by his early theological and religious training, said:
Later, convinced that the eugenic theory was valid,
By the beginning
the 19th century,
every discussion of social problems was permeated with'scientific
of class [and] race,'
Even Chambers in
of the Natural History of Creation, about which Darwin said that
this book he might never have written
The Origin of Species, concluded
that the Negro was'at the foot of' the Mongol, the Yellow race
between, and Caucasians at the top.54 Chambers himself
that the 'various races of mankind, are simply…stages in the
of the highest or Caucasian type…' and that the Blacks were the
developed, and the Caucasians were the highest, most evolved race.55
RACISM BASED ON BIOLOGY
to assume they
were better than those who were culturally different, but most ideas of
biological racial inferiority are fairly recent. Since up to the time
Darwin it was almost universally regarded that all humans were
of Adam and Eve – a view called
monogenism – most concluding
that all humans must literally be biological brothers. Although some
developed ingenious hypotheses to justify the conclusion that Blacks
inferior, such as God created them as a separate race (some concluded
the 'beasts of the earth'
discussed in Genesis was the Black race)
this view has never held much weight in historical Christian theology,
Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox.56-60 As Proctor opinioned
the middle 1800s,
most Westerners believed that all humans were descendants of Adam and
thus we are all brothers. Up until the widespread acceptance of
the only justification for racism was the belief that God cursed
groups or created other Adams who were inferior – a view called polygenism
– which could be identified by physical traits such as skin colour, or
that some groups degenerated biologically more than others – but were
our brothers. As Gould notes, 'nearly all scientists were
before 1859, and most did not become polygenists',62 and
Walbank and Taylor conclude:
On the question
racism and Christianity,
especially as exemplified in Germany, Sir Arthur Keith stated that:
The racism which developed from the theory of evolution was by no means confined to Blacks. One of the leading American eugenicists, Charles Davenport, founder and director of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory, concluded that Black Americans were below Caucasians – but so were several other groups. Among the groups that he included were 'the Poles, the Irish, the Italians, and...the Hebrews' and even the Serbians, Greeks, Swedes, Bohemians.63 He attributed a wide variety of negative racial characteristics to each different group:
Poles tended to be independent although self-reliant, the Italians tended to commit crimes of personal violence, the Hebrews were a mixture of slovenly Serbians and the tidy Swedes, and the Germans and Bohemians were given to'thriving'. He was concerned that the immigrants then flooding the United States would rapidly cause the American population to become darker in pigment, smaller in stature, and more involved in crimes of larceny, kidnapping, assault, murder, and rape.
Davenport taught that a woman should not marry a man without a thorough knowledge of his biological and genealogical history. He felt a woman should act like a stock breeder who carefully checks the pedigree of a potential sire for his colts or calves. Davenport argued that the state should control who is able to breed, reasoning that if the state had the right to take a person's life, surely it could deny permission to reproduce. As a highly respected scientist, Davenport's ideas were highly influential at the time and no more radical than those advocated by many other scientists and intellectuals. In the late 1930s, the policies that Germany, then the most advanced nation in the world, was advocating were very similar.
The two races most often compared are the'Caucasian' and'Negroid', now commonly called the'white' and'black' races. The dominant western cultural ethos, that whites were'superior' and blacks'inferior' and more'apelike', was commonly reflected in science books published from 1880 and 1980. The textbook drawings which depict our supposed immediate ancestors, such as Homo erectus and Homo habilis, typically have very pronounced Negroid race characteristics including dark skin, kinky hair and Negroid facial features. Modern man (Homno sapiens), though, is often pictured as having light skin, straight hair, a flat forehead, a narrow nose and small lips.66
Most of the drawings of 'ape-men' and early humans even today still show pronounced Negroid traits (for examples see Time-Life, The Neanderthals,67 and Early Men,68 April 1984 Science 84 cover). In addition, the fact that certain Negroid facial features are closer to the facial characteristics of many primates (the kinky hair, flat-nose, large lips, and sloping forehead, as well as the cheek and jaw-bone construction) has lent superficial support to this contention. The Caucasian race would for this reason be more evolutionarily 'fit', meaning it was a 'superior' race. As the major survival element in human evolution is intelligence, the conclusion that the higher evolved race, the Caucasians, possessed a superior intelligence was uncritically accepted for decades. Differences in intelligence were viewed as the key factors in human evolution because mind was a major factor of survival, and thus of selection.
The belief that evolution normally produced racial inequities was often noted, even exemplified, in the standard biology textbooks published around 1900. The popular American high school biology textbook by Hunter, titled A Civic Biology,69 in the section on evolution under the subtitle 'The Races of Man', stated that
The five races
then ranked from
inferior to superior as follows:
that the 'highest'
race is the Caucasians, who are specifically 'higher' developed in
of 'instincts, social customs, and... [physical] structure.'
This book, widely adopted by American public high schools for over
30 years, was the text John Scopes used when he was a substitute
teacher and was later convicted of violating the Butler Act, the law
teaching evolution in public schools. Also, typical of the views of the
educated at this time is an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica
which, under the heading 'Negro', stated:
Moser, in reference to the above quote, argued that:
Then Moser adds
it is his conclusion
responsible for the
widespread acceptance of evolution in the 19th century, Thomas Huxley,
wrote soon after the black slaves were freed that:
then as being in certain ways unredeemably, unchangeably, and
inferior to whites.75
And racist sentiments such as these were
held by many, if not most, prominent 19th century biologists who were
In a review of a recent work which documented this beyond question,
aware of the implications
of his theory on race. In the sixth chapter of The Descent of Man, he
that survival of the fittest pressures would eventually eliminate both
the black race, which he considered inferior, and other'lower races'.
