Evolution Fist Fight at the Wistar Institute

The now-famous Wistar evolution conference took place exactly 50 years ago at the University of Pennsylvania. An all-star panel of mathematicians, biologists and engineers debated the merits of Neo-Darwinism… based on MATH.

The verdict:

The engineers and mathematicians said, “No way Jose.”

The biologists said, “You guys are ignorant. You don’t understand.”

OK, it wasn’t a fist fight… but it was intense. Fascinating to read even 50 years later. MIT and ivy-league guys duking it out over evolutionary theory.

The papers and transcripts are published in a book called “Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution.” You can still get copies, if you don’t mind dropping a couple hundred bucks. (It’s good, but I don’t recommend you pay $200 for it.)

I secured a copy through my local library. Fascinating stuff, especially considering people have now been arguing about THIS conference for 50 years.

By: MartialArtsNomad.com

The math guys insisted, “This dog don’t hunt. The numbers are impossible. Your model doesn’t work. Back to the drawing board.” But the biologists fired back: “The model works just fine. Look, stuff obviously evolves. What part of this don’t you understand?”

The biologists couldn’t make the numbers work, and mostly dodged the question. The two sides talked past each other for most of the conference.

The question is not whether evolution happens. It does and we can plainly observe it: new structures and species in days, weeks or months. The question is: Where the do the innovations come from? Are they random and accidental? Or are they produced by systems?

None of this was arguments about creationism or whatever. It was simply a study of whether the Neo-Darwinian model actually works. Well, it doesn’t because it’s mathematically impossible. The actual statistics for the idea that random events can improve codes are absurd.

Nowhere in the literature will you find a sound statistical case FOR the assertion that random copying errors, combined with natural selection, can actually generate new species. Run the numbers and you’ll find they’re the worst odds to be found in all of science. Old-school Darwinists are trained early and often to dodge these discussions about probability.

If you have a scientific model and the math doesn’t work, your model is broken. Period. End of story. You need another model.

Most of the biologists were unwilling to accept this. They seemed to feel personally threatened. You hear vitriol and bickering in the transcripts.

New Paradigm for Evolution

The thing they lacked then – that we do have now – was a Post Modern Synthesis. A new model for evolution. When the Wistar conference was held, Barbara McClintock was still 15 years away from winning her Nobel Prize. Symbiogenesis theory had been nearly lost to Russian history, and Lynn Margulis was just starting her crusade to resurrect and popularize it in the west.

Horizontal Gene Transfer was barely understood. Genome Duplication via Hybridization was vastly underrated. We couldn’t sequence genomes and there were no Craig Venter type guys hacking cells and rebuilding their genomes.

Today we know organisms respond to threats in real time and systematically re-arrange their DNA. Cells perform feats in minutes that chance could never achieve in a trillion years. Evolution defies entropy and randomness – through Natural Genetic Engineering.

Old-school Darwinism has been hacking and wheezing for decades. But now it’s dying of emphysema. Meanwhile a promising new synthesis is upon us, one that restores live, results-based experiments to the evolution debate.

Landmark New Conference

In November 2016, The Royal Society of London hosted a conference called “New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives.”

300 scientists from around the world gathered to evaluate a sea change in evolutionary theory. I was there, as did many leaders of the “Third Way” movement. Such a conference would NEVER have happened five years ago. It would have been too politically incorrect, too threatening to the Neo-Darwinian monopoly.

The London event crippled the twilight efforts to sustain Darwinism by its last holdouts. Folks like Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins, who continue to propagate a version of science that practicing scientists abandoned long ago.

Two exchanges were particularly memorable.

Here’s my account of what happened http://evo2.​org/royal-society-evolution/

Download The First 3 Chapters of Evolution 2.0 For Free, Here – https://evo2.org/evolution/

Where Did Life And The Genetic Code Come From? Can The Answer Build Superior AI? The #1 Mystery In Science Now Has A $10 Million Prize. Learn More About It, Here – https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

33 Responses

  1. ted bauer says:

    very intresting /thankyou for sharing information!

  2. Ed Secco says:

    “Cells perform feats in minutes that chance could never achieve in a trillion years.”.

    This is because cells have life. They are not merely a collection of atoms and molecules. This is a metaphysical and supernatural explanation that atheists refuse to acknowledge because it contradicts their religion. That last sentence is correct. Atheism is a religious belief based on materialism. But without any explanation of origins. It hangs its hat on science, but without God there is no science. Without God nothing exists.

    • Paul Cotton says:

      Atheism is a refusal to accept the existence of a supernatural being for which there is not a single scrap of evidence. I do not believe that fairies exist either but that does not make it a religion, simply a lack of belief. Your God is a product of original ignorance, followed by millennia of indoctrination. God is man made – not the other way around.

      • Glen says:

        Let us suppose you are the smartest person ever to walk the earth. That being said, it is possible you may be using 10% of your brain which means out of all there is to know and understand 90% still remains. Being intelligent one would have to admit that quite possibly GOD could exist in the 90% of all there is to know that you do not

        • Paul Cotton says:

          This is another popular myth. There is no evidence that we use only ten percent of our brains. I imagine though that your god exists in your brain, and wonder if it would be there without indoctrination.

