602darwinHappy Darwin Day! To help celebrate, Rob Jenkins and I have created an optical illusion……

Update: Thanks to The Times for linking to  and Stephen Fry for the Tweet-plug!

Rob Jenkins (Univ of Glasgow) and I have created an afterimage illusion with a twist. Because the resolution of an afterimage is not as good as the original, we thought that it might be possible to use fine lines to create an image that looked one way in ‘normal’ vision, and another as an afterimage. And here it is…..

The picture below shows two monkeys. Set your computer monitor to maximum brightness and then stare at the centre of the picture for about 30 seconds without moving your eyes. Next, look to a white wall and blink a few times. The monkeys should suddenly transform into a perfect picture of Darwin!


We thought that it was nice because of the play on ‘adaptation’. In biology, ‘adaptation’ refers to the gradual process by which a species becomes better suited to its environment (e.g., humans and monkeys evolved from a common primate ancestor). However, psychologists use the same term to refer to the perceptual mechanism that gives rise to the negative afterimage in the illusion.

Also, it seemed especially appropriate as Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin’s grandfather) carried out pioneering research into this curious optical phenomenon (thanks Tim J.).

There is more about the piece at www.darwinillusion.com.

Feel free to share the illusion with friends and colleagues and, most important of all, have a very happy Darwin Day!


  1. Actually, scratch that, they’re clearly monkeys because they have tails. Which then leads us to the question “why monkeys, given chimps are closer relatives?”. The answer presumably is “cause otherwise Darwin would have no jaw”.

  2. You refer to the theory of ‘adaption’ as though it is a fact of life, as opposed to a the theory/suggestion that it is.

  3. Monkeys, chimps, tails, no tails, fact or theory? The real question is whether you can link their facial expressions to their personalities? An image of ‘master’ and ‘serf’.

  4. Leah, it’s a theory which fits the data and makes fresh predictions which are different from other theories and which have been proven to be correct. That’s why people believe it to be true.

    I certainly accept however that we could have been magicked into life by a man with a beard sitting on a cloud.

  5. The illusion is that this type of evolution ever happened! There is no evidence that man ever evolved from monkeys. God created various “kinds” of creatures – the dog kind, the horse kind etc and mankind. Yes, there is variation WITHIN species, but for instance you cannot interbreed dogs with cats – all you can do is breed out certain characteristsics to get different characteristics within kinds. The evolution being “celebrated” today requires the ADDITION of DNA information – this has never been demonstrated as being possible. For instance a creature without the DNA for, say, wings cannot gradually have DNA added for wings. DNA itself is a language or code; information science tells us that codes require an intelligent sender – the bible teaches that this sender is the God of Abraham, Isaaac and Jacob.

  6. Ot worked for me on the second attempt, and was near photographic quality!
    I feel it isn’t working for most people as it is difficult to guage the exact centre. Also the final image you see is not dissimilar to a white siluette. It looks like a very old photo that has faded over the years.

    Nigel, where there is no direct evidence of the evolution of man, Darwin did set out his theory of natural selection based on scientific observation and physical evidence in many types of life.
    Do not make the mistake of reciting science as a basis of an argument and using an unreliable and unproven source such as the Bible to back it up.

    The bible is a series of stories that were passed down by word of mout for many generations before they were written down, and even when they were recorded a lot has been lost in the many translations and rewording that were enforsed by various political climates.

  7. Dear Jason, Thank you for flattering me with the thought of me producing a newsletter!! No, I am just a humble believer in Christ who has a special interest in this subject. Evolutionists frequently attack us creationists as being ant-science. Nothing could be further from the truth, there are many creation scientists who believe that the evidence very much backs up the biblical account of creation. I respectfully submit that there is very little hard evidence for the evolutionary processes. For instance missing links in the fossil records are a real problem. Science is based on repeatable experiments of observable processes. Nobody has ever observed one kind of creature changing into another.
    May I point you to more interesting reading on this at:

  8. Great ! A few years ago we did something similar and ended up with a vision of Jesus. Now there’s a link to discuss on Darwin’s Day!

  9. I feel it is somewhat arrogant to suggest that evolution is simply an idea or a theory. It is seen even today as viruses and bacteria such as MRSA ‘adapt’ to become immune to antibiotics. However the idea of divine intervention is valid from a religious point of view.

    Nigel, the evolution that Darwin talked about does not require DNA to be added or taken away. He said that as a species breeds in a certain environment, the variation within that species will produce offspring better suited to that environment, these offspring will survive and pass on their adaptations to further generations. Therefore the species ‘evolves’. This does not necessarily mean that DNA has to be added or taken away, it just means that over time, two species that were once the same, but have reproduced in different environments, will become different and perhaps even be so different that they cannot interbreed and are therefore now different species. Besides, DNA can change and mutate; Cancer cells are a prime example of this, so is it not reasonable to suggest that DNA could change and mutate within a species to create a new species?

    As a Christian myself, I do not disown the story of Creation, but I think it is naive to say that evolution and Darwin’s theories are wrong and absolutely not true. Neither the story of creation or Darwin’s theories can yet be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so whichever we chose to believe we must have faith.

    The optical illusion was fantastic, it worked perfectly for me. Thankyou Quirkology!

  10. Rob, Thank you for your reasoned comments. Yes, Darwin did observe natural selection and physical evidence in many TYPES of life. That is the point I make – finches change into…finches. Fish do not change into birds – no matter how much time is allowed. For instance the breathing mechanism in fish is totally different from that of birds. Therefore they could never have survived partial adaption as proposed by Darwin – the lungs fish would have need to have completely changed for them to have survived out of water. Which brings us to the argument of irreducible complexity – there are some things which simply won’t function when half-built!

  11. Harriet, thank you for your comments. What you describe regarding viruses and bacteria is not the evoultion I am talking about.

    A fish does not have the DNA sequence to grow wings, therefore to be able to change into a bird it does need the addition of DNA.

    The bible clearly states that man was created directly from the dust of the ground. Jesus himself referred to Adam as a real person – are we to call him a liar?

  12. *wades in*

    1) Humans did not evolve from monkeys. No-one is saying they did. Prof Wiseman clearly states that monkeys and humans evolved from a common ancestor, although the species branched off sooner than humans and apes (the ones without tails, see the connection?).

    2) It’s a ‘theory’ in the scientific sense of the word. Gravity is a theory. Germs are a theory.

    3) Without evolution theory, your life would not be as comfortable or safe as it is today. Evolution has touched and improved every single branch of science. Medicine has particularly benefited, and continues to do so.

    Okay, we’re all clear now.