In addition, he concluded:
noted as to Darwin's
sub-title of his book
The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle
One of the many
examples which illustrates
that the'graduations in the evolutionary level of living man' view was
a major aspect of evolution is a response to a Dr Austin H. Clark, a
at the Smithsonian Institution, who proposed that evolution proceeds
in 'jumps'79 Note that the quote draws support from the now
Man, and the Neanderthal and Cro-magnon men
shown to be different races of modern humans) for evidence.
evolutionist Gould concluded
that racism was so widespread at this time that Darwin's co-author,
behavior found between
the black and white races, Wallace concluded, contrary to the
of evolutionists around him, were because of cultural conditioning which'can
integrate the rudest savage into our own most courtly life.' The
for Wallace's 'unconventional egalitarianism' is explained by
Gould notes that Darwin was 'positively aghast at Wallace's abrupt about-faith at the finish line itself.'83 He wrote Wallace in 1869 that'I differ grievously from you, and l am very sorry for it.' Wallace, sensitive to the rebuke, thereafter referred to his non-racist theory of human intellect as 'my special heresy.'
Hitler used to
support his programs of racial genocide of the Jews, Blacks and other
was that they were genetically'inferior' and that their interbreeding
with the superior Aryan race would adversely affect the latter's gene
polluting it, and lowering the overall quality of the 'pure race'. 84-87
chance factors dominate
reproduction decisions, Hitler proposed that the scientists use the
of the state to influence these decisions so that the gene pool would
to what'informed conclusions' concluded was the desired direction.
Hitler encouraged those individuals that he perceived as having Aryan
to mate, and discouraged'interbreeding', supposing that this policy
gradually cause the Aryan race to evolve 'upward'. He believed that the
Nazi race programs would further evolution by intelligently deciding
traits were not beneficial, and preventing those with them from
FROM THEORY TO SOCIAL POLICY
Little eugenic concern existed in Darwin's day about Blacks and Jews in Great Britain, but there was much concern about Blacks and Jews in America and Jews in Germany. This was largely because the United States had a much larger population of Jews and Blacks than Great Britain, which at that time was much more homogeneous. British eugenics was marked by more concern over inferior classes rather than inferior races compared to the American and German eugenicists.89 Especially of concern was the results of miscegenation. Many studies were completed relative to the effects of Black and White marriages – one researcher concluded that the Negro race was gradually being'bleached' by intermarrying with Whites, and that the Whites were not so appreciably tanned as the Blacks were bleached.90
studies concluded that
miscenegation offspring tended to have more of the negative traits of
such as inferiority in mental capacity, than the positive traits of
One massive American study by a Princeton psychology professor and the
chairman of the National Research Council concluded:
The extent to which eugenics has filtered into American society was illustrated by the fact that the American chief wartime mental tester was Robert M. Yerkes, a student of the works of Francis Galton. One of his professors at Harvard was Charles Davenport, and his work with mental tests was in conjunction with Ernest E. Southard of the Harvard Medical School. Southard was an active eugenicist who worked with Davenport and others. 93, 94 One of the more well known American scientists involved in the testing movement was Louis Terman of Stanford. He attributed I.Q. to heredity, and undertook one of the most extensive psychological research studies ever to research this question. His work is summarized in the mammoth five volume set Genetic Studies of Genius,95 published by Stanford University Press. The first volume was published in 1925, and the last, published in 1959, was entitled The Gifted Group at Midlife. This work is a 35-year follow-up of the group of students that were originally identified by the researchers.
Yerkes, Terman and Godard (Godard is most known for his 1912 study of the Kallikak family: A Study of the Heredity of Feeblemindedness)96 developed the well-known Army Alpha I.Q. test used on draftees literate in English, and the Army Beta, used for everyone else.97 The army efficiently and rapidly administered these tests to millions of people, a task that was believed to be of enormous importance for the war effort.
From the army Alpha and Beta, as well as the Stanford Binet (a modification of the original Binet published in France), developed the entire American testing movement. From I.Q. tests came performance, personality, projective and a wide variety of other tests which are now an important part of Western society. A contemporary concern is that these tests were designed to be aptitude tests, but are culturally biased and depend heavily upon one's educational, social and cultural background. They are in fact achievement tests, interpolating aptitude skills from the achievement score. The army tested over 1,700,000 persons – and its alleged success is a key factor that also spurred on the wide use of testing today.
The army data was also used to study race differences and prove 'conclusively' that certain races were intellectually inferior – the Mediterranean were inferior to the Nordic, and the Blacks were inferior to all other races. According to the test, the average adult Black living in the United States had the mental age of a 10-year-old White.96 These demeaning results were due to educational, cultural and social reasons, but the tragedy is that the results were used to conclude that social and educational programs to help certain races were ill-advised, or at the least, would not significantly change their intelligence or performance. Many scientists, educators, and others believed that offering equal opportunity in the schools was likewise also ill-advised, concluding that to best use scarce resources, one should concentrate on training the most capable.
The effect of
was not only Black
racism, but racism against a wide variety of groups including those
Eastern and Southern Europe, all Orientals, and others. The most
expression of this ethnic and racial hatred was to restrict
America enacted into law the Chinese exclusion acts of 1882 and 1902,
various immigration and naturalization acts directed against Eastern
Southern Europeans and other groups. Riots and systematic
were extremely common in the United States during this time. Directed
a wide variety of groups, such discrimination was often quite vicious
its extent and effects. At the 1923 immigration hearings
The result of the arguments was that in April of 1924 the act was passed by overwhelming majorities in both the house and senate. President Calvin Coolidge supported the law, stating that,
This belief was translated into behavior not only in the whites' mistreatment of blacks and immigration laws, but has been used to justify social policies ranging from slavery to segregated schools. The assumption that blacks are innately inferior and less intelligent compared to whites was an important, if not the prominent factor, in the racist policies that dominated America and Europe for over 100 years.100, 101 Reviews of early literature written by whites about blacks found that this conclusion was prominent in most discussions of race until relatively recently.'102
Current research into the characteristics of blacks has overturned the once commonly held conclusion that blacks as a whole are biologically and in other ways inferior to whites. Much of the research supports the contention that those differences that still exist are predominantly the effects of accumulated discrimination, poverty and cultural deprivation.103, 104 It is now widely accepted that, given equality of background and similarity of experiences, blacks as a whole closely equal whites in across-the-board performance. This situation confirms Benedict's105 early conclusion that 'the most careful investigation' shows there is no significant difference between the scores of blacks and whites, even though it is difficult to control for the accumulative effects of deprivation.
