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Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret Paperback – 20 Jul 2017
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About the Author
Mike Sutton has a first degree in law and PhD in criminology from the University of Central Lancashire. He was for 14 years a senior criminologist at the British Home Office, Queen Anne's Gate. In 2001, he became Reader in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University, where he founded the 'Centre for Reduction of Bias, Prejudice and Hate Crime'. He is co-owner and joint founder with Jane Bembridge of the Internet Journal of Criminology. In 1999, Mike won the British Journal of Criminology Prize with David Mann, for their published research on hackers, which was judged to have made the greatest contribution to criminological knowledge in 1998-1999. Mike is the originator of the Market Reduction Approach to Theft and the Supermyth concept. In 2014, he used the BigData-IDD method to originally find publications that bust the audacious 155-year-old myth started by Darwin, firstly that apparently no naturalists, and later no one at all, had read Patrick Matthew's (1831) prior publication of the full theory of macroevolution by natural selection. Mike uniquely discovered seven naturalists had in fact cited Matthew's book before 1858. Darwin knew four and three played major roles at the epicenter of influence on Darwin's pre-1858 work on natural selection. His second edition of Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret includes Sutton's guilt escalating typology of 'knowledge contamination', which typifies the various ways orignal ideas spread both in writing and orally.
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Now, did Darwin know about PM's writings in NTA? Unlike the letter cited above there is no absolute proof of existence of documentary evidence. However Sutton provides a substantive case with numerous examples of likely routes to Darwin knowing of content. Sutton principally uses computerised methodologies to compare word patterns and phrases in texts to “mine” for this evidence. You may or may not be convinced - but, as another reviewer has said, on the balance of probabilities it would seem likely that Darwin was indeed aware.
If you are reading this then you must be interested in the topic so why not read the book (which admittedly could do with a good “edit”) and judge for yourself.
I would also like to add that I'm surprised at the virulence of, I assume, the “pro Darwin “ lobby protesters here and elsewhere. It is perfectly reasonable for Sutton to argue his case. Why the need for obnoxious comment? I smell a rat ! - desperation to support the unsupportable?
The world needs challengers like Sutton – good luck to him I say.
A word of warning: the book could have been much better edited: there are sentences which are very difficult to make any sense from, and passages which read as though one is in a courtroom rather than trying to follow an historical argument. It is also at time unneccesarily repetitive. Putting that on one side his case is, in the opinion of this author, proved beyond reasonable doubt: both C Darwin and A Wallace were plaigarists. Sutton provides many examples of where both authors change the word order in phrases, and use whole passages where the word order has only been slightly altered. One or two examples may have been coincidence: Sutton shows that there were an impossibly large number of coincidences if this were the case. That some members of the Royal Society, (including at least one former president), would deny this is of no consequence: the evidence speaks for itself. As the title of the books suggests (it translates as nothing by word - the motto of the Royal Society), we should review the evidence and make our judgements based on that alone. Unfortunateley academic scientists and historians have been and continue to be less than honest both in the 19th century and since. The politics of academe have and always will be used to distort or conceal the truth about ideas and events: history is full of such examples and Sutton has revealed another one.
The book confronts one of the Darwin’s key defense that he did not know of Patrick Matthew’s work prior to his publication with various evidence showing how impossible it was for Darwin to have missed reading NTA. This makes the argument in Nullius in Verba stronger than prior investigations, which highlighted Darwin’s plagiarism but had failed to strongly defend their argument for this accusation. With the use of IDD method, Sutton was able to marshal more evidence from different independent sources that exposed Darwin’s lie. Sutton puts emphasis on these discoveries and connection at the cost of making the book a bit too repetitive. From which, Sutton apologized at the end of last but two chapters.
The book underscores Darwin Industry defensive attitude. Darwin Industry underlies the centuries old institutional structure whose mandate, unfortunately, has been more of defense to Darwin’s name than the scientific inquiry and development. I think if the Darwin Industry cared more about science, they would have embraced the scientific debate of who the originator of ‘natural selection’ was and advanced the same. This would have liberated Darwin’s name from the shameful plagiarizing image to a true hero- who advanced/ promoted the theory of ‘natural selection’ that was originally discovered by Patrick Matthew.
Well, in Swahili we say “siku za mwizi ni arobaini” meaning “the days of a thief are forty” – and with this I believe, it is only a matter of time that it will be a universal knowledge that Matthew and not Darwin is the originator of ‘natural selection’. The truth will always stand.