  13. Nigel,
    As David Attenborough elegantly showed on his celebration of Darwin tv programme last week, the complexity arguement you use is easily shown to be ill-informed. Creationists and so-called creation-scientists, often suggest the eye is too complex to be anything than fully formed, but nature provides many living examples of the eye in all stages of its development from single cell water dwellers that can detect light and shade only to the human ability to differentiate between millions of colours, and everything in-between. The eye, half formed, works very well for those creatures that only need a half formed eye.

  14. Now I’m going to be humming Bill Bailey’s Insect Nation theme all day. Maybe he knew the ant-science truth before any of us.

  15. I’m not a visual thinker- and to say I “see” an illusion here would be untrue, but as soon as I looked at it I had a strong mental recognition of the photograph this picture is based on. In other words the numbskulls who live in the visual recognition dept in my head are jumping up and down yelling “I know that”, but the man in the projection box is asleep as usual.
    It feels like the “tip of the tongue” effect, where you know you know a word , but can’t drag it into the consciousness spotlight.
    Brains. Can’t live with’em. Cant think without ’em.

    Hey, Rebecca! Coming to London?

  16. Andy, Could it be that these creatures you speak of have what is to them a fully functioning eye? Just because we have more complex eyes does not mean that our eyes evolved from those of more primitive creatures. If there is an underlying simuilarity it just means that there is a common designer.

  17. Tracy,

    I accept that Darwin said that we came from common ancestors – not directly from monkeys, but the same principle applies about lack of testable evidence that we evolved from more primitive beings.

    I submit to you that there is a LAW of Gravity which is testable.
    I agree that germs are a fact of life – not a theory.

    Macro-evolution of molecules-to-man has never been observed, is against rationality, and has never tested in a lab – which makes it a hypothesis at best.

  18. Nigel, I don’t believe you have even a basic scientific knowledge, formal or self-taught, nor indeed an understanding of what constitutes a scientific theory or why ‘rationality’ doesn’t apply.

    I don’t believe you have even the slightest knowledge of, for example, bacteria which have evolved to be able to digest nylon.

    Really, let’s not and say we did.

  19. Actually, let’s, and say we didn’t, cause I have a new game. Being so amused at your mangling of the scientific lexicon to suit your position, I have invented a word game. Fill in the blank, everyone:

    Nigel’s Science

    Germs are a FACT
    Gravity is a LAW
    Evolution is a THEORY
    Nigel is a _ _ _ _

  20. Good job the bible didn’t say that gravity is a load of invisible strings holding us down. We’d still be arguing with the god botherers about it now.

  21. Nigel, Darwin never said that Birds turn into fish or vice versa. This is utterly impossible and would be described as transformation or shape-shifting. I agree, this has never been tested in a lab.

    As a Christian do you agree that God gave visions to men so that they could write the Bible? As he clearly did not write it himself. If you agree, then is it possible that He simplyfied these visions so that they would have been comprehensible to those men? Thus leading to them writing the story of creation? Is it not possible that Darwin observed what God did? Do you not think that Jesus could have been speaking quite literally when he said that man was created from the dust of the ground?

  22. Either Nigel is a Poe or he has chosen to ignore the huge amount of evidence that supports natural selection, either way he really isn’t worth debating here.

    Christian creationists seem to fall into a trap of thinking there are only two explanations for the development of life, the biblical and the scientific. In reality there are thousands of competing religious stories, all without a shred of evidence, and a well supported scientific explanation which is in addition to being true also shockingly beautiful.

  23. Ooo oo I know that one.

    Surely tis a bit dangerous to say there is no evidence for evolution (DNA anyone?) when there is certainly is no evidence of god. Else why would one need faith?

    We don’t need faith in Darwin, for his theory has been soundly debated and proven true.

    He does look a little bit like god, though, so I can see where Nigel gets confused.

  24. Jason, there are even two conflicting origin stories in Genesis. Of course, cherry-picking Creationists don’t often realise that, it’s a lot of fun to point it out.

  25. Of course, taking a rib from someone and creating a full-blown human being has been tested extensively in laboratory conditions. As has turning a human into a pillar of salt.

  26. Tracy,

    If you have to descend to the level of irrational name-calling and insults then it is no longer worth debating. Nobody has so far given me a rational explanation as to how creatures can spontaneously gain features which were never there coded in their original DNA in the first place. Even over millions of years.

  27. Nigel: I think if you bother to read the link i posted, there are over 30 points of evidence for this.

    If you can’t be bothered to read the evidence, why should we bother to debate it?! There are plenty of real controversies within Evolution, but Macroevolution is defintiely not one of them.

  28. Harriet,

    Evolution of molecules-to-man IS what those who promote Darwinianism espouse. They say that man evolved from more primitve species. This directly conflicts with the clear teaching of scripture that God created man in his own image, to reflect his glory. God created everything “very good” – a moral term. When Adam rebelled against God he brought a curse upon himself and the world in which we live. The world and makind has been degenerating ever since – not improving as evolution teaches.

    Most people don’t realise also Darwinianism did originally lead to racism – that black people were less developed and therefore inferior. Darwin has some very disparaging remarks to make about some of the “savages”, as he called them, he met on his travels.

    God told Adam in essence “In dying you will surely die”. Therefore death came into the world after the fall. It follows that evolution, which relies on death, disease and destruction cannot be reconciled with biblical Chrsitianity.

  29. “Nigel is a _ _ _ _”

    It’s only irrational and insulting if you want it to be. 🙂

    “Nobody has so far given me a rational explanation as to how creatures can spontaneously gain features which were never there coded in their original DNA in the first place. Even over millions of years.”

    Bah, who needs millions of years. The London Underground mosquito speciated (evolved into a new species) in mere decades.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground_mosquito

    Seriously though Nigel, spend an afternoon researching evolution before you come out swinging, you risk embarrassing yourself by repeating such old, disproved arguments. Get some new material & save us all the hassle of hearing the same old hymns.

  30. Nigel: Your argument regarding Darwinism and racial abuse is not really valid. One can equally claim that people throughout history have used Religion as an excuse for far worse things; 9/11 anyone, Pogroms, The Crusades.. Need I go on?!

  31. Me again, the optical illusion worked really, really well.

    Nigel, there is no LAW of gravity. Newton had a THEORY of gravity which he chose to call a universal law. It fitted the data which came from Kepler with regard to the relationship between the orbital period and the semi-major axis of the path of planets round the sun. It also explained the orbits of the satellites going round Jupiter (you know, the ones that landed Galileo in trouble with the church)

    So it became the leading theory of the age. People used it to make predictions which turned out to be true, for example the discovery of Neptune and Pluto relied on the theory. In fact nobody found a problem with it for many years. Then in the eighteenth century people saw that the orbit of mercury didn’t fit Newton’s theory (or “law” if you want to call it that). Newton’s theory stopped being so great then.