Recent I.Q. tests of people throughout the world have found that, with allowance for cultural differences, the I.Q. ranges of all extant identified races is extremely close.
The pygmy population of Africa, supposedly the most backward race extant today, test close to average when acclimated to Western life. Few differences are found between the second and third generation pygmies living in large Australian cities who are acclimated to the established European population. And this comparison is between the supposedly most backward group of people today (aside from the Tasaday, which have now been shown to be a hoax) with the supposedly most advanced, the white Anglo-Saxons.
On the average, blacks have achieved lower I.Q. and achievement scores than whites, but they are also typically raised in very different social and cultural environments than non-blacks. Their world is still different, even if their parents had the same occupation and incomes as whites. Impressive research has demonstrated that black-white cultural differences could easily explain much of the observed performance difference, which is now estimated at about a standard deviation. White school children in eastern Tennessee were able to improve their average I.Q. score by almost this much between 1930 and 1940, apparently as a result of the introduction of schools in their area, increased outside stimulation from innovations such as radios, and more parental support in education.106
Most studies also find that Orientals and Jews score about ten points higher than Europeans. Reasons other than innate differences are often found to account for this difference, and few scientists now accept the view that genetic differences can account for the level found.107 The exceptions, such as Carleton Coon,108 Hans Eysenck109 and Arthur Jensen110 are few.111 The common conclusion that the differences are caused by early environment deprivation was behind the development of such programs as Sesame Street and the Electric Company, and even Head Start. Some persons have even concluded that the tests themselves are not valid, a view which has prompted the legal banning of I.Q. tests for certain uses in a number of States.
The conclusion that whites and blacks as a group are innately equal for most traits (viz., the biological organism is equal) is supported by comparisons of northern blacks with southern whites. A southern white from Mississippi, according to the median scores of the Army AEF Intelligence Test, scored 41.25 compared to 49.50 for blacks from Ohio.112-114 Since the majority of blacks suffer from monetary, educational and cultural disadvantages, according to this evidence much of the difference would be not because of organism inferiority, but largely as a result of environmental differences. And many of these differences have often developed because of racial prejudice in the first place.115
anthropologist, Ruth Benedict,
and Weltfish stated under the topic 'One Human Race' that 'the
of earth are a single family and have a common origin.' Elaborating
on this view, they continued:
The few differences that exist do not confer a survival advantage of one race over another – all of the differences Benedict classifies as 'non-essentials'. And the non-essentials by definition do not affect fitness, and thus are irrelevant to survival. Hair texture, for example, does not relate to survival but at the most will affect personal comfort in adjusting to certain types of climates, an advantage which is today largely offset by technology – clothes, houses and such. Since these innovations have been part of culture since earliest recorded history, these traits would never have had a significant selection advantage.
The most obvious difference between blacks and whites is skin colour (thus the terms 'blacks' and 'whites'). Dark skin gives blacks some protection against strong sunlight, especially in the tropics, but whites can easily protect themselves by utilizing sun helmets, special clothes, and sun-screen suntan oil. This enables them to survive quite well in very warm areas. Black skin serves more to aid individual comfort than survival.118 Skin colour variations do not represent a difference of quality, only quantity.
All humans have about the same concentrations of melanocytes in their skin.119 The variations are due largely to the amount of melanin these cells produce – the darker the skin, the greater the amount of melanin secreted in the lower layers of the skin.120 Except albinos, who totally lack colouring substances (and albinos appear in all races) every person, however dark or light, is affected by the sun in much the same way.121, 122 All of these qualities have little to do with survival during and before child-bearing years, and consequently cannot be accounted for by evolution. These differences seem to exist primarily to increase the variety so evident in the natural world – a variety which not only makes our sojourn on earth more enjoyable, but also helps us to differentiate the scores of people alive today.123
Other racial differences alleged include substances in the blood, thus the expression'blood relations' and the classifications'Aryan blood','Chinese blood', or'Negroid blood'. Of the dozens of blood groups, most are found in every race. The major types, A, B, AB, and 0, are present in all races, although in slightly different percentages. Consequently, blood transfusions can be administered without regard to race – only a blood type match is necessary.
what is now the prevailing opinion among scientists: allowing for
no significant innate overall difference of consequence exists between
blacks and whites. Richard Leakey, the son of the famous
Louis Leakey, noted that his father's
For this reason, Benedict125concluded,
Evolution, though, teaches that differences even within a very small group of people would confer to that group of people a survival advantage. Thus that group would become larger and larger and, as selection continues, would become more and more discernible from the outside population. This, though, is not now happening with humans because separate populations do not seem to be developing from the main populations. This state of affairs means that without any clear differences, there is nothing to select from. And without selection, evolution cannot occur.
Studies of other
have found the
same problem with natural selection:
RESPONSES TO THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS PAPER
Of the scores of
references consulted relative
to this problem (see references), not one adequately deals with the
that this paper raises. Some assume that selection was important in the
past, but because of the structure of our present society,'natural
no longer occurs. Even Charles Darwin concluded that evolution had now
stopped among humans. Alfred Russel Wallace reported in 1890:
the implications of the information outlined above apply not only to
but to humans as well.129 For this reason, several leading
have proposed that, for humans at least, classical evolution has
stopped. The well-known French biologist, Pierre P. Grasse, stated:
Another argument is that selection works at the individual level, not at the species or subspecies level. This does not deal with the concern, because a process that is central to evolution is for superior individuals to eventually become superior groups. The Neanderthals and other groups were said to not have survived as a group because they were supposedly inferior to other existing humanoid groups, and thus were eliminated in the competition for survival.132
Three competing hypotheses exist on why humans are one primary race. The first and most accepted is Noah's Ark theory, the view that all of our close relatives became extinct and only one, Homo sapiens, has survived. Most of the many fossil finds support this view.133 The second, the candelabra theory, postulates that the different races all evolved independently into the 'same race', a view that is usually regarded as highly unlikely. The last, the modified candelabra, claims parallel development occurred due to world-wide intermarrying, resulting in much back and forth gene flow – a position not supported by recorded history.
