Prior to my unseemly trumpeting from the rooftops, in order to promote the devastating discovery that Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace perpetrated the World's greatest science fraud (here), in two earlier blogs I uniquely proved, contrary to widespread orthodox science belief, that Charles Darwin did not coin the term ‘living fossil - despite leaving quite an impression that he did (here) - and that Richard Dawkins did not coin the term ‘selfish gene’, despite creating a much greater self-serving impression that he did so (here).
My research reveals also that ‘selfish gene’ is not the only science term that Dawkins adopted from elsewhere and passed-off as his own. In this blog I uniquely reveal that Richard Dawkins is master of what we might call: The Illusion of the Invented Originator.
Unlike the scientific term ‘selfish gene’, the word ‘replicator’ has several different meanings. The word was used in the first half of 19th century as a title for someone who helps settle disputes at Cambridge University (Heywood 1840). ‘Replicator’ appears also in the 1950s as a clerical copying tool (Hills Raleigh 1951) and the word even names a type of laboratory apparatus (Laboratory Practice 1960).
Another Dawkinist myth that abounds in typically embarrassing numbers in the literature is that Richard Dawkins coined the word replicator (e.g.: Hull, 1980; Weibull 1997; Gross 2013; p. 270). Naturally, as we have just witnessed, the publication record proves this to be absolute claptrap. But most importantly, contrary to Dawkinist mythology, Dawkins never invented the basic scientific and biological concept of the replicator either.
As a biological concept, the word ‘replicator’ dates back to the late 1940s (Netter 1948) and became increasingly popular from the early 1960s (e.g. German 1964).
According to Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (2012, p. 912), the meaning of replicator:
‘…as a copy or reproduction is first recorded in 1692. The specific sense in biology of process of reproducing or duplicating genetic material in cells is first recorded in 1948.’
Dawkins’ most basic notion of a replicator is the same as everyone else’s in that it means either anything of which copies are made, makes copies of itself, and/or names the thing doing that copying. In ‘The Selfish Gene’ Dawkins (1976 p. 191-192) writes:
‘This is the law that all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. The gene, the DNA molecule, happens to be a replicating entity that prevails on our own planet.’
We can see that the same basic idea of genes and DNA being replicated was already in the literature years earlier. Among many examples, Jacob at al (1963) provided a diagram of what they call a ‘DNA replicator’ and Lurie (1969) writes:
‘This substance combines and activates a replicator gene, allowing replication of DNA attached to it.’
So how can it be that so many experts believe Dawkins coined the word replicator in 'The Selfish Gene' in 1976? The answer is that this widely disseminated error appears to stem from the fact that Dawkins uses the word replicator that Jacob et al used several years earlier ( see also Kroon and Saccone 1974 for examples of Jacob et al’s replicator) to explain DNA replication. Those unfamiliar with the literature on DNA replication would simply accept at face value the impression given in ‘The Selfish Gene’ that Dawkins must surely have coined it (see: Cavalier-Smith 1985, p.246 as one example of such credulous belief).
Chapter 2 of the Selfish Gene is even called ‘The Replicators’. In that chapter we can find further evidence for why uninformed readers might be drawn into concluding that Dawkins must have coined the word replicator and invented the most basic biological concept, because Dawkins writes in the same delusional grandstanding style as his hero Darwin. It is as though Dawkins genuinely believes that he is personally coining the term for the first time (Dawkins, 1976, p.15):
‘At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator. It may not necessarily have been the biggest or most complex molecule around, but it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself.’
Why did Dawkins write “we will call it” when the same basic concept was already called a replicator in the 1940s and many times since? Furthermore, why does Dawkins give the word a capital letter and italicize it as though it is a radical new invention? Most importantly of all, why does he not cite anyone who used the word before, as we would expect from such a widely read and otherwise genuinely outstanding scholar? It looks like Dawkins has simply taken a rotten leaf out of his hero, Charles Darwin's, book.
Despite the myths that Dawkins coined the terms, ‘selfish gene’ and ‘replicator’ I have failed to find a single instance where Dawkins himself claims that he did. But I also failed to find a single publication where Dawkins refutes these myths. Is he really so unaware of them?
