But what if all of my students are hot?

They are, every single one of them. Even the ones I don’t see because they’re just a black rectangle on Zoom. Apparently, though, attractive girls’ grades suffered when we moved to online courses because they couldn’t appeal to professor’s biases.

It’s a garbage study, though, as Rebecca Watson explains. The paper claims that…

As education moved online following the onset of the pandemic, the grades of attractive female students deteriorated. This finding implies that the female beauty premium observed when education is in-person is likely to be chiefly a consequence of discrimination. On the contrary, for male students, there was still a significant beauty premium even after the introduction of online teaching. The latter finding suggests that for males in particular, beauty can be a productivity-enhancing attribute.

I don’t understand the mechanism behind that — so we have some kind of radar that senses hot men even over wi-fi, but that fails when we try to detect hot women? How is “beauty” a productivity-enhancing attribute?

Did the author consider the possibility that all of our students and professors have been experiencing great strains over the last few years? Deciding that the one decisive parameter was what they look like seems exceptionally reductive.

Then I had to wonder how the scored “beauty”, and it turns out the author just scavenged up photos on social media, had a couple of students look at them, and rate them. This seems rather arbitrary, and dependent on biases by the judges, as well as accidents of photography. I know I hate it when people take candid shots of my face before I’ve put my makeup on, and also, I don’t know about you, but I automatically deduct 2 points from any photo in which the subject is making pouty duck lips. Sorry.

Final gross error: he included enough detail about the subjects that they could in some cases tell what their score was…and their grades. Oh, and big problem, there was no informed consent, none of the students knew they had been incorporated into this “study”.

The author, Adrian Mehic, is an economist, so I’d already be suspicious of his psychological/sociological study, but the ethics violations and the ridiculous conclusion he draws (“attractive women get better grades because they’re being unfairly advantaged”) confirms that this is a dumpster fire of a paper, constructed out of a thoroughly p-hacked grab bag of fuzzy data.

Future! Evolution! Predicted!

Back in the day when I was a naive young man, the news would occasionally run stories about the Future of Humanity, and predict where evolution was going to take us. It was usually a destiny of feeble, shriveled bodies and gigantic domed heads, but there were recent variants. Wall-E instead suggested humans were all going to become obese, trapped in motorized wheelchairs. Or look to Idiocracy, which instead predicts we’re going to be selecting for crass stupidity. You should realize that these are not scientific predictions at all, they are merely cautionary tales conjured up by creators who are telling us about themselves — that they find eggheads and fat people and stupid people repellent, for instance. It’s both ugly and unscientific, because no, evolutionary biologists are not going to make long term predictions about the trajectory of evolution, because selection is a short term and local process.

Are you ready for the next generation of inane predictions? Oh boy, they are at least going in a different direction. Behold Mindy, our destiny, if we continue to do things the artist doesn’t like very much.

You might be wondering how they came up with this remarkable portrait. “Researchers” were commissioned to create a model.

Researchers worked with a 3D designer to create images of a “future human” that accounts for all of the problems long-term tech use may cause.

That does not explain who these “researchers” are. I read through the original source, and it seems to have been Professor Google. They rummaged around through various sites that complain about modern ills — I found some New Age sources, some crank medical sites, and some legit medical sources that talk about the perils of poor posture — and stitched them all together into a rationale for what evolution would favor, an invalid line of reasoning. It’s all entirely driven by contempt for people who use cell phones and do office work. As usual, it’s all about airing the creator’s ill-informed biases. So, if you look at your phone, you are warping the morphology of any progeny you might have! Stop it!

Researchers predict that office work and craning the neck to look at smartphones will lead to humans having a hunched back in the future. Currently, many people consistently adjust their position to look down at their phones, or to look up at their office screens.

If you sit in front of your computer, your grandchildren will grow up to be hunchbacks! At least, according to a holistic medicine guy.

Sitting in front of the computer at the office for hours on end also means that your torso is pulled out in front of your hips rather than being stacked straight and aligned,” says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics.

Using this logic, I guess if they’d hired “researchers” a hundred and fifty years ago to draw what humans would look like if we continued to employ chimney sweeps, they’d have predicted small thin people with armored skin and flexible joints and extra eyelids…oh, look, these guys also predicted extra eyelids to filter out blue light that disrupts sleep patterns, because of course evolution is all about conveniently delivering exactly what you need.