Burt,134 in defending the latter view, hypothesizes that after pre-humans spread over a wide area, some individuals became highly successful and eventually evolved into several distinct species. He hypothesizes this 'race-making period' was caused by Homo sapiens scattering far and wide, forming geographically isolated groups and'as a result of natural selection, became adapted to the different conditions', primarily differences in climate.135 To explain why only one surviving species of humans now exists, Burt postulates that they later spread out again, this time intermixing and interbreeding. The'ensuing recombination of different sets of genes produced still greater variations and therefore still greater adaptability.' 136 He concludes that most of the differences that existed at one time were later obliterated through massive interbreeding, thus few exist today. Two pages later, he argues for the view that
Thus, biological evolution has stopped but, Burt claims, cultural evolution continues.
These attempts to explain the failure to find clear innate survival differences, such as in intelligence between races (although Burt was not arguing here that all races are equal), prompt questions such as:
(1) Specifically, why has evolution evidently stopped for Homo sapiens in the last 20,000 or so years, a view with which the doctrine of uniformitarianism is not in accord?
(2) What evidence is there for factors which would first disperse a race, then much later cause the many separate races that separately developed to interbreed – in essence, uniting all of the different groups?
(3) What factors
cause humans to leave
the homeland they were biologically adapted to, and venture into other
geographical areas, then return to marry their'long lost kin' (who now
have evolved into something distinctly different)?
both between and within
races for evolution to occur, specifically differences that provide one
race or group a survival advantage over the others. The race with
that confer on it the greatest survival advantage presumably will in
become numerically dominant compared to those without this advantage.
That elements of this view arc still held by some biologists today is evident from the words of a leading modern evolutionist, George Gaylord Simpson, who stated that:
As late as 1962, Harvard anthropologist Carleton Coon140concluded that modern human races did not suddenly appear 'fully formed as from the brow of Zeus', but that the differences between living races could be explained only in terms of their different evolutionary history, and that each major race followed its own evolution pathway.
Coon even wrote that African civilizations were less advanced because black people were the last to evolve into modern humans. The first hominids may have arisen in Africa, he concluded, but the evolution of modem humans occurred in Europe and Asia:
The raw materials of evolution are physical differences – differences that natural selection can 'select' from, causing them to spread throughout the population. These differences are the key to evolution, and without them it cannot occur. In the case of Homo sapiens, research has supported the view that few significant differences exist between the various groups (commonly called races) of humans living today. If the few differences that do exist do not confer any significant survival advantages, contemporary evidence for human evolution would be completely lacking.
Most importantly, this evidence argues against a cornerstone of the evolutionary theory, the 'survival of the fittest' hypothesis. It is possible that discernible differences at one time existed among the different groups of humans, and for some reason they were all either eradicated or never existed, but the fact is they have never been observed. Our environment was often much more uniform throughout much of history than it has been in the past hundred to two hundred years. At one time more differencesexisted between, for example, a man who lived in a cave and one who lived in a castle; and historical study has found that the man in the cave was in some ways better off, at least regarding certain health factors. A great difference exists between the life of Indians in the Philippines and scientists living in a university town; but more genetic differences exist between the members of each community than between these two groups. In other words, biological evolution should now be proceeding more rapidly than ever before, but we do not observe it proceeding at all. Cleat biological differences which could conceivably confer a definite survival advantage to one race of humans over another do not exist.142-144
The finding that
differences exist within
the races than between them does not support what we would expect to
if evolution by natural selection was currently operative upon humans.
Even the few fairly clear differences between the races (those which
researchers to group in terms of races) are only in degree.145 And
these trait differences are all clearly in non-essentials, unimportant
to survival. It is also difficult to argue for many branches in our
tree when only one branch exists today. Evolution must explain why a
of affairs exists in this period of history which is in great contrast
to that which they argue has existed for most of humankind's
BERGMAN, EVOLUTION AND RACE THEORY
Reply to Evolution and the Origins of the Biological Race Theory
(Investigator 54, 1997 May)
Like Jerry Bergman (Investigator 52) I choose not to become involved in a detailed discussion of the many theories of the 'structure of intelligence' and will assume that, however it is defined, one can meaningfully associate it with a measurable IQ.
Bergman's essay meanders over a vast field that rarely focuses on its main objective, as stated in the Abstract. My response will concern itself with the writer's declared central aim that "The lack of major differences between races, especially in intelligence, the factor most crucial for the major contrast between Homo sapiens and'lower' forms of life, creates a major difficulty for current evolution theory". Ironically, in the same paragraph, Bergman admits that the IQ disparity between blacks and whites is in the region of one standard deviation, which, translated into blunter English, represents over 34% of the population!!
not true. No evolutionary
biologist is concerned about this matter and, indeed, Bergman himself
as much when he says:
No fewer than 146 references are appended to Bergman's piece, none of them is used as an academic citation, 'authorities' most frequently quoted are, like Ruth Benedict, persons who died half-a-century ago or more and, apart from the occasional anecdotal reference to Darwin and his contemporaries, are overwhelmingly journalists commenting upon a scientific discipline that is not their own.
Sources that should have been used as a base line for a discussion of modern evolutionary theory would have included:
The Theory of Evolution – J Maynard Smith
The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
Climbing Mount Improbable – Richard Dawkins
The Language Instinct – Steven Pinker
Darwin's Dangerous Idea – Daniel Dennett
Evolutionary theory, Bergman correctly argues, postulates that genetic copying errors (‘mutations') generate variation and that this, on very rare occasions, aids survival of modified organisms. The mutation as an advantage is a very rare occurrence. Bergman seriously misrepresents this when he, so frequently, claims "differences…would confer…a survival advantage" (p 51). The consequential 'advantages' of these 'variations' leads to their survival in preference to their less fortunate 'peers'.<>The paragraphs that deal with the 'evolution' (?) of the human brain (p 27) are a mixture of wild assertions that do not conform with today's evolutionary theory. "The most significant difference between humans and animals is the brain… Intelligence is the quality which blesses humans with their major survival advantage…and (quoting a journalist) The selective pressure for better brains must have been very intense."
