List of topics being drawn on for nuggets PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:42

These are the one-liners the Contrarian intends to expand on over time.


  • Darwinism is a fairy story; to accept it you have to believe in magic.
  • Natural selection isn't a force, it's more like friction; it's offers a little resistance to the flow of harmful mutations entering the gene pool.
  • How efficient is natural selection at eliminating harmful mutations? 100% would involve magic. Anything less would involve extinction. Likely value 1-2%. So where's the mechanism?
  • Darwin didn't discover evolution, he merely dumbed it down so natural selection could account for it.
  • Natural selection can't account for the origin of species, all it could lead to is all creatures varying gradually within a single species.


  • Add a stone and a kitten to a pile of stones. Which is better adapted to its environment? Does adaptation mean anything?
  • Evolution is living creatures becoming more independent of, not more adapted to, their environment; eg symbiosis.
  • Is the Internet us "adapting" to electricity? Is symbiosis "adaptation" to the environment?
  • Adaptation is the lowest common denominator of all possible mechanisms of evolution. What would distinguish the best mechanism from all the others?
  • Adapting living creatures to their environment is the least you can ask of evolution. Shouldn't we ask more?


  • Mutation followed by natural selection is like saying you can make a big mountain out of a small mountain just by shaking it and taking away some of the fastest-moving stones. But avalanches make a mountain smaller, not bigger.
  • You can't evolve new living creatures just by damaging the old ones.
  • Beneficial mutations are like unicorns: Everyone's heard of them but no one's ever seen one.
  • If what made changes to genes beneficial was something other than mutation, how could you tell?


  • If consciousness exists it must have evolved. If consciousness can evolve, you don't need natural selection.
  • Define ambition as craving some kind of conscious experience, then physicalists can't be ambitious.
  • Without consciousness, science is meaningless. Without science consciousness is just fine.
  • All there is to account for consciousness is matter and physical processes, and life and living processes. Now, what's the account?


  • A determinist isn't qualified to judge whether or not there is free will.
  • To a physicalist, doing science must seem like one test tube of chemicals exercising judgment on another.
  • Which responses will a determinist presenter value more, those bounced back by other people's brain chemistry or those cycling through their consciousness experience and free will?


  • A human being isn't merely a doorstop. Or merely a pianist. Or merely a genius. Or merely... What sets the limit to our ultimate potential?
  • You can't be any more conscious or creative than evolution can make you.
  • The only contribution you can make to the evolution of our species is to passively suffer eithor random mutation or natural selection?

Add comments in this column.

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JohnTetreault comments:
The writings in this webpage are among the absolute stupidest and most ignorant I have ever read. Shaun Johnston is a loony tune.
JohnTetreault , August 16, 2012
Tim Hoffnagle comments:
This is a joke, right?
The leaps in logic here truly boggle the mind. How does, "If consciousness exists it must have evolved. If consciousness can evolve, you don't need natural selection." make any sense, whatsoever?

This guy says that he's not a creationists but he's dredging up much of the same old bilge that has already been refuted. I really hope that he's not making any money on this....
Tim Hoffnagle , December 06, 2012
Shaun comments:
One one-liner explained
Consciousness implies a source of behavior not entirely subject to determinism. If creatures can generate their own behavior consciously they could in principle drive their own evolution along Lamarckian principles. This would give evolution greater scope than a purely physical mechanism like natural selection. Also, if something not purely physical, like consciousness, can drive behavior and be selected, other non-purely physical processes could be driving evolution. They might use other processes than selection. Then we'd no longer need natural selection at all.
Shaun , December 06, 2012

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