Are you ready for the disclosure of who actually commissioned this work? It’s a company called “Toll Free Forwarding” which is using it to promote their cell phone service with sensationalist bullshit.

Technology has revolutionized the way we do business. Whether it’s the instant access to infinite knowledge through a device in our pocket, or the ability for businesses to expand into new markets all over the world (like Canada, Australia, and Ireland) with a virtual phone number, the scope of technology’s impact is limitless, and this trend shows no sign of letting up.

I’m not linking to them, because that’s what they want, but you can probably find them if you wanted. I don’t know why you would, because the people running this company are dishonest idiots.

A flimsy excuse to do nothing

When science is being faked in the published literature, that is a big problem. You’d think the gatekeepers would want to do something about it.

In a new report now being made public by Retraction Watch, Artemisia draws attention to four main groups centered on Ali Nazari, Mostafa Jalal, a postdoc at Texas A&M University, Ehsan Mohseni of the University of Newcastle in Australia, and Alireza Najigivi of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. The whistleblower lists a total of 287 potentially compromised papers in the 42-page report.

Two hundred eighty seven papers with dodgy data, all churned out by these interlinked lab groups! That’s nuts. It’s practically a criminal enterprise. Part of the problem is at the university level, where the number of papers, without concern for their content, is the metric for promotion. But it’s also a problem with the proliferation of poorly managed journals, where the sole concern is volume and collecting those publication fees.

The guilty person at the journal level here is Guido Schmitz, at the University of Stuttgart, who is the editor of the International Journal of Materials Research, where this crap is published. He had an astonishing response when the bad papers in his journal were reported to him.

I can assure that I do not like fraud in scientific results and I will do my best to prevent them. But on the other hand, I hate anonymous accusations. So it would be my pleasure to follow up this matter after you have discovered your personality to me and send contact data under which I can reach you.

Wait wait wait. Because the person reporting the problem to him, “Artemisia”, is an anonymous whistleblower, he refuses to do anything? That makes no sense. If they had a Nobel prize attached to their name, would he jump up and take care of the problem immediately? Not knowing who they are is reason enough to ignore a credible complaint? This is not how it’s supposed to work. Any action taken would not be on the basis of the say-so of the person reporting it — his fucking job is to evaluate the evidence given and act appropriately.

He has been handed documentation that shows these papers contain falsified images, and he chooses to sit on his hands and not do anything because he doesn’t see a named authority behind the complaint. It’s rank credentialism. He’s also snooty and dismissive.

I will not take any action based on an anonymous accusation. As soon as you discover your clear name, contact address and your personal motivation in this issue, I will consider the appropriate and required means.

That doesn’t matter. If Bozo the Clown hands you evidence that figures were faked and data manipulated, you do due diligence and look at the work and verify the concerns, and then you take action, based on the evidence, not your perception of the authority of the complainant. If you don’t, why were you appointed to be editor of this journal?

Who needs religion when you’ve got these clowns promoting bad ideas?

That’s an unholy trinity if ever I saw one: Bostrom, Musk, Galton. They’re all united by terrible, simplistic understanding of genetics and a self-serving philosophy that reinforces their confidence in bad ideas. They are longtermists. Émile Torres explains what that is and why it is bad…although you already knew it had to be bad because of its proponents.

As I have previously written, longtermism is arguably the most influential ideology that few members of the general public have ever heard about. Longtermists have directly influenced reports from the secretary-general of the United Nations; a longtermist is currently running the RAND Corporation; they have the ears of billionaires like Musk; and the so-called Effective Altruism community, which gave rise to the longtermist ideology, has a mind-boggling $46.1 billion in committed funding. Longtermism is everywhere behind the scenes — it has a huge following in the tech sector — and champions of this view are increasingly pulling the strings of both major world governments and the business elite.

But what is longtermism? I have tried to answer that in other articles, and will continue to do so in future ones. A brief description here will have to suffice: Longtermism is a quasi-religious worldview, influenced by transhumanism and utilitarian ethics, which asserts that there could be so many digital people living in vast computer simulations millions or billions of years in the future that one of our most important moral obligations today is to take actions that ensure as many of these digital people come into existence as possible.