If success in an evolutionary sense is measured in terms of survival, then both the bee and the scorpion have 'survived', virtually unchanged for millions of years…humanity has only 'just arrived'. Popular folklore dismisses the dinosaurs as singularly 'unintelligent' creatures (and this may well have been the case) but if survival is to be the measure of evolutionary success, we have many millions of years to go before we can claim that humans have equalled their stay on earth.
It is when he approvingly quotes Ruth Moore about selective pressure for better brains that Bergman slips into teleology, putting a view of evolution that fits with Christian theology but which has nothing in common with current theories of evolution. There has never been any 'external pressure' (supernatural or other) urging existence to develop 'better brains'. Rather, as Bergman earlier explained, evolution is the result of chance mutations, the overwhelming majority of which have resulted in immediate extinction, the tiny few of which have provided the variation from which new species have germinated.
thought comes later when he discusses 'skin colour':
The text is reminiscent of a Jehovah's Witness tract!
In the following paragraph, Bergman moves into 'category error', of the kind which inspired Ryle's Concept of Mind: "Intelligence also enables an animal to more effectively learn survival methods and tricks from its life experiences so as to both successfully escape and avoid possible predators in the future", he claims. This is a 'circular argument', saying nothing. 'Intelligence' does nothing! Rather, it is the acquired behaviours that we label 'intelligence'. That Bergman has failed to transcend 'category errors' of this kind is again demonstrated when he talks of the 'cornerstone of evolutionary theory' as the 'survival of the fittest' hypothesis (p 55). A similar 'circular argument' is: 'Who survives?', the'fittest', ‘Who's the'fittest'?, the one that 'survives'!
been expended by
psychologists/biologists/statisticians (interestingly, almost all the
names we associate with the origins of statistical science developed
techniques in order to test the degree of 'innateness'
into the within groups/between groups parameters. This is essential
with which Bergman should familiarize himself.
But this is precisely not what happens, nor is it argued, in this way, by evolutionary theory. In fact, it is quite unrelated to that theory, which is to do with 'mutations'. Never-the-less, a comment on 'within group' development is called for, since Bergman raises the question.
What actually happens in the conditions posed by Bergman is the phenomenon known as regression to the mean. It can be seen in any organism that reproduces sexually and is simply the tendency for parents with extremes of a characteristic to produce offspring with less extreme characteristics. Very tall parents tend to have tall children, but not as tall as the parents. Short parents have short children, but not as short as they are. Precisely because intelligence is largely inherited, one would expect to find a regression to the mean, and that is indeed the case. Regression is connected with social mobility and in Western societies, only a third of children retain the social class of their parents. Incidentally, this is very important because regression to the mean is something that cannot be explained by those who argue that'intelligence' is largely determined by environmental factors – but I shall come to that, later.
To return to the
theme of Bergman's
Rarely can so many woolly and tautological ideas have appeared in a single sentence. I ask the reader to study this passage carefully. 'Structural differences' are assumed and we are then told that if they are 'genetically transmittable' they will spread into future generations – even if they originated in a single organism. Is there some other way in which the 'mutation' might occur? Perhaps the most serious flaw in Bergman's argument is his implicit assumption that organisms determine who to mate with on the basis of 'intellectual equality'. This assumption would have to be made for Bergman's hypothesis to 'work out'. But, of course, as we all know from our everyday experience, the body chemistries that determine sexual lust have little to do with intelligence!
It is quite a jump from the differences within the species that Darwin found on the Galapagos Islands and correctly identified as a source of structural evolution and the differences in'intelligence' that Bergman tries to equate with them.
Bergman may find some consolation in quoting from the discredited Burt that 'there has been no appreciable change in man's innate constitution or in the general quality of his brain throughout the last 20,000 years'. If there is one field of research that has undercut that argument, it is the work done in teaching language to primates. The 'leap' in intellectual development was recognized in the early 1970s by Premack who showed impressively that just the learning to manipulate linguistic symbols dramatically enhanced the more general cognitive abilities of his primate subjects and, of course, his work fades into insignificance compared with that of Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and her chimp Kanzi who learned language by observation alone without human tuition.
Schools of psychology from Chomsky to Pinker may argue about the innate ability of our close relatives, but the theories of 'no progress' for 20,000 years belong to the dustbin of science.
Next, Bergman tells us that empirical support was found for 'the concept of racial breeding' by the 'success in breeding cattle, dogs and other animals with certain desired characteristics'. These ideas were not 'afterthoughts', Dr Bergmnan. Rather the first chapter of Darwin's On The Origin of Species is devoted entirely to 'Variation Under Domestication'.
'Politically incorrect' as it may be, the research evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that 'intelligence' is largely determined by hereditary. A glance at a recent tabulation of familial correlations for IQ (Bouchard and McGue 1981) speaks for itself:
Identical twins reared together .86
Identical twins reared apart .72
Unidentical twins reared together .60
Siblings reared together .42
Siblings reared apart .24
For example, it is argued that the IQ tests are not 'culture-fair'; that they are easier for white, middle-class, Anglo-Saxons than for poor, unprivileged blacks. But, before leaping onto the 'politically correct' bandwagon, consider the following findings:
a) Blacks perform relatively better on the more culture-loaded (i.e.‘verbal') tests than they do on the culture-fair type.
b) Immigrants to the USA from China, Formosa and Hong Kong, knowing little or no English, and having parents of low socioeconomic occupations, score well above whites on these same tests.
c) On practically all the socioeconomic, educational, nutritional and other health factors that sociologists identify as causing black-white differences in IQ and scholastic achievement, the native American Indian population ranks about as far below black standards as blacks do below those of whites. But nationwide studies have shown that Indians score higher on all these tests from the first to the twelfth grade.
d) Similar findings occur with Mexican-Americans, who rate below blacks on socioeconomic and other environmental indices, but score considerably higher on IQ tests, especially on the non-verbal type.e) Tragically, these findings do provide comfort for the fascist elements that linger and fester in our society, but they will take no comfort from the equally widely established findings, in both the UK and the USA, that Jews score higher on these tests than any other 'racial' grouping!
