Randall Hedtke makes a convincing case in this book for the probable cause of Charles Darwin’s little publicized neuropsychosis. He notes that Darwin’s symptoms began with the first publication of the Origins , continued through its many versions and conspicuously ended with the publication of the sixth and final edition in 1872. He posits that it was the dread of having his theory falsified [and the resultant public humiliation] that resulted in his illness. He’d been publicly rebutted by Agassiz and Burkland in 1840, one year after he presented his own theory to the Royal Society for the “parallel roads” at Glen Roy in the Scottish Highlands [p.44-45]. Fear of another Parallel Roads Incident caused Darwin to continually revise his theory in an attempt to anticipate objections with layers of speculation and caveat. Hedtke maintains that Darwin’s psychoneurosis was cured by his abandonment of natural selection as a creative force for evolution in the Sixth edition of Origins, thereby freeing himself from the dread of falsification.
Several points of the remainder of the book deserve mention.
Hedtke’s sketch of Darwin’s life and compatriots is both eye-opening and thought provoking.
He also expresses his concerns that the exclusive, uncritical teaching of evolution in public school undermines critical thought and science itself. Hedtke aptly notes that Darwin only managed to keep his theory from violating Jevon’s Elementary Rule of Logic [“A single absolute conflict between fact and hypothesis is fatal to the hypothesis; falsa in uni falsa in omnibus” – p.60] by imagineering away objections and doublespeak; this is why Darwin’s theory is so plastic that it can explain completely opposite conditions [For example, homologous features are said to be both evidence of common descent and [if convergent evolution] of NOT common descent].
Also included in Secrets of the Sixth Edition is a critique of Darwin’s Natural Selection/Artificial Selection analogy [as well as other oft-refuted evidences for evolution] and a “geo-ecological explanation of the fossil record based on divine creation” which he dubs Relative Fossil Production Potential [RFPP]. RFPP is calculated as habitat + population size + size and structure [of the organism]. In a nutshell, his flood geology model notes that fossils are found relative to their abundance and proximity to water in the pre-Flood world. He goes on to give his thoughts on objectively teaching origins by “applied creation,” a curriculum stategy that avoid constitutionality concerns and allows evidences for evolution to be examined critically. Thus he not only affords a critique of Darwin’s theory but also suggests a possible solution to the problem of public school indoctrination into said theory.
My only criticism of this book is Hedtke’s proposed definition of macroevolution [p. 66], which amounts to observable speciation and would give the game to evolutionists. To the contrary, molecules-to-man macroevolution is something more than observable speciation but rather the unobserved and unobservable change of one kind of animal into another [viz. dinosaurs-to-birds or ungulates-to-whales].
This brief aside notwithstanding, I highly recommend Secrets of the Sixth Edition, especially for science teachers!
-Rev Tony Breeden
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Leaf Publishing Group Book review program on CreationConversations.com <http://www.creationconversations.com/group/bookreviewersfornewleafpublishinggroup>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”