In practical terms, that means we must do whatever it takes to survive long enough to colonize space, convert planets into giant computer simulations and create unfathomable numbers of simulated beings. How many simulated beings could there be? According to Nick Bostrom —the Father of longtermism and director of the Future of Humanity Institute — there could be at least 1058 digital people in the future, or a 1 followed by 58 zeros. Others have put forward similar estimates, although as Bostrom wrote in 2003, “what matters … is not the exact numbers but the fact that they are huge.”

They are masters of the silly hypothetical — these are the kind of people who spawned the concept of Roko’s Basilisk, “that an all-powerful artificial intelligence from the future might retroactively punish those who did not help bring about its existence”. It’s “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, where the “many” are padded with 1058 hypothetical, imaginary people, and you are expected to serve them (or rather, the technocrat billionaire priests who represent them) because they outvote you now.

The longtermists are terrified of something called existential risk, which is anything that they fear would interfere with that progression towards 1058 hardworking capitalist lackeys working for their vision of a Randian paradise. It’s their boogeyman, and it doesn’t have to actually exist. It’s sufficient that they can imagine it and are therefore justified in taking actions here and now, in the real world, to stop their hypothetical obstacle. Anything fits in this paradigm, it doesn’t matter how absurd.

For longtermists, there is nothing worse than succumbing to an existential risk: That would be the ultimate tragedy, since it would keep us from plundering our “cosmic endowment” — resources like stars, planets, asteroids and energy — which many longtermists see as integral to fulfilling our “longterm potential” in the universe.

What sorts of catastrophes would instantiate an existential risk? The obvious ones are nuclear war, global pandemics and runaway climate change. But Bostrom also takes seriously the idea that we already live in a giant computer simulation that could get shut down at any moment (yet another idea that Musk seems to have gotten from Bostrom). Bostrom further lists “dysgenic pressures” as an existential risk, whereby less “intellectually talented” people (those with “lower IQs”) outbreed people with superior intellects.

Dysgenic pressures, the low IQ rabble outbreeding the superior stock…where have I heard this before? Oh, yeah:

This is, of course, straight out of the handbook of eugenics, which should be unsurprising: the term “transhumanism” was popularized in the 20th century by Julian Huxley, who from 1959 to 1962 was the president of the British Eugenics Society. In other words, transhumanism is the child of eugenics, an updated version of the belief that we should use science and technology to improve the “human stock.”

I like the idea of transhumanism, and I think it’s almost inevitable. Of course humanity will change! We are changing! What I don’t like is the idea that we can force that change into a direction of our choosing, or that certain individuals know what direction is best for all of us.

Among the other proponents of this nightmare vision of the future is Robin Hanson, who takes his colonizer status seriously: “Hanson’s plan is to take some contemporary hunter-gatherers — whose populations have been decimated by industrial civilization — and stuff them into bunkers with instructions to rebuild industrial civilization in the event that ours collapses”. Nick Beckstead is another, who argues that saving lives in poor countries may have significantly smaller ripple effects than saving and improving lives in rich countries, … it now seems more plausible to me that saving a life in a rich country is substantially more important than saving a life in a poor country, other things being equal. Or William MacAskill, who thinks that If scientists with Einstein-level research abilities were cloned and trained from an early age, or if human beings were genetically engineered to have greater research abilities, this could compensate for having fewer people overall and thereby sustain technological progress.

Just clone Einstein! Why didn’t anyone else think of that?

Maybe because it is naive, stupid, and ignorant.

MacAskill has been the recipient of a totally uncritical review of his latest book in the Guardian. He’s a philosopher, but you’ll be relieved to know he has come up with a way to end the pandemic.

The good news is that with the threat of an engineered pandemic, which he says is rapidly increasing, he believes there are specific steps that can be taken to avoid a breakout.

“One partial solution I’m excited about is called far ultraviolet C radiation,” he says. “We know that ultraviolet light sterilises the surfaces it hits, but most ultraviolet light harms humans as well. However, there’s a narrow-spectrum far UVC specific type that seems to be safe for humans while still having sterilising properties.”

The cost for a far UVC lightbulb at the moment is about $1,000 (£820) per bulb. But he suggests that with research and development and philanthropic funding, it could come down to $10 or even $1 and could then be made part of building codes. He runs through the scenario with a breezy kind of optimism, but one founded on science-based pragmatism.