In thirty pages Bergman has failed to support his central argument. Contrary to his assertions, there is good evidence that there are considerable racial differences in intelligence as measured by the IQ tests that have been developed, but this does not present a problem for current evolutionary theory.
has not helped his
argument by confusing
Darwinian theory with teleological (religious) logic. He has ignored
all of the most recent research in the area under discussion and has
to appreciate that the time-scale required by evolutionary theory is of
a different dimension than the 20,000 years postulated (inaccurately)
the arch-scientific charlatan, Cyril Burt. To claim that'evolution has
stopped taking place' in the modern world is as sensible as
discounting'Big Bang' theories of the origins of the Universe on the
sunrise continues to take place at roughly the same time every morning.
Involved in Determining
the Validity of a Worldview
A Response to what I Perceive as the Hidden Agenda in Bob Potter's Critique of My Paper on Racism
By Jerry Bergman Ph.D.
(Investigator 64, 1999
In my experience, most critiques of creationists' writings involve much name-calling and psychological put-downs that are at times intermixed with some valid but narrow concerns about their work and conclusions. For example, some claim that creationists tend not to do original science but largely utilize the work of evolutionists in their critiques of evolutionary naturalism.
One reason for this tendency is because it is almost impossible for creationists to gain funding to support a project which has implications for the creationist world view, regardless of the project merits. Furthermore, many of the criticisms that evolutionists use to argue against a creation world view have already been thoroughly answered by evolutionists themselves.
One of the best examples of this fact is the vestigial organ argument. Some evolutionists once claimed that a total of 180 organs and structures in humans were vestigial including the appendix and the pineal gland. Vestigial organs are structures that bad a putative function in our evolutionary past but no longer do in modem humans. Medical research has adequately confirmed that all of these 180 organs and structures have a clear function, although we can survive without some of these structures (Bergman and Hone 1990). The vestigial organ argument, once one of the major guns in the evolutionist' arsenal, is now often not even mentioned in textbooks that cover evolution. If it is, usually much ignorance is displayed.
For this reason creationists do not need to do research on the function of, for example, the thymus gland because its function has already been adequately demonstrated. Of course, to further elucidate its function would make a useful contribution to science, but this would not add much support to the creationist worldview because the thymus has already been proven to be critically important in the development of the immune system. The same is true of almost all the other formerly 180 putative vestigial organs.
Much creationist research is also not as good as it could be because their research tends to be reviewed only by other creationists who share the same world view and thus may uncritically expound ideas which are less than well thought out or even flawed. A clear need exists for the critics of creationism to constructively evaluate their work before it is published, as is common by evolutionists. Given this, the critique by Bob Potter shows my paper is on solid ground.
Furthermore, in my experience most evolutionists tend to respond emotionally, not rationally, to creationists and are generally unwilling to appropriately critique their arguments. Further, evolutionists often respond against the person, not the person's ideas. This was also the case with Bob Potter's response to my paper, such as when he repeatedly suggested I was ignorant and to remedy this I should familiarize myself with certain works, most of which I was in fact already very familiar with. Most of his concerns I was also very aware of, and they tended to add to my brief review, not contradict it.
A common assumption by many is that scientists are largely rational and non-scientists are often irrational. I have met many professors in my academic career who were brilliant in some area but uncritically accepted non-scientific beliefs such as UFOs have visited the Earth from other planets. astrology, etc. A recent study of Indian scientists found that the vast majority – especially those occupying high positions in science – believe in astrology, miracles, and other non-scientific ideas (Bhargava 1998 p. 233).
There exist few relationships in science as well documented as that between smoking and major health problems including heart disease, lung cancer, blindness, and many others (You and Bergman 1998). Yet, I have known many otherwise intelligent professors who smoked – and many of them including my own dean have died at a young age of lung cancer, heart disease or other smoking related illnesses. When trying to convey to them the results of the extensive empirical research in this area. I found most were not interested. Researchers in this area have not only clear epidemiological and clinical data which shows a strong relationship between smoking and many diseases, but they are also beginning to understand many of the biological and genetic mechanisms involved. The simple fact is, if you smoke it will eventually kill you unless something else such as a jealous lover or a drunk kills you first.
When a smoking colleague of mine was relating his plans to retire last week, my thought was, although he may live to be 85, this is unlikely – the average male smoker in America dies at age 59. According to one study lifelong smoking reduces the smoker's life span by 18 years. When he told me his plans, my thought was "where is your mind – do you really think you will beat the odds and live many years into retirement?" It is amazing to me how intelligent people can develop long, plausible arguments to justify their clearly destructive behavior that will eventually kill them. Thus, in the end these intellectualizations are counterproductive and could be lethal.
The same is true with creationism. Many evolutionists respond emotionally and are not willing to acknowledge the many valid arguments of creationism but instead are anxious to trounce on creationists' weak points (of which there are many). Although some creationists' work is sloppy and much is a result of the common true believerism, many evolutionists are inflicted with a far worse case of true believerism.
The fact is, a certain reality exists and it behoves us to endeavor to find what that reality is and live our lives according to it. It does not do a driver any good and does do much harm to firmly believe that his car brakes arc in great shape when they are not. In the long run, it likewise does not do any good to endlessly fashion arguments in support of a false world view, however compelling the arguments may sound. My attitude is, we must try the best we can to find out what is true, and go where the facts lead us, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
My conclusions about origins are well thought out, and although they may well change as I continue studying and learning, it is clear that much of what I have read about creationists written by evolutionists is absolutely wrong. Few creation critics have a good knowledge about creationism but in contrast most creation scientists are fairly knowledgeable about evolution. My father was an agnostic/atheist, and I well understand the thinking of those who are coming from this viewpoint. My father was very active in the humanist organization (former U.S. presidential candidate Walter Mondale's brother married my father and stepmother), thus I have more than a passing experience with this worldview. Further, most all my friends are evolutionists, so I am consequently used to being a minority associating primarily with the majority. I have found some evolutionists can be absolutely vicious against creationists on this topic. Why they are so nasty and angry has always intrigued me.
One concern is evolutionists
the power today in the West, and in Professor Johnson's words they also
have the microphone, which insures that only approved words
spoken therefrom. Thank God we have magazines like the Investigator
that are willing to look at both sides! Hopefully readers will take
this short missive in the spirit in which it is intended. I could
pen a 35-page article in response to Mr. Potter's response, but
I now have many more pressing research commitments I must fulfil first.