    Einstein developed general relativity which predicted that Newton’s theory should be correct most of the time, but not very close to the Sun. General relativity was therefore another theory which also matched the data but made new predictions. Turned out it could explain the data. It also made new predictions like neutron stars, black holes and the expansion of the universe, all of which are observed.

    We know however that it will probably require a new, broader theory to explain the beginning of the universe, general relativity will be an approximation to that final theory. So in summary, it is a theory which works for the time being. It may be replaced with something else in the future, but only if that something else works better in explaining the data AND actively predicts new phenomena which are subsequently observed.

    There are no LAWs, only theories. That is science.

  32. digitalgoldfish,

    Thank you for the link to Talk Origins. It is a site I am familiar with and you will find a rebuttal to the articles you mention here: http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1a.asp

    Dinosaurs are mentioned in one of the oldest books in the bible, Job.
    In chapter 40, v15 God says to Job: “Look now at the behmoth, which I made aloig with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron…” Sounds like what we call a dinasour to me.

  33. Nigel, I think you’ll find I didn’t insult you.

    I’m interested in your obsession with rationality. Why is it ‘irrational’ to use humour to draw to attention to fallacious arguments? That I compare your mangling (or misunderstanding, if you prefer) of basic science terminology to a basic ad hominem (whilst letting the reader fill in the blanks) is perfectly rational, in fact it’s a very neat illustration of my angle of the debate without me having to type reams and reams.

    It’s not irrational to summarise, indeed reductionism is both intuitive and common. Given that this is a tactic that Creationism resorts to often with aplomb (e.g. ‘if men evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys, la la can’t hear you’) I’m surprised you don’t recognise it. The fact that I did it with humour makes it even more rational, as that’s a simple way of attracting empathy.

    Perhaps you have overlooked something basic: You started asking questions, you were provided with answers and links to further information, which you have ignored. I am, therefore, not debating with you, but laughing at you (and your position, which is an absurd one), and my joke was intended as an invitation for others to join me. I don’t have to be nice, Creationism is damaging and an assault on both science and reason (in a naaa naaa you started it way), but if you want a serious debate without mockery then I am more than willing. First, you have to go and learn about evolution from a source unbiased by religious dogma (some links have been provided for you here, and examples of, amongst other things, nylon-eating bacteria and underground mosquitos), then we’re on an even footing for debate. As it is, your arguments are coloured by blind devotion to religion which I think you’ll find is the genuinely irrational position here.

  34. LOL Nigel, let the Monkeys have their day. Happy Darwin day Monkeys… Have a banana on me, before you change into a crab or something stupid like Darwin would suggest… haha

  35. Quote Nigel “Therefore they could never have survived partial adaption as proposed by Darwin – the lungs fish would have need to have completely changed for them to have survived out of water.”

    Then according to Nigel the Queensland Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) and other types of lungfish cannot exist unless, I know….it’s…it’s a miracle!!!!


    and http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1620397.htm

    DNA does not have to be added or subtracted, just changed.

  36. Tracy,

    I appreciate your comments. What you say is true, I do have a presupposition that the bible is true. I look at the same evidence, but come to different conclusions. You have a presupposition that the bible is not true and therefore, presumably there is no creator. That is your choice and I respect you for it. We all interpret evidence according to presuppositions.

  37. That illusion works a hell of alot better than i thought it would, it’s almost spooky…. well done guys!

    Happy Darwin Day!

  38. Nigel,

    so far you seem to have taken the ‘wrong end of the stick’ of my arguments. Your own arguments jump to extreme conclusions at either end of the scale. Neither of which can be proven. I think it’s utterly pointless to continue this debate any further as you are obviously refusing to even consider any of the scientific evidence that we are providing, and when you cannot ignore it, you say that it’s not what you meant. I’m becoming extremely confused as to what you do actually mean.

    Science ends where faith begins. You can chose to believe both and use faith to answer what science cannot explain, or you can chose to believe what the bible says to the last letter, or what Darwin says to the last letter. I like to think that my faith can explain what science does not solve when it comes to evolution. Perhaps however, I am being over optimistic in trying to bring you round to this this way of thinking so that you appear somewhat more rational to the scientists among us.

  39. Nigel,
    You are correct, man never evolved from monkeys.

    As for your other point, “DNA itself is a language or code; information science tells us that codes require an intelligent sender”, if this is true, then where did this intelligent sender get its information from? Or are you just engaging in special pleading?

    “the bible teaches that this sender is the God of Abraham, Isaaac and Jacob.” and other religions claim it is their pantheon of gods. How can you be 100% sure that it was your god doing it and not just taking credit for something another god did? Yours does say quite a bit that he’s a jealous god. What can an omnipotent (supposedly he’s the only one out there) god possibly be jealous of? Could it be that there’s other gods out there and he doesn’t want you to find out that they did all the work he’s taking credit for?

  40. Nigel,

    Sticking purely to the religious aspects of your statements, you said above that

    “Evolution of molecules-to-man IS what those who promote Darwinianism espouse. They say that man evolved from more primitve species. This directly conflicts with the clear teaching of scripture that God created man in his own image, to reflect his glory.”

    Would the knowledge that Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has recently remarked that biological evolution and the Christian view of Creation were complementary change your opinion?

    (I accept that scientific explanations are sadly unlikely to)


  41. Nigel

    To butt in… I take issue with your statement “that is your choice and I respect you for it”.

    Now, to me, from the evidence at hand, it appears that you don’t respect us for our choices, but that you chose to comment in a blog post concerned with *science* and tell us that we’re all wrong because we don’t believe your version of the truth which, as you say, is based on your belief in Jesus and the words in the bible.

    If we’re honest neither of us really understand the science involved in DNA mutation and other such topics. (If you do have a relevant PhD then please feel free to correct me.)

    I choose to trust scientists to help me fill in the gaps I don’t understand because a good scientist has a commitment to constant learning and discovery based on observable evidence. (And ‘science’ is based on information subjected to peer-review which tends to weed out the occasional ‘bad’ scientist.)

    On the other hand, you choose your faith to help you fill in those gaps, which is based on a commitment to “the truth” (the teachings of your faith) so logically there is nothing new to learn unless it supports your pre-determined “truth”.

    I prefer my way, you prefer yours. Now unless you think you’ll score a religious conversion here (unlikely, it’s not like there are many of us who haven’t heard your point of view elsewhere), or unless you genuinely want to learn something new without prejudice, what exactly ARE you doing here?

