Nature has published a correspondence from Maciej Giertych, a Polish biologist, defending his view that evolutionary biology is bullshit. He’s actually striking back at Nature for this news item on creationism in Poland. Long story short, the League of Polish Families (LPR), a group led by Roman Giertych (Maciej Giertych’s son), has been pushing for the inclusion of creationism in the science curriculum of Polish schools. Maciej Giertych did not like how he and his fellow creationists were portrayed in the Nature article. He decided to defend himself in a letter to Nature, despite the fact that he was offered an opportunity to respond to the criticisms in the original article.
Giertych, the father, claims to be a population geneticist despite the fact that his PhD is in tree physiology from the University of Toronto (this is an inopportune time to point out that Larry Moran, faculty at the University of Toronto, has a blog, but I’ll do it nonetheless). I don’t know jack shit about dendrology, and Giertych doesn’t know much about population genetics. That being the case, I will now be referring to myself as a tree physiologist.
Anyway, here is the evidence that Giertych believes disproves evolution:
Such evidence includes race formation (microevolution), which is not a small step in macroevolution because it is a step towards a reduction of genetic information and not towards its increase. It also includes formation of geological strata sideways rather than vertically, archaeological and palaeontological evidence that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, a major worldwide catastrophe in historical times, and so on.
That’s right, dude just busted out the microevolution/macroevolution shtick. And the geological strata. And that dinosaurs coexisted with humans. Holy shit! This guy’s doing the Gish gallop faster than I can direct you to Talk.Origins for articles on microevolution, geological strata, and dinosaurs. And did I mention he’s a Polish representative to the European Parliament?
But it doesn’t end there. Here he goes arguing that all mutations are deleterious:
We know that information exists in biology, and is transferred over generations through the DNA/RNA/protein system. We do not know its origin, but we know it exists, can be spoiled by mutations, but never improves itself spontaneously. No positive mutations have ever been demonstrated.
Once again, here’s the relevant Talk.Origins page. I will point out that the claim of no positive mutations is total and absolute bullshit. A query for adaptive evolution turns up 739,000 hits. One for beneficial mutation gives 42,800. And positive selection gives 1,820,000. I’m sure there’s at least one article in there about a mutation that confers a fitness benefit.
Poland appears to be trying to compete with the United States for the honor of most back-ass-wards nation in the developed world. They’ve got biologist who think there are Neanderthals amongst us — and not in the way we kid about. They really think that some people should be considered Neanderthals. And a powerful Polish politician is a creationist. He’d fit right in with American politicians, except that he’s also got a PhD in the life sciences. But here’s the gem: he claims to be “critical of the theory of evolution as a scientist, with no religious connotation.” That means he doesn’t have the crutch of religion on which to lean; he’s just stupid.