In short, I don't think he even began to respond to my concerns but
around them, mostly not contradicting but adding to what I said. I at
want to note that controversy still exists in this area, even about
of the conclusions widely thought to be settled long ago which Potter
in his article. Dr. Dewdney, an associate professor of mathematics at
University of Western Ontario, Canada. claims that:
Further, a recent study by University of Illinois anthropologist Dr. Ambrose illustrates the concern that I raised in my paper which still exists among evolutionists and has not been answered. Writing in the current Journal of Human Evolution, Dr. Ambrose concluded humans are one family with more differences within the races than between the races because we historically went through a genetic bottleneck, causing the extinction of most or all human-family tree branches.
result the wide
diversity of humans
that evolution requires which I discussed in my paper was lost and a
species resulted which looked like they were all descendants of a
common ancestor. This bottle neck theory which sorely lacks all but
circumstantial evidence appears to be designed to explain what exists
evolution even though what exists is predicted and better explained by
creationism, not evolution.
Bergman, Jerry and George
Howe. 1990. Vestigial
Organs Are Fully Functional. Terre Haute IN: CRS Books.
Bhargava, Pushpa. 1998. "Nonsense in Indian Science." Nature, 395: 233-234, September.
Dewdney, A. K. 1997. Yes We have no Neutrons. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Johnson, Philip. Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. 1997. Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press.
________ 1998. Objections Sustained. Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law, and Culture. Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press.
Potter, Bob. "Bergman, Evolution and Race Theory." Investigator May 1997, 54: 30-34.
You, Ming. and Bergman, Gerald. 1998. Preclinical and Clinical Models of Lung Cancer Chemoprevention. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, 12(5): 8 1-87, October.
John H Williams BSc (Hons)
(Investigator 66, 1999 May)
However, I am dismissively contemptuous, without being overly "emotional" of creationism and scientific creationism when the level of argument is based on the miraculous (‘god of the gaps'), and when ignorance (why read when a literal acceptance of The Bible is all that is needed?) is profound. Worse, the behaviour of leading creationists in pushing their agenda, has been reprehensible, 'the end justifies the means', and very unscientific.
I'm sure that Jerry would want to distance himself from the weird writings of a creationist icon like Duane Gish (Evolution: The Fossils Say No 1986), whose work has been thoroughly discredited, for example; in debating Geology Professor Ian Plimer, or from the ingenious but completely false 'calculations' of Australian Barry Setterfield who 'showed' that there's been "speed of light decay", hence 'explaining' why such an awful lot has happened in the last 6000 years or so; or from the silly but superficially plausible articles in the glossy Ex NihiloTechnical Journal.
One Australian academic (Michael Archer), said on having spent two years reading "everything available in creationist literature", he "risked a self-inflicted frontal lobotomy"!
I wonder, does Jerry believe that evolution is the work of the devil, and that choosing the devil means going to hell (we'd first have to debate the existence of the devil and hell), and that a belief in evolution and a belief in god are incompatible? From the tone of his article I would think that he's unlikely to be dogmatic about two supposed beings and one supposed place, since there's not one iota of evidence to support their existence. I assume he'd be embarrassed by theology masquerading as wonky science since he's apparently rational, well-read and even-handed in his approach. Yet he has difficulty coming to terms with the immense ill-feeling generated by creationists (has he really no idea why?); the lack of funding for creationist research and why evolutionary ideas "hold the power and "the microphone" in our culture.
If Jerry, who comes over as someone who appears to have read everything worth reading, should browse through The Creation Science Controversy, by Brian Price he'll discover why so many creationists are reviled by those "emotional" evolutionists. His'colleagues' are inclined to lie, cook the figures, say they'll withdraw discredited ideas–then don't, practice fraud and deception and promulgate false scientific ideas. Some indoctrinate young minds, force-feeding medieval nonsense, backed up with the threat of damnation/hell-fire for those who resist. So far I'm prepared to respect Jerry's position because he didn't submit a "35 page article" in response to Bob Potter's critique (thanks!). His comments were mostly reasonable and sane, although his final sentence, "…even though what exists is predicted and better explained by creationism, not evolution", was ominously sweeping.
I have some statistical quibbles about Jerry's comments on his tobacco-smoking colleague, as well as concerns about his views on vestigialism, but won't comment until I've checked the literature, especially the work of Paul Davies, Stephen Jay Gould and critics of conventional neo-Darwinian theory, such as Richard Milton (The Facts of Life:Shattering the Myth of Darwinism). Some creationists have made valid criticisms too, while some never miss an opportunity to indulge in the amusing'sport' of knocking Darwinism, just as scientists like to send up'Arkeology', and films showing fossils of dinosaur and human footprints together.
Good scientists ought to question the evidence to see how well it matches the theory and many do, even the ones Jerry may think behave irrationally with regard to their biochemical addictions. The Darwinian paradigm is widely accepted but clearly has problem areas. I'm open to a creationists' criticism of it, as long as god isn't invoked to'explain' the'gaps' and it's clear his/her religious beliefs are not involved.
I've spent several years studying geology, hammering and chipping away in the geological playground that is Wales (Cambrian means Wales and the Silurian and Ordovician periods were named from ancient, non-mythical, Welsh tribes). I spent almost as much time in quarries as I did in the classroom in my late teens, and I have a distinct practical'feel' for things paleontological. I also studied Zoology for A-level and at university, so I don't take kindly to scientific illiterates who dismiss fossils as "scratchings" (palaeograffiti?).
How can someone who's dug up thousands of fossils covering half a billion years over nine geological periods convince the scientifically challenged who swallow wholesale the mindless pap put out by Duane Gish et al, and who will not see beyond their beliefs? "Ah, those grooves in this (glacier-planed and-striated) surface (at Black Rock, Hallett Cove, 270 million years old) can't be so, because everything is less than 6000 years old and when you come back to my place I'll show you some books which will prove me right": it once happened to me and it shocked me to the core, since the speaker was a university-educated former lawyer. I challenge Jerry, or anyone else, to demonstrate, using verifiable evidence, that this person was right.