  42. Nigel, these things are not equal. There is no evidence that the bible is true, it is a matter of faith. Then you have to cherry pick the bits you like (Adam and Eve) and ignore the bits you don’t (god-sanctioned killings and rapes), which is just more faith.

    When you look at the evidence for evolution, there is no faith needed. You don’t choose to believe it, any more than you choose to believe in gravity. It’s demonstrably true. You also don’t cherry pick the bits you like (evolution gave us butterflies!) and leave the rest (the worm which can only survive by eating an African child’s eyeball as per Attenborough’s example).

    In addition, there is no fundamentalism. A scientist doesn’t say “oh evolution, that’s that then”. Otherwise nothing would progress. Science doesn’t speak in absolutes, and theories are being constantly examined, refined and changed. New theories emerge, as do new observations and new standards of research and evidence, and it’s this which allows science (and all the stuff like medicine and technology that you probably either take for granted, or thank god for) to advance.

    Finally, evolution doesn’t need anyone to believe in it to be exist. It doesn’t matter one whit whether you or I believe in evolution, things will still evolve and mutate. If it wasn’t for evolution, though, science wouldn’t be so advanced, and I think next time you need medical treatment (gee, hope the bacteria in your body doesn’t become resistant to antibiotics, that would be evolution at work), you should consider what sort of world you would live in (if you had lived from childbirth at all) were it not for people ‘believing’ in evolution.

  43. Harriet,

    I am saying that science is interpretation of evidence. I interpret the same evidence that you do, but through a biblical lense. Yes, I believe the creation story in Genesis to be literal, not an allegory.

    I also repeat that I agree with adaptation within kinds – but this is not evolution in the strict sense of the term.

    Darwin got some things right (about finches adapting for instance) but he wrongly extrapolated about where mankind originally came from. I’d rather trust what God said (he was there!) than what Darwin speculates about the origins of life.

    The claim keeps being repeated that Creationsim is anti-science. I restate that there are many good scientists who are creationsists. If you want to know more about where I am coming from please do visit:

    God bless.

  44. Tracy,

    You quote: “the worm which can only survive by eating an African child’s eyeball as per Attenborough’s example”.

    But the worm does not survive there – it dies in the eyeball! That’s not what I call survival.

  45. Nigel, the lifespan of a worm is not comparative to a human being. Plus, you’ve missed my point by a wide margin, I wasn’t offering the worm as evidence for evolution (although you can take it as that if you want) – evolution isn’t only believable for the good bits but can be ignored for the bad bits, unlike the bible.

    If you believe the bible is literally true, which you appear to, then you have to believe ALL of it is literally true. In which case, presumably you keep kosher, don’t wear mixed fibres, and put to death children who hit or curse their parents.

    In this way, ‘belief’ in evolution is not like belief in the bible as you assert.

  46. It’s a miracle…. I can see visions!!! Darwin is god or is that an oxymoron? Oh wait, maybe I’m the moron…. 😉

  47. Nigel:

    1) Darwin actually argued for the release of slaves from the Beagle, which suggests to me he certainly did not think that other races were inferior. As mentioned by someone before, misinterpreted science can be used by fanaticals for their cause in the same way that religious scripture can be misinterpreted by fanaticals for their cause.

    2) Viruses are able to insert parts of their genetic code into other organisms, and when this insertion occurs in the germline it can be passed onto to offspring. So the addition you claim can never happen actually can occur in some circumstances (and if beneficial to reproductive success then the rare insertion will become more common, and this can be shown mathematically).

    3) Before this addition was discovered, mutation was shown to allow random insertion, deletion and transposition to occur within the genetic code. These changes, which may be benefitial to the organism in which they occur, may again be passed be passed on (see point 2).

    4) You claim that fish cannot spontaneously turn into birds. This is obvious. Evolution suggests slow accumulation of changes which allow, for instance, reptillian-like dinosaurs to, over several hundred million years, become birds. Only those with a very poor understanding of evolutionary theory and the facts of genetics would suggest that anyone believes in the spontaneous transmutation of fish into birds.

    5) Science is founded on theory and investigation. Religion on belief. ‘The kettle boils as energy is input into the water via an electrically heated element’ can be tested, step by step. ‘The kettle boils because there is an invisible imp in the electricity making it boil’ cannot be proved NOR disproved, as there is nothing to test the theory against and so it is not science.

    If you wish to be able to construct a convincing argument against evolutionary theory, may I suggest that you study the science behind it, and related topics (especially genetics and ecology) so that you can use the correct information to argue your case. This does not require you to reject your beliefs, only to throughly understand the argument.

  48. Rob K you ask for the impossible. Creationists by their creed are lazy. It is easier to believe than to doubt, research, explore, examine, question. Asking ol Nige to research is as viable as a chocolate fireplace. The bible was written by man and edited by committee. It is Darwinian because it has EVOLVED over the centuries to maintain its popularity. Christianity is an adaptive religion, abosrbing ritual and adapting dates to remain popularist.

    Diversity feeds adaption Nige. And if the strongest survive then that is why you won’t find the intermediaries in the process. They didn’t make it old son. That is also why the fossil record is incomplete and ‘bursty’. There is so much evidence of adaption crossing species boundaries that I don’t know where to start really. Plenty of examples of animals with flying and gliding ability that cannot be classified as birds. Birds that swim (damn them for messing up the neatness of it all) like erm penguins? Birdy like but with fur and feathers and that swims…of course no penguin woke up one day and found itself a rhino – unless Jesus was really Kafka…or vice versa? As we all warm up a bit because the creationists in the US insist that global warming is gods will, we might see evolution happening a little more rapidly, but I wouldn’t keep staring at that amoeba wondering when it’s going to turn into a swan if I was you.

    Evidence of common origin is certainly available from DNA study but also by examining the development of foetuses from various animals that demonstrate commonality in their early stages. Damn those observationists. Lets ‘curse them’ shall we?

    The real difference here is that scientists don’t have entrenched views and creationist do. Closed minds don’t evolve so I’m afraid Nige you aren’t gonna make it mate. Sorry.

  49. What I find most depressing is not Nigel’s credulity per se, but that a recent poll suggests that around half the UK population agree with him. After 2000 + years of empiricism we are still having to have these arguments with people who seem incapable of seeing the difference between evidence based, ever improving, demonstrable theory and faith. Beside if his diety is so powerful could it not have created evolution, there not being any need to rush these things?

  50. Leah, scientists do not use the word theory the way you and I use it. You’re right in that, in every day use, the word theory might mean merely a suggestion. However, the theory of evolution is as much scientific fact as the theory of electromagnetism that makes your computer monitor work. In fact, adaptation can be made to happen in laboratory conditions.


  51. I’m not a god. Never will be. But I know this: –

    I created a child (along with my wife).