          • Jason Head says:

            Atheism is not a defensible position. The only way you could know there is not a God is to know all things – to be omnicient. Being a skeptic is not a logical position either because there are things that exist that we cannot prove through the scientific method (art, consciousness, emotions, gravity, information, language, love etc.).

            You are looking for proof of God’s existance and yet all that is required in a courtroom is prima facie evidence – enough evidence that a conclusion can be drawn of the truth. The beginning of the universe (matter, energy, space and time), Fine-tuning, Laws of Nature, Law of Biogenesis, Fossil Record, Cambrian Explosion, homochirality of amino acids in living things, irreducible complexity of systems down to micro-machines within cells, code within DNA, Moral Law are all prima facie evidence for the existance of God.

            “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and [a]Godhead…” Romans 1:20

            “The heavens declare the glory of God;
            And the firmament shows His handiwork.
            Day unto day utters speech,
            And night unto night reveals knowledge.
            There is no speech nor language
            Where their voice is not heard.” Psalms 19:1-3

            For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

        • Jeff Dixon says:

          The concrete evidence that no gods exist could also be in the 90% that is unknown.

      • JPierce says:

        Paul – You seem so very certain. But materialist explanations don’t explain why we even care about the answer to these questions. What good is knowing, if only for utilitarian reasons? Machines don’t care to know unless there is something quantifiable to gain. Yet we humans seem to want to know things for the mere sake of knowing. If we are machines, we are very soulful machines.

        • Richard Morgan says:

          Materialist explanations most certainly DO explain why we care about the answers to those questions!
          You say, ” we humans seem to want to know things for the mere sake of knowing.” The operative word there is “seem”. Scratch beneath the surface and you will see how untrue that is. The brain is a knowledge / information-seeking organ. It evolved that way because there are considerable survival advantages in “seeking” and processing information about our environment.
          (I am a Christian – in case my comment leads you to think otherwise.)

        • Paul Cotton says:

          Certain about what? That there is no evidence for God? Well until someone comes up with something what choice do I have? God is made in mans image by man himself.

      • Robert says:

        Paul, not a scrap of evidence for God…?
        Who made all that there is?
        The fact of matter and the organization and complexity of it is, plain and simple, evidence for a designer who is greater than it all.

        • Paul Cotton says:

          That is not evidence that is just your interpretation of the universe. Why would any creator produce on such a vast scale for just you? Don’t be silly.

          • Thank you for your theological pronouncements.

          • Jason Head says:

            To identify something as sub-optimal design implies that you must know what optimal design is. You do not know what optimal design for the universe is unless you are omniscient.

            Second, sub-optimal design ­doesn’t mean there’s no design. A car may appear to be sub-optimally designed, but it still required a designer. In other words, if something appears to be designed, however poorly you may discern it to be, it may still be designed, and due to the Law of Causality requires as 1st Designer.

            Thirdly, in order to say that something is sub-optimal, you must know what the objectives or purpose of the designer are. If one doesn’t know what the designer intended (or doesn’t agree with the reason), then he can’t say the design falls short of those intentions. For example, you can’t fault the design in a compact car because it ­doesn’t carry fifteen passengers. The objective is to carry four not fifteen passengers.

            What you say is evidence against God, I say is prima facie evidence for God.

    • Debra Jackson says:

      I believe you’ll find that God and science go hand in hand. If you look at the order in which God created the world is the same order scientists say happened.

      • Paul Cotton says:

        Again and again you people fall back on your mythology as if it was written by something not human. No wonder the world is falling apart.

        • Jason Head says:

          The tooth fairy or a leprechaun is a myth. We have a vast amount of historical evidence for Jesus as a historical figure, His death and the empty tomb. We have biblical and extra-biblical evidence (Jewish, Greek, Roman and Syrian). Scholars widely agree that Jesus was a real figure…I doubt there are many that would agree that the Tooth Fairie is.

    • Lester granville young says:

      Wow what a wonderful powerful way to put it . Get up on that platform and speak it preach it teach it brother and may God bless you for it Amen

    • David McKee says:

      “Atheism is a religious belief based on materialism” – Sorry, but that is an incorrect statement. A-Theism, as the name clearly implies is simply a non belief in god, or gods. It implies nothing else. There are no Atheist churches, or scriptures, or dogmas, despite the fact that there may very well be people with these things. And if you want to change a honest Atheists mind, then provide some evidence please.

      • “What happens at an atheist church?”


      • Brenda Morley says:

        The atheist churches are the schools and universities and their scriptures are the books they have written. I grew up an atheist and found that mindset sorely lacking in satisfaction of knowing the
        Truth. I met the Creator of the Universe and His Son and He speaks to me in many ways including His creation, dreams and visions, through other people, and through His Word, the Bible.
        I now have a purpose and hope for my life.

    • David Whitehead says:

      Well said Ed!