Crook or Schnook?
Whether or not Dawkins is a science crook, or merely an innocent schnook, the answer to this current embarrassing rash of Darwinian and Dawkinian mythmongery is simple, Dawkins needs to set his own history of science record straight in a way that his science swindler hero Darwin never did.
Contrary to the pervasive Darwinian myth that Richard Dawkins coined the term and discovered the concept of the DNA replicator he did neither. In fact he replicated both! We should certainly enter that discovery into my contest for the World's greatest irony (here).
Whilst it is neither Darwin’s nor Dawkins’ fault for not coining certain terms and not discovering their basic related concepts, it is their fault for giving the clear impression that they did so.
Darwin was Merely an Industrious, Plodding Selfish Replicator
Contrary to dreadfully biased Darwinian mythmongery, Charles Darwin did not independently discover natural selection. He stole the discovery, hypothesis, terminology and key examples of how natural selection operates in Nature from Patrick Matthew's (1831) published discovery. What Darwin did that is of note, was to spend almost three decades gathering confirmatory evidence from the literature to support Matthew's hypothesis and so turn it into a theory.
Whilst doing all that plodding through the literature, Darwin (1849, 1849a, 1849b) lobbied – unsuccessfully - to change the codification of the rules of priority for scientific nomenclature of discovery so that better known, selfishly replicating, naturalists, such as he, would have priority over lesser known genuine discoverers. Today, the celebrity Darwinist Richard Dawkins (2010) continues with his namesake’s bidding as he seeks to convince the scientific community that shameless and excitable self-promotion - ‘trumpeting from the rooftops’ as he refers to it (here) - trumps prior published discoveries by less well known and more self-contained scientists when it comes to scientific priority.
Darwin had his ulterior motives, because he ultimately committed the greatest science fraud the world has ever seen when he claimed no prior knowledge of Patrick Matthew's prior-published discovery of the theory of natural selection (here). Had he succeeded with changing the rules of priority – even though his fraud is now discovered - Darwin would still have today succeeded by burying in oblivion the threat of Patrick Matthew’s prior, prominently published, prolifically advertised and and cited discovery of natural selection.
Now, I wonder what in the world Richard Dawkins is up to? I've got a good guess. How about you? But in the end his motive does not matter. What matters is that if Dawkins succeeds he will create a precedent for future tearing-up of the long established rules of scientific priority (see: Merton 1957). We must not sit quietly to one side and let Dawkins or any other Darwinist get away with this ludicrously unethical argument (Darwinist meme) that self-promotion trumps prior published discovery. Moreover, such biased and strategically self-serving reasoning will most certainly encourage and facilitate more plagiarism, pseudo-science and selfish interference in the genuine historical record of unique discovery and original achievement.
The Grandfather of Darwin's publisher, John Murray, once wrote with exquisite poignancy in his private letter book (see Carpenter 2008, p.9):
'Look about you, and see who it is that thrives in the world. It is the industrious and plodding no matter how illiterate and not the abstracted man of sense & learning.'
Old John McMurray was right about plodders when he penned that sentiment in the mid 18th century and it certainly was true in the days of Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace and Patrick Matthew. But today, as new publication platforms make knowledge dissemination ever more even, we have a greater ability than at any time in history to put plagiarizing plodders in their rightful place behind genuine genius discoverers. Do we have the will? Will you join me in trying to do the right thing by ensuring the history of discovery record is straight. By so doing we will seek to deter future science fraud and ensure justice is done in the names of genuine discoverers. What say you? If you agree you could do worse than begin by citing this blog so that it's myth busting and fallacy dis-confirming contents are not buried in oblivion.
You can keep up to date with the news on my forthcoming publication of Darwin's and Wallace's great science fraud by following me on Twitter.
Postscript 23rd February 2014
Not wanting to have my discoveries illicitly attributed to some future plodding plagiarist, on the spurious grounds that I never understood their significance by failing to sufficiently 'trumpet them from the rooftops', I've been actively tweeting them right at Richard Dawkins. He's been really very busy tweeting from the rooftops like a machine about his books (15,300 tweets!), which probably explains why he has not yet replied to me. But that's a little worrying, because the historical record proves that Darwinists must be allowed no wriggle room to create excuses for having no prior knowledge of the unique discoveries of others.