    I did not create this child just to be an image of myself to prove to myself that I am great.

    I do not require that child to do any particular thing in order to be in my favour.

    If she does anything wrong (sex before marriage for example) I do not require her to as my forgiveness before I will allow her back into my house.

    I do not impose my own set of values on her.

    I do not smite the entire man(woman)kind for her mistakes.

    I do not insist that her belief set are the same as my own.

    What I mean by these comments is this: –

    While I may or may not believe in creationism I will never worship a being that proposes that my worship of said being is a prerequisite.

    How godly is it to have the power to save me from an eternity of damnation but to instead cast me into the fire for merely having the will and spirit to question (his/her) judgements (or for merely working on the Sabbath).

    I believe whole heartedly in a creator but I do not believe for a fraction of a second that we (anyone/anything) on this planet is of any significance to it.

  52. Thanks to everybody for a great discussion. I just want to add a couple of points.

    I’m trying to understand what leads people to reject the science behind evolution. As far as I can tell, it’s rooted in a profound misunderstanding of the mathematics of probability. Some people can’t get over the idea that reality often violates so-called common sense, and that humans aren’t wired up to have an intuitive grasp of probability.

    The other point is a quote from (of all people) humorist Dave Barry, who said:

    “People who want to share their religious beliefs with you almost never want you to share your religious beliefs with them.”

  53. I’m treading on dangerous ground with this statement, so am prepared to retract it at any moment, but it’s my understanding that even Richard Dawkins would agree that an alien intelligence could have created the universe and everything in it, as long as we accept that that alien intelligence was evolved. Evolution as far as we can know is a universal theory.

    That’s a far cry from saying that there’s an alien intelligence which has any interest in our day to day individual lives or can grant wishes, but it’s existence can’t be completely ruled out at this point, albeit there is zero evidence, so the probabilities are infinitely small.

    I guess my point is that while i don’t personally subscribe to the argument, at this point we can’t categorically say there is no God (or alient intelligence), so I’d be happy for someone to profess a belief as long as they accept the scientific evidence in front of them. If they want to claim we’re uncovering God’s work through science, good for them. The science is the important thing, not undoing a personal belief system.

  54. Erm…Air Breathing fish?, Mud skipper anyone? Fishy no Gaspy Gaspy?
    On that Darwin promoted racism, actually the opposite it true when ignorant religous types thought that actually being related in any way to the “black animals” they were using as slaves was beyond comprehension. Leave the musings of life the universe and everything to those more learned.
    Boing flip!

  55. As a scientist I do not say there is no god, i say there is no proof that one exists. Belief is not proof.
    Theories are prooved and dissproved on a regular basis.
    I find it unfortunate that a simple harmless posting such as this has been turned into an argument as to whether god exists or not and it seems this has always been the way of believers in god.
    If you don’t believe then you will be put to death. You are a witch, prove that you are not by dying when we drown you. They don’t believe so lets have a war. Is this the will of a god ?
    Creationists believe that evolution needs a hand and that some things could not have evolved, proove it 🙂
    There is a lot of proof that things do change, adapt, evolve to suit their environment!
    My 2 pennies worth 🙂

  56. I printed off the illusion for my 6th form students, we’ve been having a Darwin Birthday Party all day, and had competitions to decorate fairy cakes with the most unusual species (we couldn’t afford a phylum feast)

    It makes me optimistic that the vast majority of my students believe in evolution and are willing to try to discuss it with anyone who doesn’t. As an international school they are open minded to other cultures and beliefs, and even the two students I teach who don’t believe in evolution are willing to listen to other points of view, and they are bombarded with evidence from the other students. As long as people are willing to dicuss ideas there is hope for science 🙂

  57. I just read this whole thread and right now Tracy King is probably my favorite person ever. Smart with a sense of humour and everything!
    Poor Nigel…

  58. The bible speaks of unicorns in several places. I want to see the unicorns. I don’t want to see special pleading about maybe Job didn’t know what to call them, or they weren’t really unicorns but other animals with horns (is the bible absolutely inerrant all the time? Why do we have to ‘add’ information to explain it?). Or that they have since become extinct, and for some strange reason not a single fossil exists? That would mean that some creatures died and DIDN’T LEAVE FOSSILS.

    Also, I want to know how armadillos migrated from wherever the Ark landed, to Texas, without leaving little armadillo bodies across the world?? They left little armadillo bodies all over the Western Hemisphere, why not in the eastern???

  59. Stevo,

    I just wanted to pick up on a couple of your points:

    “…if the strongest survive then that is why you won’t find the intermediaries in the process. They didn’t make it old son. That is also why the fossil record is incomplete and ‘bursty’.”

    That could be taken to indicate that you believe that ‘macro’ evolutionary change occurs. Species don’t suddenly grow wings, armour plating or poisonous bites overnight (except in extreme outlying cases – so called Stretched DC3 evolution), so you would expect there to be intermediate steps. That’s one of the central tenets of Darwinian theory. In many cases you do find intermediaries in the fossil record. There are theories to explain other gaps, migrating species populations for example as favoured by Stephen Gould (if all the evolving has been going on on the other side of the mountain and then the great, great, great, grandkids come back then it will look like there’s been a sudden change). In addition, not all changes will show up in fossils and sadly not every animal gets fossilised anyway so you’d expect gaps. The gaps keep getting smaller though. As an aside, it’s worth pointing out even if there wasn’t any fossil evidence for evolution it would still be a superior explanation for the adaptation of life as it’s the only one on the table which can explain what we see around us (and us!) and shows how you can move from less complicated things into more complicated ones. All religious explanations do is assume an incredibly complicated thing is there at the start, but don’t explain where *that* came from, so they’re no answer at all.

    “There is so much evidence of adaption crossing species boundaries that I don’t know where to start really. ”

    I’m not sure that you can claim that evolutionary change crosses species boundaries. Penguins swim because there was an evolutionary gain to do so and their existing body structures allowed them to adapt to swimming (swimming and flight are pretty similar in terms of muscle movement). They don’t swim because they learnt from fish. The reason you see successful strategies repeated across species is that the problems they are trying to solve is the same, but in most cases their solutions have evolved convergently.

  60. Sadly, the only real point in debating a creationist is to get them so worked up that they repel people who aren’t already committed to their ideas. After all, if you report observing something other than what a creationist knowns to be “the truth” (and by definition “the truth” cannot be either dogma or in error) you are either
    (1) Mistaken.
    (2) Deceived by Satan or his minions or
    (3) Intentionally supporting Satan in his attempt to lure people away from God.
    The creationists consider it easy to avoid (1) and (2) – all you have to do is accept the “truth” which they are clearly presenting and which you are obviously reading since you’re responding to them.
    Ergo anyone reporting evidence supporting evolutionary arguments is either a deluded fool or a voluntary part of Satan’s conspiracy to condemn other people (including both the creationists children and their own offspring), to eternal torment in hell.