You know, UVC, at 200-280nm, is the most energetic form of UV radiation — we don’t get much of it here on planet Earth because it is quickly absorbed by any molecule it touches. It’s busy converting oxygen to ozone as it enters the atmosphere. So sure, yeah, it’s germicidal, and maybe it’s relatively safe for humans because it cooks the outer, dead layers of your epidermis and is absorbed before it can zap living tissue layers, but I don’t think it’s practical (so much for “science-based pragmatism”) in a classroom, for instance. We’re just going to let our kiddos bask in UV radiation for 6 hours a day? How do you know that’s going to be safe in the long term, longtermist?

Quacks have a “breezy kind of optimism”, too, but it’s not a selling point for their nostrums.

If you aren’t convinced yet that longtermism/effective altruism isn’t a poisoned chalice of horrific consequences, look who else likes this idea:

One can begin to see why Elon Musk is a fan of longtermism, or why leading “new atheist” Sam Harris contributed an enthusiastic blurb for MacAskill’s book. As noted elsewhere, Harris is a staunch defender of “Western civilization,” believes that “We are at war with Islam,” has promoted the race science of Charles Murray — including the argument that Black people are less intelligent than white people because of genetic evolution — and has buddied up with far-right figures like Douglas Murray, whose books include “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam.”

Yeah, NO.

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should

As usual, First Dog on the Moon scores.

Oh yeah. This again. Some molecular biologists with no training in population genetics or ethics think they can go into a lab and resurrect an extinct species.

Almost 100 years after its extinction, the Tasmanian tiger may live once again. Scientists want to resurrect the striped carnivorous marsupial, officially known as a thylacine, which used to roam the Australian bush.

The ambitious project will harness advances in genetics, ancient DNA retrieval and artificial reproduction to bring back the animal.

They won’t succeed. At best, they’ll assemble a maladapted hybrid something or other to be exhibited in some freak show of a zoo. It won’t be a thylacine, it’ll be a Frankenstein’s monster of an extant marsupial with no home environment and no prospects for the future and no population of conspecifics with which to live and no history. So much bugs me about this story.

They talk about “the thylacine genome”. There’s no such thing. A living population has many genomes. How many individuals are they sampling? How many individuals will they generate? Where will they live? These are carnivores — what will they feed on? Or are they just planning on conjuring up a technology demonstration that they’ll put in a cage and then move on to some other “project”?

They make a token nod towards the problem of extinctions, but aren’t very convincing.

“We would strongly advocate that first and foremost we need to protect our biodiversity from further extinctions, but unfortunately we are not seeing a slowing down in species loss,” said Andrew Pask, a professor at the University of Melbourne and head of its Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research Lab, who is leading the initiative.
“This technology offers a chance to correct this and could be applied in exceptional circumstances where cornerstone species have been lost,” he added.

No, it won’t accomplish any of that. The species is extinct because their habitat is destroyed and people killed them. That’s where you start, by rebuilding their environment, not with PCR machines and microinjection apparatus and flasks in incubators. It’s no surprise who is behind this: a guy with impressive credentials in molecular biology who thinks every problem is a lab exercise.

The project is a collaboration with Colossal Biosciences, founded by tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm and Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church, who are working on an equally ambitious, if not bolder, $15 million project to bring back the woolly mammoth in an altered form.

Yeah, right. He was claiming that he’d be bringing back the mammoth within two years…five years ago. He was also working on a dating app to eliminate genetic diseases (I guess he never heard of eugenics?).

Church has also speculated about resurrecting Neandertals. Nope. Not going to happen. If his thoughts on these matters were more than a millimeter deep, he wouldn’t be jumping onto high profile media to promote these sci-fi fantasies. It’s bad science.

The Pruitt stink lingers on

Speaking of crimes, Jonathan Pruitt is in the news again. Pruitt, you may recall, was a scientist at McMaster University who studied social behavior in spiders — very cool stuff, I’ve read many of his papers, he formed collaborations all over the place. Except…it seems he had faked a lot of his data, saddled his collaborators with untrustworthy work, and meanwhile, Pruitt nonchalantly continued on in his position and sailed off to do fieldwork. McMaster University seemed to have no problem with this stuff, even after Pruitt’s Ph.D. was retracted for his fraudulent behavior.

