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THE FLAT EARTH:
THE REMARKABLE HISTORY
OF A SCIENTIFIC THEORY?
A REVIEW OF EDWARD LARSON'S
"EVOLUTION: THE REMARKABLE HISTORY
OF A SCIENTIFIC THEORY"

Every couple of years we are re-introduced to Charles Darwin and his theory by one of his devotees seeking to prop up the now nearly defunct concept of evolution. One recent example would be Edward Larson's book, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory.
Mr. Larson has proven quite well with his book that sacred cows not only wander peacefully and unthreatened throughout the sub-continent of India, but they still have their place securely enshrined in academia as well, even among Pulitzer Prize recipients.
The first clue should have been the subtitle "The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory". 
Were you to substitute "the theory of the flat earth" for every instance in his book where he used the word "evolution", you would have a book not one whit less scientific than the one that he has written, although a scattering of the historical facts would probably be pretty much the same.
It is amazing that a law professor who is supposed to be trained to critically investigate evidence has written a book that is so poorly researched, so full of errors and old wives tales. There is not one smidgen of scientific evidence throughout the entire book to validate Darwin's "theory".
He has used illustrations in his book to support the theory of evolution that have been disproven for over a century. Let's look at a few examples.
Mr. Larson mentions "Java man" as one of the keystones in the saga of man's evolution from ape.
The Selenka-Trinil Expedition of 1907-08 was organized by Professor Emil Selenka to go to Java and investigate Java man more fully, since the original discoverer of Java Man, Eugene Dubois, was acting strangely and hiding some of his fossils from others. Selenka died before the expedition could start, so his widow, Frau Selenka, who was a professor and academician, made the trip.
Eventually seventeen crates of fossils were brought back to Germany. Seventeen scientists investigated the crates. A scientific report of 342 pages based on the findings was published in 1911 titled "Die Pithecanthropus-Schichen auf Java." 
The result? Java man was not the ancestor of modern humans. The fossil was a fraud. The femur came from a modern man, while the teeth are thought to have come from an orangutang.
Professor Larson presents us with Hugo de Vries experiments on the primrose plant as excellent examples proving evolution. Larson has done sloppy research. He is apparently unaware that as long ago as 1922 Science Magazine had discounted the research; de Vries came up with nothing except different varieties of plants within the same species, but no evidence for evolution:

"Twenty years ago de Vries made what looked like a promising attempt to supply this (evidence for new species appearing among natural offspring) as far as Oenothera [Primrose] is concerned . . .but in application to that phenomenon the theory of mutation falls. We see novel forms appearing, but they are no new species of Oenothera. For that which comes out is no new creation." (Science, Jan. 20, 1922; from an address by Professor William Bateson addressing a group of scientists in Toronto)