    Similarly, any attempt to make direct arguments, or to direct creationists to physical evidence, observations of evolution in action, rational discussions, or explanations of how evolution works, is useful only to persuade the occasional browser who has doubts since – from a creationist’s viewpoint – this is tantamount to saying “go listen to Satan for awhile and see if he can’t persuade you”. Even if a creationist can be persuaded to look at such material, it will simply be to look for places where the “conspiracy” looks weak to them.

    Attempting to argue with a conspiracy theorist simply makes you part of the conspiracy.

    From a creationists point of view they’re being incredibly tactful and tolerant in simply shouting names and trying to discredit the “obvious falsehoods” of evolution instead of burning its proponents at the stake for their admitted collaboration with Satan. They’re offering you a chance to turn away from your allegiance to the devil and save your soul, and you ought to be grateful for it.

    Fortunately, reducing creationists to spewing enough incoherent and outdated nonsense to repel people is usually pretty easy.

  61. This is great. Finally, this page means I can really see Charles Darwin in everything I look at, much like creationists think they can see God in everything they look at.

    I much prefer illusion to delusion.

  62. I can’t understand how evolution hasn’t completely debunked all other theories and hasn’t been embraced completely by the world these 200 years later. Yes it’s a “theory” but so is every other idea, scientific or not. It’s a theory with weight behind it in such an abundance that conflicting theories are beyond dwarfed by it.

  63. I really enjoyed your discussion. I would like only to provide a few remarks: 1.Bible does not teach Science, therefore it does not offer a scientific theory of the origins of the Universe and of Man. 2.Bible is a religious book. It teaches that God is at the origin of everything. 3. Creation is not incompatible with evolution. it is “creative evolution”. But we cannot accept creationism, namely creation as a scientific theory. Creationism would be biblical fundamentalism. 4. Biblical creation does not exclude scientific evolution. 5.Scientific evolution is a theory that tries to explain the phenomena. It should itself evolve so as to explain adequately all the pertinent phenomena. Scientists will contribute to it. 6. The Church does accept the theory of Charles Darwin, but not his materialism and atheism. 7. We can always discuss the complex phenomena of the origins. 8. Bible contains “science” of that time, or ‘pre-science’. Scientific theories can be discarded and replaced. But the teaching of God’s existence will stand. It is interesting to read so different points of discussion.

  64. Nigel,

    Many of your comments are simply incorrect to the point of cluelessness and your entire argument is completely fallacious in addition to being baseless. As for calling Jesus a liar, we’d have to establish that the comments attributed to him were actually made, and we have no credible source for that. Everyone lies from time to time, and I have no valid reason at all to suppose that Jesus was no exception. I couldn’t care less.

    DNA experiences additions because of mutations which are sustained because they are successful from a reproductive point of view. This is a theory that works perfectly well.

  65. Put on your helmuts, think-masters.

    Theoretically, even non-scientists should investigate inside their own cranium cavities first, before going to all the trouble of inventing clever toys based on persistence of vision (all this cheap parlor trick is, your eyes are ‘remembering’ Darwin’s shadow), and instead spill their brains for us to see. My guess is that Rob what’s-his-ass has relatively soft brain matter, which would splatter. Now that is a painting I’d like to watch happening, as an interested observer. Spread open those collegiate cracks, arse-faces! Widen my understanding for me. You gots da upper-hand here, by godly! I can show you Jesus watching over NYC just before 9/11, the very same way. Does not demonstrate anything, except my own clever trick. You some clever trick, Boy?

    Happy Dark-wanker Day Yourself, Pompous Idiot! 😀 (just one opinionated offering from this here non-jooo!)

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ BEAT OFF NEO-SCIENCE-HEADS ‘fore they SHAFT US ALL ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    — to be fair, bang science skulls on the inside, where they think more —

    (bet you can’t take a joke, you so stooooooopid! prove you’re alive first)
    Scotland is hotland snotland shotland blotland
    (stop me before you puke, duke)

  66. Happy Birthday Darwin! 🙂
    I’ve written a post with an extract on Darwin, check it out here if your interested. By the way I really like the after-image! It worked really well I thought.

  67. Man created bible, bible created confusion, confused man scratched head and turned to nature, nature created apes, apes mimicked man, man created theory. The end.

    I’m just glad I’m a woman.

  68. I saw it! Clever.


    Theorize all you want, peoples. Just don’t flat-out reject an idea because you think it has no basis in science. If you see rational thought as the ultimate tool for explanation, then perhaps you should take some time to rationally explain the origins of rational thought.

  69. “Just don’t flat-out reject an idea because you think it has no basis in science. ”
    Why not?! That’s what science is all about isn’t it? How can you accept any idea that has no basis in science? ‘Take it on faith’?
    “If you see rational thought as the ultimate tool for explanation, then perhaps you should take some time to rationally explain the origins of rational thought.”
    What the heck do you think large branches of science (each in thier own way) have been up to for hundreds of years. This is the whole nobel adventure – explaining things without conjuring up something else which cannot be explained.

  70. Nigel, why do you come here to mock Darwin at a time when people are celebrating his birthday? I don’t recall hearing anyone mocking Jesus last Christmas?

  71. I read this and I think you’re all wrong.

    It was the little green men inside our heads that are controlling us and putting the ideas in our heads. Yes we have little green men in our heads, and you can’t prove me wrong since they are invisible. And I know they are there because mine spoke to me and told me so, and one day I am going to write a book about what he told me. Then in thousands of years time, people will know about the little green men that have been forgotten!

    Oh, little green man in my head that is helping me to type this, how I worship you so. I am sure you created us all.

  72. Did you know that Darwin used to believe in a source of creation, when his daughter died thats when he lost faith. Darwins theory contradicts science while the Quran has never EVER contradicted with science. DO THE RESEARCH FOR YOURSELF!!!

  73. If that would mean having to read a tedious religious tract, then no thanks. But do enlighten us on how Darwin contradicts science.

  74. AndyC first of all Darwin had never undergone a formal education in Biology. He took only amateur interests in the subject of nature and living things.

    Having said that I think all the atheist will jump at me any minute or so 😛 Just one example so I don’t babble all day lets take the example of the origins of birds and mammals.

