Category Archives: evolution

New reviews of A. N. Wilson’s debunking biography of Darwin

The reviews are starting to come in for A. N. Wilson’s new Darwin-debunking book, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.),which I mentioned here. The book not only trashes Darwin as a white supremacist, careerist, and purloiner of other people’s ideas, but also goes after evolution itself, which Wilson […]

Wilson’s book on Darwin trashed again, this time in the Guardian and the Evening Standard

A. N. Wilson, prolific but seemingly sloppy biographer, at least of Darwin, has published two excerpts of his new book, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.). One was in the Evening Standard, and the other in the Times, but both were misguided and splenetic. (I haven’t yet read […]

A. N. Wilson beats up Darwin again, this time in The Times

I don’t know how A. N. Wilson managed to get several deeply misguided pieces published about his new Darwin biography, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.), but the piece in the Evening Standard, “It’s time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was” (oy!), has now been […]

Iraq reportedly deleting evolution from the biology curriculum

After Turkey just removed evolution from the secondary-school science curriculum, we get a report (as of yet unconfirmed) that the same is happening in Iraq. On his website Primate’s Progress, Paul Braterman gives a link to a rather scattered page on The Medium in which Abdulrahman Al Makhzomy reports that Iraq is dropping evolution from its […]

The new Turkish curriculum: more Qur’an and jihad, less evolution and Ataturk

Over the past year I’ve written repeatedly about the terrible things happening in Turkey since Recep Erdoğan took over as the country’s President in 2014.  Once a vibrant and largely secular nation thanks to the vision of Kemal Atatürk, Turkey is being ground down by the heel of its new pro-Islamic government, which clearly intends to […]

A book on Darwin damned in New Scientist

A while back, several readers sent me an Evening Standard article by A. N. Wilson, “It’s time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was.” That turned out to be a precis of a new book by Wilson, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.). Of course the […]

Aeon tries to revive Lamarck, calling for a “paradigm” shift in evolution

UPDATE:  As reader Michael found out and reveals in a comment below, Skinner is well funded by Templeton. It crossed my mind, but I thought, “naaaah. . .” and couldn’t be arsed to look it up. But yes, Skinner is eating well from the Templeton trough. It’s pretty clear that Templeton is deeply invested in […]

Thursday: My duck

On the way back from the hospital (verdict: no surgery, just finger therapy—yay!), I passed the pond and called for Honey, my female mallard (hen), which I do by emitting three quick whistles. She didn’t come swimming towards me as usual, and at first I thought she’d flown the coop for good, which is going […]

When evolution goes wrong. . .

Here’s a cartoon sent by reader Thomas; it’s from “Wrong Hands“, drawn by John Atkinson: I don’t mind the birds evolving from dinosaurs, or the evolutionary stasis of the platypus (if indeed there was any stasis, for the earliest monotremes, which did exist about 110 million years ago, looked nothing like a platypus). But oy, […]

The complex evolution of the big cats

A new paper in Science Advances by Henrique V. Figueiró et al. (reference below, free download with legal UnPaywall app) resolves the contested phylogeny (family tree) of five big cat species: lion, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, and tiger. In so doing, the researchers uncovered some interesting evolutionary history. Previously, the family tree of this group had […]