July 5, 2018 | Jerry Bergman

Blunders Without Number: The Fraud Problems and Darwinism

Blunders without Number: The Fraud Problems and Darwinism

One of the most respected medical journals in the world, New England Journal of Medicine, recently “retracted and republished a landmark study on the Mediterranean diet, and issued an unprecedented five other corrections after an obscure report last year scrutinized thousands of articles in eight journals over more than a decade and questioned some methods.”[1] At about the same time, Cornell University reported it was investigating “a wide range of allegations of research misconduct” raised against a prominent food marketing Cornell faculty member.

The fact is, fraud is a major problem in scholarly publishing today. One evidence of this is that the retraction rate is definitely increasing.[2] And, according to New York University health journalism professor Dr. Ivan Oransky, there are ten times as many corrections as retractions. Dr. Oransky is a co-founder of the website Retraction Watch, that tracks the thousands of errors in science journals that they have been able to identify since the website was founded. Given his data, of the about 1,350 papers that were retracted in 2016, about 13,000 “corrections” were required. This number tabulated only the errors and the cases that they managed to document. No doubt many more occurred but were not detected, something that is not very easy to do.

Sources of Error

Most academic-based research is done by graduate students and, if not supervised carefully, mistakes can occur, partly because they are students just learning their trade. When mistakes or errors happen during their training, a temptation exists to attempt to cover up the mistake by adjusting the data, throwing out values that they suspect are wrong, such as misreading a measurement, then estimating what must have been the correct value. A strong motivation exists to do this, namely to complete their work to receive their degree and enter the real world to become employed to pay off student loans and start their career and/or marry their sweetheart

One of the most common mistakes in science is confirmation bias, a tendency to search for, or interpret, information in such a way that conforms to one’s preconceptions, leading to incorrect conclusions and even statistical errors.[3] This is an enormous problem in evolution which is described by critics as distorting the world through one’s evolution glasses.

Worldview Bias

Some behavior is observed, such as female preference for men taller than themselves, which causes curious researchers to look for an interpretation to help them understand why. An evolutionist will often interpret this difference in male and female average heights as due to females sexually selecting tall men due to the perception that they can better take care of them and any children they birth. Thus, its advocates claim that evolutionary sexual selection theory explains this physical trait.

A biologist may explain the same physical difference as due to male hormonal differences, such as testosterone levels produced as a result of male chromosome regulation. A creationist would add that this biological difference existed as a result of design in the original creation of Adam and Eve. An evolutionist may also add that the hormone differences were due to sexual selection of the height trait which in turn resulted in the hormonal differences.

How leading experts can be fooled.

What science has documented is the biological connection between chromosomes and male traits such as height. Worldview then causes confirmational bias, in this case both by the creationist and evolutionist, thus both need to recognize this. Darwinists, though, often do not. They claim that ‘science’ has shown the cause of height differences, when actually evolutionists applied sexual selection theory as a result of their worldview, not science. Likewise, creationists view it as due to inherent design, a better explanation because it is based only on the observations. Inherent design is a fact both sides agree on.

As one Indiana University Professor wrote, “whenever science meets some ideological barrier, scientists are accused of, at best, self-deception, and, at worst, deliberate fraud,”[4] a fact that has been well documented by the 12 case histories in my book Evolution’s Blunders, Frauds and Forgeries.[5] There is no shortage of examples of this self-deception. I am now working on a second volume that contains 12 more case histories of  evolution’s blunders, frauds and forgeries.

Why Darwinism Is Prone to Error

Confirmation bias is especially a problem in evolution for several reasons. Intolerance of creationism in scientific institutions strongly opposes alternative theories, especially those that involve outside influence such as implied by Intelligent Design. I once wrote a well-documented paper on a major problem of evolution which was rejected by the editor. The reviewers noted “you did an excellent job explaining and documenting a major problem of evolution. Now solve it,” by which he meant deal with the problem within a naturalistic evolutionary framework so that the problem is explained in such a way that allows evolutionary naturalism to remain a viable theory.