    According to the theory of evolution, life originated and evolved in the sea and then was transported onto land by amphibians. This evolutionary scenario suggests that amphiblians evolved into reptiles This scenario is again implausible, due to the enormous structural differences between these two classes of animals. For instance, the amphibian egg is designed for developing in water whereas
    the amniotic egg is designed for developing on land. A “step by step” evolution of an amphibian is out of the question, because without a perfect and fully-designed egg, it is not possible for a species to survive. Moreover, as usual, there is no evidence of transitional
    forms that were supposed to link amphibians with reptiles. Evolutionist paleontologist and an authority on vertebrate paleontology, Robert L. Carroll has to accept that “the early reptiles were very different from amphibians and that their ancestors could
    not be found yet.”

    An atheist who says that all this complex life and different system in life came by coincidence. Is like saying you throw an atomic bomb on a junk yard and out comes a rolls royce

  75. @Classic: a ‘classic’ example of a Gish gallop – so many fallacies, misconceptions and outright untruths. Your use of a variation of the ‘whirlwind – 747’ argument just shows how little you have actually read on the subject. That particular fallacy was laid to rest decades ago.

    1: Evolution does not concern itself with the origins of life, only how life developed.

    2: ‘life originated and evolved in the sea and then was transported onto land by amphibians’ – I’d like for you to find me one evolutionary biologist who actually says this.

    3: your egg example is another case of the irreducible complexity argument, which was thoroughly debunked during the Dover trial (there is a link further up in this comment thread if you care for a little reading).

    4: no transitional fossils – the old creationist cry. Totally untrue, I’m afraid. Just because you say there aren’t any does not make it so. There are literally thousands of transitional fossils, you just refuse to see them.

    5: the fact that you link to Harun Yahya shows us exactly how far down the creationst rabbit hole you really are – this guy has been shown to be a liar, fraud, and plagiarist of photographs to support his claims, all of which do not have any shred of evidence behind them.

  76. “Jason S Says:
    February 12, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Thank you Nigel for your insightful comments. Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.”

    ^^ROFL great simpsons reference

    homer is the king

  77. Just a question: Coming from a christian/ creationist why do you give credit to a “natural accident” what is a beautiful work of love? God created us in his image and has a divine purpose for each of us. I think that that’s a little more fulfilling that living for no apparent reason and just existing because we’re an “accident”. Where’s the hope in that?
    You, men, came from the dirt in the ground and the breath of God. You, women, came from Adam’s rib. How weird, but freakishly cool and creative is that?? 🙂
    Like I said, if we keep telling this generation that they have no reason being here what so ever, yet at the same time they need to “follow their dreams” and “reach for the stars” and yet what’s the point, since nothing really matters we’re just a pretty rock in the pointless universe, then kids are going to walk straight from their science class room to the school counselor’s office.
    Just something to chew on. 🙂

  78. What does it mean if I look at a white wall and see a picture of Satan spraying God with a Super-Soaker full of tequila?

  79. There are lots of ways one can make ones time on earth as fulfilling as possible that dont have to involve belief in a diety. I have great satisfaction from my work, my family, the wonder of our planet, and realise that as my time here is it then nothing, I try to make the best of it. I’ve never told anyone that there is no reason for being here; that’s what the god botherers say to frighten one.

  80. Monkeys/or chimps are wonderful animals always thought that they somehow bore some resemblance to us. Nice piece of philosophy I thought. Must admit that I tried hard to follow the queue.

  81. evenstar16 – firstly there is no evidence whatsoever that atheism leads to depression, lack of ambition or even existentialism. As for ‘telling kids’, I rather think the civilised thing to do is present all the evidence (there is none for the existence of God or the literal truth of the bible, btw) and let them make their own minds up, yes? Anything else would be indoctrination, which is not groovy. There is also no evidence that morality is derived from the bible, indeed those of us here who are atheists are insulted by the notion. We don’t need the threat of hell or the love of Jebus to inspire us to behave well, we have something called “empathy” instead. There are fewer atheists in prison than religious people.

    Also you could look up ‘slippery slope fallacy’.

    Also you do know that men don’t actually have one rib fewer than women, right? When I was a Christian I was taught that they did. I couldn’t reconcile basic anatomy lessons with my religion, so I abandoned the latter on the grounds that it was stupid.

  82. Look, I don’t know all that you were taught in church. I was taught some pretty stupid things too. (not directly maybe, but still.) haha, thx for clarifying that men do NOT have fewer ribs. 🙂
    Stupid things are taught in all religions and beliefs. Because heck, we’re human.
    And “btw” There IS evidence for God. How can you not see it?? The fact that the simplest things like the concept of a line: do you think anything, especially an accident, could come up with a line, much less the entire universe?? And did you know that there is scientific evidence that a cell could not have evolved? It would have had to exist completely immediately, or else they would have died.
    And: It’s just that you hear more about “religious” people in prison, because most people believe in one religion or another. There are a lot more apparently-religious people in the world than atheists.
    (I’m trying to argue all your points, just so you know. 😀 )
    Trust me, I know that there are a lot of nonbelievers who are happy. I know of a lot of them that are depressed. But that’s because they place there hope and possessions in the world, and the world has its ups and downs, depending on what your status is.
    There are also a lot of religious people who are depressed. But that’s because their relationship is hindered by something. A wrong idea, or a sin, or something.
    But Christian believers like myself (or what I’m praying to do) are placing their hope and possessions in heaven, with God, where it does not change.
    And, I’m not against freewill and all-sides-of-the-argument for our kids: That’s a gift from God! He gave Adam and Eve freewill. But alas, they chose poorly. *sob*
    Anyway, what they believe is their choice.
    And you talk about indoctrination, but you claim that people saying, “God doesn’t exist. Period.” isn’t?
    Last of all (finally, haha): What do you mean by “There is also no evidence that morality is derived from the bible”. Do you mean morality as in a way of life? If so, history obviously says otherwise. Or, do you mean morality’s existence? I so, then i agree, it did not come from the Bible. It came from God.
    God loves you. And I’m praying for you. (I know, that sounds totally religious. But I do know this: Religion doesn’t save you. Jesus does!)

    P.S. Rockingout: That might mean there’s something wrong with you… haha. jk 😀

  83. evenstar16, thanks for praying for me. I need a wank later, I’ll crack one off for you in return. Fair’s fair.

    I believe the USA prison statistics was a percentage of the relative religious population but I need to go and confirm that.

    As for indoctrination, no-one is saying ‘there is no god’, that’s my point. That would also be a dumb thing to teach kids. You present the evidence (there’s this book, but it has this history, with these translations, this political interference etc, and here are the other religions and here’s their books and their histories) and you let people make up their own minds. What you don’t do is tell anyone that they’re going to hell, or that eternal life definitely awaits them along with their dead pets, because there is no evidence for that.

    And if you see evidence of god in a line…well, I feel a sad about that.