I would have thought faking data and having your degree invalidated would have been sufficient grounds for an instant dismissal, but someone at McMaster was really dragging their heels about getting the rubbish thrown out. I wonder if Pruitt was talking about lawsuits behind the scenes?

Now we’ve got some progress to report. McMaster never got around to firing him, but Pruitt has resigned instead!

With a pivotal research misconduct hearing nearing, a behavioral ecologist under fire for more than 2 years for data irregularities or possible fabrication in dozens of publications has resigned from their prestigious position at McMaster University, Science has learned. The Canadian school confirmed yesterday in a statement it has reached a “confidential” settlement with Jonathan Pruitt, whose work on social behavior in spiders had earned international acclaim and whose willingness to share data drew many eager collaborators.

What required a “confidential” settlement? What needed to be settled at all? I don’t understand why a clear violation of academic and scientific standards should have required prolonged meetings and a hush-hush resolution. Did McMaster pay him to get out?

Now Pruitt is talking like he’s won a great victory.

Pruitt has not yet responded to McMaster’s statement about the resignation but yesterday, before the university confirmed the news, told Science in an email, “I am approaching a moment when I will be able to speak about #PruittGate in an open forum.” (Twitter users labeled discussions about the ecologists’ research #PruittGate in 2020, when the controversy erupted.)

Do we care anymore what Pruitt has to say? The evidence that he faked data is strong and pretty much irrefutable. Nobody has been waiting to hear what excuses he can come up with. There’s a palpable arrogance to that statement. Especially given the few hints we’ve got about this settlement.

In the past few days, Laskowski says, McMaster contacted some of those researchers to say there would no longer be a hearing because of the settlement. The university noted in an email that as part of the deal, “Dr. Pruitt agrees that they will not initiate any legal action against you for making complaints to McMaster University about Dr. Pruitt, or for your participation in any McMaster University process or investigation.”

What the fuck? Laskowski was the victim here. McMaster has basically cancelled any investigation into wrongdoings and left all the collaborators whose work was corrupted by Pruitt hanging, and apparently Pruitt had threatened to sue the people who exposed his shoddy work. What an awful person.

Although Pruitt is no longer employed by McMaster as of 10 July, according to the statement, the university has still not revealed any conclusions from a recently completed probe into the scientist’s research. That leaves some journal editors and researchers in the field confused about what work from Pruitt remains trustworthy and whether any research misconduct occurred. “It’s appropriate that Jonathan is no longer employed—hopefully at any academic institution,” says Kate Laskowski, a behavioral ecologist at the University of California (UC), Davis. “But I won’t feel [McMaster administrators] have done enough until they make public their findings about the investigation. … I’m extremely frustrated.” Laskowski first brought concerns about Pruitt’s data to public light, via a blog post, in early 2020 after anomalies in a publication on which they were co-authors were brought to her attention.

Hey, confused journal editors and researchers, it’s easy to tell what work of Pruitt’s remains trustworthy: NONE OF IT. I read a fair amount of the scientific literature on spider behavior (it’s interesting!), and one thing I do to assess whether it’s worth reading the whole paper is to first look at the authors. If “Pruitt, J” is among them, I don’t need to waste my time reading it.

That’s the real injustice here. His coauthors don’t deserve that kind of dismissal, but I’m really not going to bother trying to sort out fact from fiction in those papers.

The racist BS of Intelligence and Breast vs. Ass Preference

Here’s one for the Evolutionary Psychology Hall of Shame:

The author of this “study” has a theory, which is his, that breasts are an expensive ornament that could only be selected for in a stable environment where individuals can afford them. They’re kind of like elaborate antlers in species that have them, I guess. Maybe. I could consider an argument along those lines, except this one runs off the rails pretty quickly.

My theory of the evolution of breasts is that they are an adaptation for a slow life history rather than a fast life history. Breasts are K-selected. r-selected animals with a fast life history have short lifespans and mature quickly. K-selected species have longer lifespans, invest more in their children and take longer to mature. Fast life history is an adaptation to unstable ecologies where mortality is more random and uncontrollable so the best option is to have as many offspring as possible. By contrast in predictable environments, there’s an advantage to investing more in offspring to increase their chances.

