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Friday, April 17, 2009

The Evolution Conspiracy

The Evolution Conspiracy is a book by Lisa Shiel. I'd never heard of her until a few days ago but some of you might know her because she's a fan of bigfoot. She has a masters degree in library science.

You can't buy the book until next September but you can read all the rave reviews of this unpublished book on Lisa's website: The Evolution Conspiracy. You can also get an inkling of what the book is about by reading her promotional material. Here's an excerpt ...

One word, deceptive in its simplicity, has transformed the way we look at ourselves and everything around us. Once thought of as unique, man has become one of the animals with no special claim on the planet. As children, few of us question what we learn in biology class about the origins of life and the position man holds in the hierarchy. Science textbooks present evolution as fact—indisputable, inevitable, and incomprehensible to everyone outside the exalted few with PhDs in the appropriate fields.

That’s why this book promotes one key premise—anyone can understand evolution.
That's refreshing. Anyone can understand evolution. Anyone, that is, except Lisa Shiel. Her stupidity and ignorance are on display in the comments she's making on science blogs and on her own website. By her own admission she is dropping comments on all the evolution blogs in order to promote her book [Banned by Evolutionists! Can You Handle It?].

The purpose of this posting is to help give her as much publicity as possible in order to expose her as just another kook who has no idea what evolution is all about.

Here's an example from a posting she made on April 7th: You Can’t Tell a Species by Its Cover.
The theory of evolution involves numerous complicated and confounding strands—almost as many strands, I dare say, as DNA itself. Charles Darwin posited that natural selection drives the evolution of species, and this idea has become the cornerstone of evolutionary theory. In natural selection, traits that seem beneficial are preserved in a species while undesirable traits gradually disappear. Because natural selection cannot account for all adaptations, scientists devised the theory of genetic drift, in which changes occur at random.

Yet no one has ever reproduced the creation of a species via either natural selection or genetic drift; in fact, no one has ever demonstrated scientifically that one species evolves into another. If a theory must adhere to the scientific method to remain a scientific theory, then evolution has failed the test. The scientific method requires repeated testing, and the ability to reproduce results.

Now toss into this mess the recent discovery that some species “evolve” genetically while remaining unchanged anatomically. Scientists at Massey University in New Zealand have found that a reptile called the tuatara differs genetically from its 8,000-year-old ancestors, while retaining the same anatomical makeup and outward appearance. The tuatara’s DNA changes make it the Speedy Gonzales of genetic evolution. According to Axel Meyer of Germany’s University of Konstanz, the discovery suggests “a real disconnect” can exist between genetic and anatomical evolution.

Finally, consider the recent discovery that cryptic species can fool us too—two creatures look identical, but their DNA identifies them as different species. Perhaps the fossilized tuatara aren’t really tuatara after all…

Evolution: The unscientific scientific theory.
Makes you wonder if Lisa Shiel has even read her own book—a book that presumably explains evolution correctly. There are so many factual and conceptual errors in this short posting that it catapults Lisa into contention for the most ignorant IDiot award. And that's saying a lot 'cause the competition is fierce.

Anyway, the bottom line is that there's nothing to see here folks. You can move along to other books and other blogs. Lisa even makes Denyse O'Leary look good.


  1. The theory of evolution involves numerous complicated and confounding strands—almost as many strands, I dare say, as DNA itself.Um, two?

  2. Perhaps the fossilized tuatara aren’t really tuatara after all…Perhaps not. Perhaps they are angels, or demons, or unicorns, or some other Biblical beast.

  3. The tuatara’s DNA changes make it the Speedy Gonzales of genetic evolution.The YECs love Speedy Gonzales evolution. It helps to explain how all the "kinds" we see now could have derived from the animals which fit on Noah's ark.

  4. "a book that presumably explains evolution correctly"

    Thank you for presuming my book is accurate. Other scientists agree that it is.

    Have a great day!

    Lisa A. Shiel
    author of The Evolution Conspiracy

  5. She mentions genetic drift. I like her! And so should you...

  6. From Lisa's blog: "Unlike other scientists who have reviewed the book, Moran could determine its accuracy without actually reading the book. Thank you, Professor Moran!"

    That's right Lisa, when you post samples of work, and said samples contain numerous factual errors, it's pretty safe to conclude that the rest of your writings contain errors as well.

  7. I think Ms. Shiel would safely reject a book called "The Round Earth Conspiracy" that purports to argue for a flat earth, even without reading it. How about a book on Holocaust denial? Would reading it be absolutely necessary to safely assume that its claims were suspect?

  8. You misspelled her name. It's "Lisa, A. Shill".

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I saw her website yesterday, after seeing her comment here.

    I actually see this book as something positive for science. At least it is openly (without admitting it) anti-science and anti-intellectualist and it reveals the true colors of the "other side of the evolution debate".

    It would be much easier if all anti-evolutionists were as open.

  11. Bayesian Bouffant,

    Yeah, I loved that line!

    Almost as many strands as DNA - which would mean ... one. (I suppose technically it could be as high as three, but I refuse to believe she's heard of quadruplex DNA.)

    Based on her quoted statements, I can easily see that she might be confused by any concept involving as many as one strand of thought.

  12. Ha-ha, I posted a comment on her blog seconding Larry's assessment (took a random paragraph from her book and showed that she can't write a single sentence without making an error). Guess what? Seems like the comment did not pass moderation. How pathetic. Tells something extra about IDiots.