    Throw a dart at the wall. Draw a circle around where it lands. Now marvel at the miracle that the dart landed in the circle.

  84. haha, are you kidding? There are lots of people saying “there is no God”. Not you personally, obviously, but there are. Try watching “Expelled” sometime and I can quote Richard Dawkins “Evolution is a fact”. Teachers everywhere are teaching the THEORY of evolution as a fact. Professors are getting kicked out of their jobs just for MENTIONING Intelligent Design.

    No, I’m not going to cram eternal damnation or God down people’s throats, and no one should. What people believe is their own decision, as I’ve said before.

    Look, if you want to feel sorry for me, you can. I’m not going to stop you. I feel sad for you too. Why don’t we all sob over each other together?? 😀
    I’m not going to recant my beliefs. Many people have died for what I believe in, and well, that must mean that God is something pretty special. And I know he is. 🙂
    Hope I’ve given you all something to think about,

    P.S. Isn’t it amazing how the dart landed in the circle????????:D haha

  85. Do all the heretics, apostates and other- or non-believers killed over the years by religious people of all creeds also mean God is something pretty special?

  86. Tom says:

    Great optical thingy..!!!!

    In reply to the following from Malc–>

    Malc Says: February 12, 2009 at 11:57 am
    Nigel, there is no LAW of gravity. Newton had a THEORY of gravity
    There are no LAWs, only theories. That is science.



    So what is left? Maybe a sense of humour?

  87. I do love it when people tell me that atheists believe in X and because of that we’ll end up messed up because X can only disappoint us.

    Atheism only defines what we don’t believe in: a god or gods. There are atheists who believe in nothing, in random events, in good luck, good wishes, some mysterious ethereal faceless ‘force’, The Force, conspiracy theories, horoscopes, talking cats, leprechauns, fairies at the bottom of the garden, and probably as many different combinations of weird and wonderful things as there are atheists.

    Trying to group us together is futile, based on knowing nothing of what we are and only one thing that we aren’t.

    Which is probably why, as a group, we’re so bloody annoying to argue with :o)

  88. evenstar: You seem to be under a misaprehension. Evolution IS a fact. It is also a theory.

    Here, I’ll explain.

    Evolution is a fact in so far as it is observed all around us. Numerous examples have been given in this discussion, including mosquitoes on the London underground, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the fossil record, and in lab experiments monitoring the devopment of fast reproducing life forms. That is what the word fact refers to; observations about the world around us.

    Then there is the theory of evolution by natural selection. This is an explanatory framework, which has its origins in Darwin’s writings but has changed hugely since his time. This theory seeks to explain and predict the evolution that we have observed in living things, along side the evidence we have collected from fossils, DNA, medical treatments etc.

  89. @Nigel
    Your comment here couldn’t be let pass
    “But the worm does not survive there – it dies in the eyeball! That’s not what I call survival.”

    And you believe that worm was designed by who exactly?

    Seems that the human gets blindness and the worm dies. Just how intelligent is this designer in which you and your strange little sub-sect believe?

    I assume you are aware enough of basic science to not take the whole bible literally aren’t you? You don’t really believe that God stopped the sun in the sky do you? (If you do check a basic physics primer and a kindergarten atlas of the solar system to see how that can’t work.)

    You are either choosing to believe the impossible or you are picking and choosing what parts of the bible to believe and what to reject. You are free to make those choices and free to bore those around you talking about what bits of the bible you believe in what way but don’t get confused and think that anything you are saying has anything at all to do with science.

    Here’s the ‘proof’ that we are all descended from apes straight for the bible.
    – Adam and Eve had two sons (no daughters).
    – 1 son killed the other.
    – So we are all descended from the one son, Cain.
    – Where did Cain place his ‘seed’ to fertilise an egg?
    – It must have been an ape close enough to human to breed with.
    *Cue ominous music*
    *Evangelical Christians exit stage left waving bibles and screaming “Nooooo!!!” in high pitched wailing fashion*

  90. Duncan
    I am pretty sure that Eve had many other children after Cain and Abel.

    Choosing to believe what seems impossible is called FAITH!!! I have faith in the theory of gravity, the probability of me floating of into space is very small! 😉

    Maybe you should take a closer look at the ‘facts’.

  91. duncan
    Also, Darwin admitted his theory was incorrect after a while. The world just wanted something to go against religion so they chose to believe that.

  92. I agree with you evenstar16!
    Everyone should have a choice in what they believe in! Please don’t stuff anything down my throat! 😉

  93. Having ‘faith in gravity’ is irrelevant. Nothing you believe about it will make any difference to how gravity works on you. Lose your faith in it and you still remain on the ground.

  94. The effect is astounding, stare at in in focus but not precisely and you see no details from the monkey lines when you see the blink image, stare at it focused and on the lines and you see the details when blinking, stare at it parallax with eyes crossed and the blink image is also doubled. The question that comes to my mind, is how does this effect relate to imagery viewed during the dream state, when the eyes are closed, but scenery is viewed? Is there a charge feedback from the active brain regions to the retina during rem involving the circadian cycle and melatonin release? In other words, are the images seen during dreams actually being “viewed” by the retina or is the imagery purely imagined within the brain itself and the optic nerve playing no role ?

  95. It IS a clever pay with lights and shadows in a photograph, however, you guys could’ve outlined just about anything there, 2 monkey, or 3 motorcycles, or my uncle’s entire wedding party. You just needed a few strategically placed lines for eyebrows, nose, ear and (in this case) mustache and beard and our human brain will automatically associate all this cacophony with a recognizable face.

  96. Hi Richard; I have searched in vain to find an email address to contact you at, so this will have to do 🙂

    I work at the National Science and Technology Centre in Australia, and I have been tasked with developing a new live science show about perception and illusions.

    I am writing to you to request your permission to reproduce this Darwin illusion, and possibly the different coloured spirals illusion (https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/you-are-needed-to-help-write-a-script/ and if you have a higher-resolution version that would be wonderful) as part of a slideshow presentation to accompany the show.

    I am happy to provide any attribution that you would like, and no copies would be made or distributed.

    You can contact me at the email address I have provided in the comment metadata; thanks for your time, and I look forward to your reply.


  97. Darwin actualy stated his theory was incorrect after several years. Public just desperatly wanted th world to go against any form of faith.

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  104. You cant handle bloody truth about darwin lies soyou want peoples e mails so you can bar them from commenting on this site.look at Bible,It mentions dinosaur in Job,and also the universe expanding always,Other books in Bible mention atoms as the invisible things that make everything in matter,Even people n stars.People that (ProCreate) people like you truly are talking (Apes)Take that to the bank,Foolish Geeks.

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