Breasts by selecting for stable, long-term relationships between males and females facilitate long-term investment in offspring. It makes sense that only humans would have permanent breasts. Compared to other primates we have a slow life history strategy. We live for a particularly long time, take a long time to mature and need substantial resources and protection to develop our large brains.

For those of you fortunate enough to have never encountered racist literature, this r and K stuff, while legitimate parameters in ecology and evolutionary biology, is going to be sadly abused by racists. They want to argue that different populations of humans are living in very different r and K selection regimes, and that they have been living in those situations for long periods of time that are evolutionarily significant. They only trot out these terms to justify with pseudoscience their biases. So be warned: this is garbage science of the rankest kind.

You can’t see the axes of the big graph in the tweet above, so let me extract it for you.

The title, Intelligence and Breast vs. Ass Preference, should alert you to the absurdity that is about to follow. Note the horizontal axis: National IQ. This is a totally bogus parameter. As near as I can tell, it comes from the work of Richard Lynn, an English psychologist associated with a network of scientific racists who fabricated a list of IQ values associated with different nationalities which supported his bias that Africans were less intelligent than Europeans who were less intelligent than Asians. He’s on the board of the Pioneer Fund, an organization that hands out cash to other racist groups and individuals, and he’s also on the board of the notoriously racist journal Mankind Quarterly, which is a recipient of those funds. It’s an incestuous gang of bad pseudoscientists who reference and support each other’s bad pseudoscientific claims.

Now turn your eyes to the vertical axis, Big Boobs-Big Ass Google Trends Search Ratio.

Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. He used Google Trends to look at the frequency of people in various countries searching for the terms “Big Boobs” vs “Big Ass”. In English. He even admits that his results may reflect a linguistic bias, unaware that there are a lot of other reasons why this could be a very poor metric for measuring anatomical preferences. He’s an idiot trying to shoehorn technical terms from evolutionary biology into an inappropriate context with an incredibly sloppy methodology, all to support his racist biases.

Also note that Emil O W Kirkegaard, another racist, is touting this “work”, suggesting that it should appear in the next issue of Mankind Quarterly, which does tell you something about MQ’s standards.

He did later sort of retract that, dismissing criticisms of the inanity of that graph by saying this was a blogpost, not a formal study and making it clear that it wasn’t his work, but George Francis’s.

I want you to know that it was painful for me to dig into Kirkegaard’s repulsively racist Twitter history, in part because he has me blocked (Yay! And also easily circumvented), but also because it was imbedded in all kinds of wretched crap. Did you know Gypsies got bigger balls than Hungarians? And that Unnatural hair color really is a danger zone marker? (You will not be surprised to learn that a picture of Rebecca Watson is used as evidence, although I’m sure she’s tired of it.)

I need a shower after that.

Kirkegaard, by the way, is an editor for Mankind Quarterly. You should be troubled by the fact that Psychology Today, a reasonably mainstream publication that I already didn’t trust at all, has cited him in a terrible article that claims “Higher rates of mental illness have been found on the far left.” The foundation of the entire claim is built on a single paper by Kirkegaard published in Mankind Quarterly, which, I remind you, he edits.

The real danger zone marker here is Mankind Quarterly. Any time you see that journal cited, know that you are going to be exposed to toxic racist bullshit of the worst kind, with the kind of rigor that can be demonstrated with a graph of Intelligence and Breast vs. Ass Preference.

How to spot a bad journal

I get solicitations to publish papers all the time, and I just roundfile ’em. There are journals that are desperate for suckers to pay them to publish their work, and they’ll accept anything. We call them predatory journals, but I have a reservation about that: the whole establishment scientific publishing system is predatory, taking the federally funded output of scientists and billing them so that they can publish. But some are more lacking in discrimination and prestige than others, and have lower standards to the point of absurdity.

Dan Phelps got invited to publish in the International Journal of Paleobiology & Paleontology, which sure sounds like Serious Science, but he took one look at their table of contents and could tell this was a garbage dump. Do you notice anything funny about it?

When accused of being a predatory journal, they have a curious response.