To summarise my position: I don't believe in any supernatural forces. I view our species as one of 10 million or so. We live, then cease to be, en route thinking up an amazing variety of beliefs to help'explain' what is and what was. A healthy skepticism is de rigeur when dealing with ideas for which there is no body of substantiated evidence. Although the mechanisms of evolutionary processes are not known precisely, it does not invalidate evolution. It is not hard to take the words of respected scientists on evolution and quote them out of context to bolster creationist agenda.
I agree with the near-unanimous opinion of "72 US Nobel Prize winners, The US National Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Science, that creation science is "utter nonsense". There are some creationists with whom one can have an informed and intelligent debate; it's futile to debate evolutionary ideas with fundamentalists, literalists and believers in the supernatural.
Creation science has, since about I980, infiltrated classrooms in some Australian states, courtesy of the Christian Science Foundation Ltd, which is supported by the Institute for Creation Research in California. These organisations are slick, well funded and effective in achieving their goals, so much so that at one time approximately 20% of first-year undergraduates entering the universities of Newcastle and New South Wales believed the universe was created 6000 years ago.
quotations from academics
at these universities:
To teach what "scientific" creationists want taught will mean telling students…that:…all dinosaurs, lions, snakes and venus fly traps ate plants until Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (prior to which time there was no death);…that…continental drift took place in the last 4,000 years; that dinosaurs survived the flood…and became the legendary fire-breathing dragons…in story books; that when the flood receded 3999 years ago, all kinds of organisms landed on a volcano and walked (slithered or whatever) from there to every continent without stopping along the way in any inappropriate places; that the vast majority of the fossil record formed in one year… Professor Michael Archer, University of New South Wales
(ibid) pp 6-7
Alderman A. R. Southern
Aspect, An Introductory
View of SA Geology. The SA Museum, Adelaide 1973
Bergman, Jerry: Factors Involved in Determining the Validity of a Worldview The Investigator 64:48-52, January 1999
Miiton, R The Facts of Life: Shattering The Myth Darwinism. Fourth Estate. London 1992
Price, Barry. The Creation Science Controversy. Millennium Books, 1990
Gish D. T. Evolution? The Fossils Say No (San Diego Creation-Life). 1986
Setterfield, B. "Carbon-14 Dating, Tree-Ring Dating and Speed of Light Decay", Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Vol 2, pp. 169-188
WAITING FOR GODOT/BERGMAN
(Investigator 66, 1999 May)
I'm sure regular readers of the Investigator magazine will understand my disappointment that Jerry Bergman "unfortunately (has) many more pressing research commitments" which still prevent him from penning "a 35-page article" answering my critique of his 'Paper on Racism' – even though a proper reply of that length(!) would, he says, he an "easy" thing for him to do.
I have obviously been mistaken in believing that my critique raised important points, each of which I had spelled out and documented in considerable detail. But rather than face this "easy" task, Bergman chooses to search for a "hidden agenda"; this he concludes is a covert attack upon "creationism".
I must admit to being quite stunned by this absurd claim. I have never found it necessary to keep my agendas 'hidden' – nor have I ever felt inclined to 'attack' creationism. If Bergman, or anybody else, chooses to believe in a 'creator', good luck to him. It's not the hypothesis I'd choose – but wouldn't it be a boring world if we all thought the same?
Having 'ducked the issue' in this neat way, Bergman proceeds to launch into the 'vestigial organ argument'. This question, proposed, he says, by old-fashioned evolutionists, has now been "demolished" – and as evidence supporting his claim, he refers us to a powerful authority; himself (1990)!!
However, as no less a person than Charles Darwin had much to say about rudimentary and vestigial matters, we can only hope that the 'so busy' Bergman will eventually find the time to share his expertise on this topic with the readers of Investigator magazine – hopefully, in the form of an article which will explain how "medical research has adequately confirmed" the functions of the humanoid 'third eyelid', the 'shell of the ear', the 'toenails and fingernails' and so on.
I was so pleased to learn that Bergman is familiar with the authorities I suggested – but I still do not understand why he chooses, therefore not to use them. Instead, he cites no less than 146 references none of whom were academics in the subject area; rather they are, almost exclusively, journalists. To an ordinary individual such as myself, this seems a very strange way for an academic with Bergman's impressive qualifications to go about his business! And I continue to he amazed. In his most recent little note (Investigator 64) he continues in like fashion, this time citing a mathematics professor (!) who tells us that the differences in IQ between American whites and blacks are "small" – while still endorsing that the difference is one standard deviation. In statistical terms this is a very large difference, representing 34% of the scores!
Bergman adds to this confusion by introducing additional anecdotal evidence about his colleagues who smoke and develop "long plausible arguments to justify their self-destructive behaviour". Personally, I never met a smoker who didn't accept the evidence; they just hoped that they, as an individual, would escape the consequences of their habit. But what on earth has all this to do with Bergman's 'Paper on Racism'?
Of course, I cannot compete with Jerry Bergman's numerous PhDs (I only managed to achieve one of them), nor with his scores of other accredited qualifications. Perhaps the disparity between us, in this respect, is explained in terms of finance?! For example, whereas Bergman is a member of the 'Academy of Sciences', I chose not to send the requested $42, when my unsolicited 'accreditation' duly arrived. So I never did get the offered 'embossed', 'frameable' certificate, with the advertised pink ribbon attached!
These remarks are not intended to denigrate American academia. Certainly in disciplines that interest me the most, their publications are, in my view, superior to their English equivalents. But, alongside this, in the United States, especially now in conjunction with the widespread 'dumbing down' process, degrees and qualifications are sold like cornflakes in supermarkets.
All the more reason, therefore, that the topics raised in my critique should be addressed in an academic fashion – and not as an exercise in 'name collecting', or anecdotal tales of fellow professors (in America, any teacher/lecturer in an academic institution becomes a'professor'!). An Investigator article hardly warrants 147 references, even if they were proper academic references.
Hopefully, Jerry Bergman will find time to let us have his "conclusions about origins". We know they are "well thought out", because he has told us so. Share them with us, Jerry – don't waste time looking for and inventing 'hidden agendas'.