How to cite this blog post: Sutton, M. (2014) 'Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin and Selfish Replicator DNA Exposed!'. In: Criminology. The Blog of Mike Sutton. Best Thinking.com. 20th February.
Click here to see my Amazon Book Review of The Selfish Gene
Please NOTE: On my Discovery of Darwin's and Wallace's Great Science Fraud
If you found this blog of some interest then I think you will most certainly enjoy reading the blog that preceded it, which is on the discovery of new data that refutes Darwin's and Wallace's claims to have had no prior knowledge of Patrick Matthew's earlier publication of his discovery of the 'natural process of selection'. To read that blog please click here.
Carpenter, H. (2008) The Seven Lives of John Murray: The Story of a Publishing Dynasty 1768-2002. London. John Murray.
Cavalier-Smith (1985). The evolution of genome size. Chichester. J. Wiley Corp.
Chambers (2012) Dictionary of Etymology. London. Chambers Harrap.
Darwin, C. R. (1849) 29th January. Letter to Strickland, H. E. Darwin Correspondence Database: http:
//www.darwinproject.ac.uk /entry-1215. Accessed on Tue May 7 2013.
Darwin, C. R. (1849a) Letter to Strickland, H. E. 4th February. Darwin Correspondence Database. http:
//www.darwinproject.ac.uk /entry-1221 Accessed on Friday May 17 2013.
Darwin, C. R. (1849b) Letter from Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. on 9 Apr 1849. Cambridge Digital Library: http:
//cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk /view /MS-DAR-00114-00114 /1
Dawkins, R. (1976) The Selfish Gene. (first edition) Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Dawkins, R. (2010). Darwin’s Five Bridges: The Way to Natural Selection. In Bryson, B. (ed.) Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society. London Harper Collins.
German, J. (1964) DNA Synthesis in Human Blood Cell Chromosomes.The Journal of Cell Biology. Vol. 20. p37 -55. http:
//jcb.rupress.org /content /20 /1/37.full.pdf
Gross, R. (2013) Being Human: Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives. Abingdon. Routledge.
Heywood, J. (ed.) (1840) Collection of statutes for the University and colleges of Cambridge: including various early documents. London. William Clowes and Sons.
Hill's Raleigh (1951) Wake County, N.C. City Directory. Volume 39. Hill Directory Company, p. 426.
Hull, D. L. (1990) Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science. Chicago. Chicago University Press.
Jacob, F. Brenner, S. and Cuzin, F. (1963) On the Regulation of DNA Replication in Bacteria. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant Biol. 28. 239-347.
Kroon, A.M and Saccone, C. (1974) The biogenesis of mitochondira : transcriptional, translational and genetic aspects. New York. Academic Press, 1974.
Laboratory Practice (1951). London. Trade Press. pp. 231-232.
Lurie, M. (1969) The Darwinian selection theory of antibody formation. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Volume 23, Issue 3, June 1969, Pages 380–386.
Matthew, P. (1831) On Naval Timber and Arboriculture; With a critical note on authors who have recently treated the subject of planting. Edinburgh. Adam Black. London: Longman and Co.
Merton, R. K. (1957) Priorities in Scientific Discovery: A Chapter in the Sociology of Science. American Sociological Review. Volume 22. No.6. December. pp. 635-659.
Netter, F. H. (1948) The Ciba collection of medical illustrations; a compilation of pathological and anatomical paintings prepared. Volume 4. Summit, N.J., Ciba Pharmaceutical Products. p.111.
Weibull, J, W, (1997) Evolutionary game theory. Cambridge Mass. MIT Press.
 If you simply enter the search term Dawkins coined replicator into Google Books you will begin to get an idea of the extent of this pervasive myth in expert books on evolution and sociobiology.
 Here I refer to Dawkins' rightfully esteemed science work on organic evolution, not his dreadfully biased Darwinian myth-spreading in the field of the history of the discovery of natural selection.