Thank you for your reply, We would like to inform you that ours is not a predatory journal. We have received the ISSN which is provided in our previous email. For your convenience, we are providing the link of our journal where you can find complete information of our journal and Editorial Board members. Link: https://medwinpublishers.com/IJPBP/index.php Kindly revert back if you have any queries. Look forward hear from you soon. Kind Regards, Jackie Crystal Assistant Managing Editor

They can’t be a predatory journal, they have an ISSN! The International Standard Serial Number just means they registered with an organization that issues unique ID numbers to periodicals, magazines, newspapers, even blogs (kinda expensive with no big advantages, so we don’t have one here), and the organization itself says, “it does not guarantee the quality or validity of the contents”.

Some of those titles are dead giveaways, though, and I felt like digging into them a bit. Here’s a fun one, Proving that Dinosaurs are Distant Ancestors of Humans – The East Asian Locus of Evolution that disproves definitively the “Out of Africa” Theory. The title alone tells you that this is nonsense, and that there was no peer review, and that the journal will publish anything.

It was written by Florent Pirot, who is an independent researcher — that means he isn’t a professional employed by any relevant institution. That’s fine, amateur scientists are welcome, but all you have to do is read the abstract to see there’s no substance here.

The study of evolution is clad with vivid debates and each new fossil brought back from ground studies can start a debate, with the ever-existing risk of creative artists looking for celebrity and building dangerously resembling creatures out of thin air. There nevertheless is a very significant, and simple, way, to demonstrate that the parentry of humans is not to be found in the mice of the Jurassic that are presented to be the founding mammals in the mainstream theory but that big dinosaurs that escaped the -65 MY disasters slowly evolved into standing mammals and that our genes are more related to these mammals. Existing literature from PNAS and Science is brought together with the analysis of the author to prove the point.

That doesn’t say anything. He is saying in clumsy English that humans descended from dinosaurs that escaped the KT extinction, but he doesn’t say what he’s going to do in this paper. It’s just as well; this is going to be an exercise in pareidolia and random leaps of logic. For instance:

In Central Asia and Mongolia, the findings of the Nemegtosaurus in the Nemegt Basin show parentry with aurochs, based on the skull, and suggest a farther relation with oreodonts. The skull’s eyes (in the model presented in the Polish Academy of Sciences Evolution Museum) are below two circular areas that obviously were fitted with horns that were perhaps renewed each year, as in deers today. The prominence of the jaws suggests a link with Theropithecus gelada.

Here’s Nemegtosaurus:

Here’s an aurochs:

Anyone care to tell me where they show “parentry”? Because Mr Pirot doesn’t.

This, by the way, is Theropithecus gelada, the gelada baboon. I don’t see anything about the jaws of baboon, aurochs, and dinosaur that suggest a link, other than the general one, that they all have jaws.

Then he gets to his “data”. This, for instance, is a Parasaurolophus beak remain incrusted in the crystallized magmatic rock. Picture taken in Valbonne, from local supply of rocks.

No it’s not.

Another “fossil,” Theropitecus Gelada skull also molded in magma, from the same rock supply as above, estimated to be 10 to 12 MY old:

No, that’s not a baboon skull.

Read further and you find that Florent Pirot is a silly man who putters about in his yard in Valbonne, France looking at random rocks and imagining similarities with various species that he has read about, linking them in imaginary patterns of descent that he can’t justify.

He’s a French Ed Conrad or Roger Spurr! He’s one up on them because he managed to publish a couple of papers on his bizarre ideas in a garbage journal.

Yes, more than one. Here’s another you’ll find entertaining: The Saint Loup of the Col Du Fam, A Smilodon Caught in a Lava Bubble. He’s got lots of pictures of rocks that he fancies to be dramatic fossils, like this one of a teeth.

Ha ha, you may laugh, but keep in mind that this is delusional kook who is being preyed upon by a journal that charges substantial page fees (I don’t know what this one charges, but typically it’s on the order of hundreds of dollars) to put his mad ideas in print. If you can be outraged that televangelists bilk donations out of the poor to build their media empires, you should recognize that this is exactly the same thing, simply substituting Science for Jesus.

The other thing that should annoy you is some creationist wanker like Matt Powell will seize on this and wander about telling people that those stupid evilutionists believe dinosaurs evolved into a baboon evolved into humans when no, we don’t. Some bête imbécile in the South of France thinks that, and a criminally fraudulent journal is parasitizing him.