The fruit fly research has been so thoroughly discredited that it has almost been laughed out of most scientific circles, yet Mr. Larson adds this to his list of evidences for evolution.
After exposing many thousands of generations of fruit flies to radiation to find evidence for mutation producing new species, evolutionists wound up with  . . . more fuit flies; and not a new, improved, better fruit fly either. They had fruit flies with leg appendages popping out where the wings should be, fruit flies with extra pairs of useless wings, blind fruit flies, sterile fruit flies, dead fruit flies, but nothing else besides a fruit fly, and none of the mutated fruit flies demonstrated any improvement in survival value, a major tenet in evolutionary theory. So much for mutation being a factor in producing a new species. This would be like ramming cars together in a demolition derby to come up with a newer model of car with improved design. (Yes, but after millions of years of ramming cars together . . .)
The hackneyed old yarn has merely been repeated in Professor Larson's book that we have read before in "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" by Daniel C. Dennett; "What Evolution Is" by Ernst Mayr (as if we didn't know by now), and a host of other Darwin books written over the past few years as evolutionists have circled their wagons to fend off the assaults of those heathen "creationists", who by the way, have much more to science on their side than the rather sad revisionism of Mr. Larson in this latest attempt to "set the record straight".
Larson has the typical slavish slack-jawed adulation for Darwin that nearly all evolutionists have, with the same wide-eyed embellishment of his accomplishments: We read again the shibboleth about Darwin the great scientist; Darwin who shocked the world with his novel idea about evolution; how Darwin proved evolution and developed the theory from carefully researched scientific facts, etc.
None of this is even remotely close to being historically accurate, much of it is hype to play on the legend of Darwin of the Apes.
Larson repeats the old shibboleth of religion vs. science in his book, and of course equates evolution with science itself, instead of just a shaky theory on the last vestiges of extinction. Larson also mentions, without criticism, Darwin's comparison of the natives of South America with orangutangs in his early notes, but fails to implicate Darwin in the bloody consequences of this comparison, nor does he go into detail on the history of evolutionary thought in Darwin's own family tree very well. With such a plethora of really good books exposing Darwinism over the past few years, such as Taylor's "The Great Evolution Mystery" (Taylor was actually a scientist), we have to resort to this type of pseudo-documentary, poorly written folderol from the pen of Larson, which is really a subtle slap in the face to those of more conservative and Biblical views, as we can plainly see from Larson's previous career with liberal pundits in politics.
One wonders why Mr. Larson's book was even necessary; there is certainly nothing new in what he has written. Perhaps to apply a little plaster to the aging facade of Darwin's "great discovery"?

This book is in fact a follow up to his earlier book on the Scopes Trial. Mr. Larson is a lawyer. Like any good lawyer, right up front he admitted the most negative aspects of his case (evolution) to diffuse the focus on those things that would be the most damaging to it. This is what he did with his first book on the Scopes Trial, Summer of the Gods.
The Scopes Trial has for many years been touted by evolutionists as the great victory of science over religious bigotry and superstition. This has recently been proven to be untrue; there was very little science introduced during the trial, and the true bigots were the liberals and the evolutionists, not the Christians. William Jennings Bryan had a much more comprehensive grasp of science and evolution than Darrow ever had. The broadway play and movie that promoted the trial from an evolutionist perspective, "Inherit the Wind" has recently been exposed for what it really was: A piece of evolutionary revisionist propaganda that had very little to do with the actual events of the trial itself. (This expose' on the inaccuracy of the play was well documented by David N. Menton, a creationist, at least 10 years before Mr. Larson wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning book on the trial. A full year before the publication of Mr. Larson's book on the Scopes trial, Carol Iannone also published the truth about the fraudulent movie version of the Scopes Trial. It is difficult to believe that Mr. Larson was entirely unaware of these two sources when he published his book.)
So after admitting in his first book some of the most damaging evidence to the campaign to promote evolution, Mr. Larson has written this second book promoting evolution; again admitting at first that Darwin had very little to do with the orign of evolutionary theory itself, yet still showering Darwin with fawning tribute for his tremendous "discovery". But there was no discovery. No new facts were added to the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin. Indeed, no facts ever existed at all for the theory, as can be seen from Larson's book. What he has documented is the history of an opinion, of a belief system, and the men who held to that belief system. The book is filled with their opinions, not facts.
This is not a neutral book written by an objective man, he has an agenda, though he attempts to hide it. Read some of Larson's other articles, read some of the links of those who recommend the book, and you will find the typical liberal mindset in it's full blown manifestation of historical hyperventilation. Larson is a colleague and former student of Ronald Numbers, an anti-creationist and self described apostate from Christianity. Mr. Larson is simply a shill for the ongoing evolutionist propaganda machine. Both men are Darwinian sycophants, making their living by feeding off of the legend of Charles Darwin.

This book is not about science, and it is not good history either: It is an ideological piece of liberal propaganda written to support the secular anti-Biblical worldview which unfortunately has made it's way into the American court system with recent rulings such as those equating sodomy with the sacrament of marriage, and Mr. Larson, in his capacity as a law professor, is a typical representative of this latest type of group-think that has unfortunately all too often made the pretense of being well thought out scholarship.

Rutherford Bloussiephas Finch
  2004