One last example illustrates that evolutionary bias can cost both lives and health. Darwin concluded that ‘descent with modification’ theory (the phrase he used for evolution), explained that “the existence of organs in a rudimentary, imperfect, and useless condition, or quite aborted, far from presenting a strange difficulty, as they assuredly do on the old doctrine of creation, might even have been anticipated in accordance with [evolution].”[6]

In 1911 a creationist medical doctor wrote the “Darwinian construction of ‘rudimentary organs’ is utterly untenable. There are no rudimentary organs, the function of the organs so called are gradually being discovered.” He added the “two rudimentary organs which are still being abused are the tonsils and the appendix. The tonsils have … a protective function.”[1][7] It took us over a century to prove this German medical doctor correct. Why did it take so long? The reason is partly due to the blinders that belief in evolution puts on scientists. A leading anatomy textbook published in 1908 said that the use of the tonsils “is not known, and it is often removed by the doctor when it becomes enlarged, as is the case in many children.”[8]

Blunders Harm Real People

Recently the largest long-term study on tonsillectomy ever completed was published in JAMA. A total of 1.2 million subjects were in the study, including children born between 1979 and 1999. Of those, 17,460 underwent adenoidectomy and 11,830 a tonsillectomy within the first 9 years of life. Their health records were compared to the 1,157,684 who retained both their adenoids and tonsils.

The 30-year research follow-up concluded the modest benefits of the operation mostly vanish by the age of 40. As many as one in five people who underwent a tonsillectomy suffered from serious diseases they would otherwise never be burdened with. The common childhood procedure more than tripled asthma risk, doubled the rate of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, upper respiratory tract diseases, and conjunctivitis. It also increased the risk of allergies, influenza, pneumonia, and infectious disease in general.

One reason for these dramatic increased risks was that removing tonsils during the first decade of life interferes with proper immune system development and significantly reduces protection against future disease. Fortunately, the removal procedure rate has dropped from a high around 200,000 annually in the 1950s to under 50,000 today. This is in marked contrast to the trend a few years ago when a recurring sore throat alone prompted their removal.

We now know that tonsils are the first line of the body’s defense system, thus the study director urged pediatricians to drastically limit or at least delay tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies as long as possible. How many people will end up sick and suffer from some disease or die early due to this past blunder of evolution can only be estimated, but the number is not by any means small.[9] Worldwide it involves multiple millions of victims.

Footnotes

[1] Marchione, Marilynn. 2018. Science Says: What happens when researchers make mistakes. June 13, PHYS.Org. https://phys.org/news/2018-06-science.html.

[2] Marchione, 2018.

[3] Kentrick, Douglas et al.,2018.  Anti-Science thinking. Scientific America. 319(1): 36-41. July

[4] Chris Lee. 2010. Confirmation bias in science: how to avoid it http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/conf.bias.article.pdf

[5] Atlanta, GA: CMI Publishing. 2017.

[6] Darwin, Charles. 1859. The Origin of Species. London: John Murray. p. pp. 346-350 and 1871. The Descent of Man: And Selection in Relation to Sex. Rudiments pp 17-30. London: John Murray.

[7] Schultz, Alford. 1911. The End of Darwinism. New York: Schultz Publishing Co. p. 13

[8] Davison, Alvin. 1908. The Human Body and Health. New York: American Book Company. p. 134. Emphasis added.

[9] Byars, Sean G.; Stephen C. Stearns and Jacobus J. Boomsma, 2018. Association of Long-Term Risk of Respiratory, Allergic, and Infectious Diseases With Removal of Adenoids and Tonsils in Childhood. JAMA Otolaryngology; Head and Neck Surgery. Published online June 7, 2018. E1-E13.


Author Jerry Bergman, PhD

Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. He is currently a staff scientist at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). See his Author Profile for his previous articles and more information.

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