  3. d burke says:

    The “argument.” such as it was, was always about injecting “religious” nonsense into the process. I look forward to seeing what different thoughts that dont involve superstition have been arrived at.

  4. Doug says:


  5. Alexander de Leon says:

    Well, if creationism is not the answer against Neo-Darwinism, for being so unscientific (which I agree 100%), then what do you support? Evolution as a natural phenomenon is so undeniable! The public tend to realize this simple difference between the phenomenon and the explanation of it, which is Natural selection.

    • Did you watch the video on this page?

    • Jason Head says:

      Microevolution – absolutely agree with you! And I even agree with natural selection for microevolution…it’s simply prima facie evidence that God created organisms to be able to adapt to their environment – variation within kind according the gene pool.

      However, if you mean Macro evolution – new species being created I greatly disagree with you. Cats are still cats, dogs are still dogs, horses are still horses. No undisputed transitional form has been observed in our lifetime, nor does the fossil record support macroevolution.

      Your quote, “Evolution as a natural phenomenon is undeniable” is the fallacy Appeal to self-evident truth – A claim that a proposition is self-evidently true, so needs no further supporting evidence. Just because you think macroevolution is indisputable doesn’t make it so.

      Rom 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…”

      Ps 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God;
      And the firmament shows His handiwork.
      2 Day unto day utters speech,
      And night unto night reveals knowledge.
      3 There is no speech nor language
      Where their voice is not heard.

      Romans 10:13
      For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  6. Seems like claims made by intelligent designers manipulating cell structures and\or exploiting “dormant” DNA that the creator built into animals so, like Darwin’s Finches they can adjust to their environment. (They are still birds and in todays world verses the original creation still Finches.) There is no scientific evidence for any kinds of changes like reptile to bird or mammal. That is pure fantasy, of in the creation myth of western governments, faith.
    Why try to prop up the most disproven conjecture in the history in science by a bunch idolatrous people in white robes other than because they want to continued access to the public treasury?

    • Paul Cotton says:

      I think we can all agree that fossil evidence is incomplete. What is remarkable is that is exists at all, the conditions necessary for their formation being fairly precise. I have heard arguments that suggest that fossils were put there by your god as a means of distraction. From what I am not sure. Fossils do however provide evidence of an evolution that has taken place over millions of years and because of gaps there has to be interpolation and interpretation of probable events. This you refer to as fantasy and yes you still subscribe to a theory of a creator that is based on nothing at all. The religious argument is so thin that is has to make poor attempts at discrediting those who do not support their mythology.
      Organised religion requires less access to the treasury because it has been bleeding the poor for centuries and basks in its own vast wealth. Hypocrites all.

      • Jason Head says:

        I think you need to study the fossil record more. Talk about extrapolation! What I see when I visit a site with supposed transitional forms are pictures that can barely be made out, artists conceptions, or no pictures at all! And if you can actually make out a picture the change is merely a blowhole a few inches back, or a lower ear, or a slightly bigger skull – all could be easily explained as a deformation in that particular specimen, not as a transition. Fish still look like fish, worms still look like worm etc. etc.

        1 Cor 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

        1 Tim 6:20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge

  7. Paul Cotton says:

    So there is disagreement about the mechanism of evolution. So what? It would appear from this site that this is forming the basis of some strange idea that there must be an intelligence behind everything. Science is about debate and challenge. Silly ideas do not last long and evidence sooner or later is found to support an argument, or otherwise. It is a grown up way of going about things and so much more satisfying than squabbling about who has the best invisible friend.
    Darwin’s ideas shook the foundations of religion to the core and you guys are still scared. Maybe rather than attacking scientific ideas, you could devote energy to providing evidence for your god rather than nit picking holes in the evidence to the contrary.

    • Jason Head says:

      Quoting Paul Cotton, “Silly ideas do not last long and evidence sooner or later is found to support an argument, or otherwise. ”

      I agree, the silly arguments against God.

      Did you know that during Darwin’s time:

      No one knew the complexity of the cell – it only looked like a blob. Now we know that cells are made of trillion atoms, billions of molecules!! I’m sure you’ve heard of the electron microscope? Didn’t exist during Darwin’s time and there is even more prima facie evidence of design.
      We have millions more fossils discovered since Darwin, and yet no more undisputed transitional fossils.
      No one knew of the fine-tuning involved of the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, and Earth during Darwin’s time and now we now our existence was on a razor’s edge.
      No one knew about molecular genetics during Darwin…Darwin’s tree demolished. We know now that homologous organs are created by different gene complexes within the different species.

      Your right, atheism is a silly idea. In the past 130 or so years since Darwin there is more and more prima facie evidence for the existence of God.

      Ps 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God;
      And the firmament shows His handiwork.
      2 Day unto day utters speech,
      And night unto night reveals knowledge.
      3 There is no speech nor language
      Where their voice is not heard.
      4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
      And their words to the end of the world.

  8. derdagian1 says:

    I may have actually participated in pointing many of these things out, several years ago. The lecture reminded me of Me! no kidding…. Nice Lecture!!!!

Leave a Reply

You must use your real first and last name. Anonymity is not allowed.
Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *