All posts by William James Herath

How do kids feel about evolution?

Yesterday morning over breakfast, I asked my ten year old daughter a hypothetical question.  I asked if a baby cow was raised by pigs, would it oink or moo?  She looked at me like I was stupid and firmly said, “MOO!”  I responded with a thank you and another question of performing plastic surgery on a Golden Retriever.  Again, my question was a hypothetical situation where a Golden Retriever gets it’s hair died black and shaved short like a Doberman Pinscher.  The dog’s ears and tail are also trimmed to mimic the appearance of a Doberman Pinscher, for all practical purposes this Golden Retriever now looks like a completely different breed.  Since it looks like a Doberman Pinscher, it is right?  Her jaw dropped and looked at me like I was her annoying little brother, of which she doesn’t have one.  “Dad,” she said, “are you serious?  Do really think the dog is different now?  It would still have Golden Retriever babies.”


Why was I pestering my ten year old daughter with these questions?  I wanted to put to test something I read in an article recently entitled: This is why evolution is poorly understood by our students — and even our science teachers by Nathalia Gjersoe of The Guardian.  In it she speaks of a psychological study performed on pre-schoolers age 2 – 4 years old.  The study was designed to test certain biases that all humans are born with.  These biases are entrenched into our way of thinking regardless of what our family of origin thinks of the topic and the article talks about two of them.
Psychological essentialism is the first bias the article talks about and it has to do with the idea that species are internally maintained and unable to change.  The idea of an unchangeable essence or attribute that is deep in the core of a species goes against Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.  For this reason the study was created.  You see, proponents of evolutionary education are frustrated and desire to teach minds that are free of opposition to their curriculum.  Perhaps this reality could be giving us a hint as to what part of a scientifically agreed upon definition of evolution could be.  If the idea of unchanging species goes against the idea of evolution, then could it be safe to say that changing species is complimentary?  What is evolution?  Well, according to this study, part of it has to do with the emergence of new species.  I go into great detail in regard to this idea in my book, What Is Evolution?
The second bias covered in the previously mentioned article is called promiscuous teleology and it means that all things have purpose and are designed for something.  Teleology is the act of deriving explanations of how things work based on function as opposed to what caused their existence.  For example, explaining that shoes are for wearing on your feet is chosen more frequently than describing that shoes are made by people operating machines in a factory.  Our human bias that favors the idea all things existing for a purpose also goes against Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.  “Purpose” suggests an entity and/or phenomena that goes beyond nature and dips into the supernatural realm.  Purpose is not able to be scientifically observed, tested, replicated, and verified; of which makes science educators keen on getting rid of such a bias.
Yet, I have a question?  Could an experiment be set up that scientifically tests the whole breadth of this article?  Sure, I verified the scientific claims of our human bias with my daughter, but I mean the other stuff… the motives.  Are species changeable or unchangeable?  Is everything in the Universe full of purpose or not?
I’m not going to touch the idea of testing “purpose,” but what about species?  What if we did convince pigs to raise a cow, or two, or three?  Scientifically speaking, was my daughter wrong?  Would a cow grow up to moo or oink?  This is something that could be tested and we could observe, repeat, and verify the result.  Is the opposite true?  What tests could be set up to show that species do change into new species?  Could this idea be scientifically observed, repeated, and verified?  Why do proponents of evolution want to get rid of a bias that can be scientifically tested and replace it with something that seems unable to be scientifically tested?

What is convergent evolution?

My question is simple, What is Evolution?  Most think my question has been answered and that our general populace has a good understanding of biological evolution.  Sadly, most people are mistaken.  As I highlighted in yesterday’s post, there is no consensus on evolution and it is no wonder why confusion has fogged our understanding of the idea.  In fact, researchers and science reporters pile on more layers of confusion each passing year.


For example, reporter Rachel Feltman wrote an article for the Washington Post titled, 40 million years before butterflies existed, this creature evolved with strikingly similar looks.  The article speaks of an evolutionary phenomenon called “convergent evolution,” and how it explains why fossils of butterfly-like creatures exist in the fossil record before butterflies actually came into existence.


Writers of scientific journals and articles like the one I have mentioned tend to dive head first into new evolutionary ideas without defining evolution beforehand.  The main point of the article/scientific paper is that nature produced a butterfly-like creature 40 million years before the butterflies we now know of.  The butterfly wings are the same, the patterns on the wings are the same, their mouth parts (proboscis) are the same, and the fossilized organism is for all practical purposes a butterfly.  Except it can’t be.


Although we do not have a consistent and scientifically agreed upon definition of evolution, there are some aspects of evolution that can be agreed upon.  Firstly, most proponents of Neo-Darwinian evolution would say that relational ties are important.  Meaning, the most recent common ancestor of two differing species (if found) could explain volumes about the relationship between the two said species.  Secondly, WHEN a common ancestor emerged onto the scene is very important.  There is a strong rule of thumb that no “higher” organisms like rabbits would be found in layers below a “lower” organism like a trilobite.  Why?  Because that is what evolutionary theory predicts.  This is why the idea of “convergent evolution” was developed.


If a fossil is found that has homologous (similar) features to an organism that it could not be related to, the researchers claim convergence.  Case in point, the butterfly-like creature is said to not be related to butterflies today because butterflies did not emerge into existence until millions of years later.  These two organisms have homologous features, yet cannot be related due to vast swaths of time, therefore the label of convergent evolution is placed over their similar features.


When it comes to other organisms that do not have the butterfly “timing issue,” a lack of common ancestry become the reason to claim convergence.  Take the
shark and the dolphin, for example.  When studying these two organisms it is obvious that many/most of their features are homologous.  Yet, they cannot be related because evolutionary theory predicts sharks to have emerged from a water-born fish-like ancestor and dolphins emerged from a land-born quadrupedal (four legged) mammal.  Therefore the label of convergent evolution is placed over their similar features.  But, when do structural similarities no longer infer relational ties from one organism to another?  The entire field of paleontology revolves around identifying structural similarities and then forming relational ties.  When a fossil is unearthed, its structure is studied and said organism is classified by its structure.  What does this mean in light of the idea of convergent evolution?  Is it safe to say that the relational ties made between extinct organisms found in the fossil record are accurate?  Does convergent evolution seem consistent or scientifically valuable?

What is convergent evolution?  What is evolution?  I dive deep into these and many other questions in my book What Is Evolution?

Here are some compilations of other “convergences” that don’t make sense.

Why did I write a book about evolution?

Throughout my time working with young people, mainly high school and middle school students, I was asked many questions.  Most commonly asked questions of my students had to do with situations revolving around their peers, boyfriends, girlfriends, or parents.  As we know, relationships can be all consuming at times.  Days seem to be swallowed up by the emotional fog produced by relational turmoil.  Everyday tasks can feel like an impossible mountain of work when the people closest to us are at the center of every passing thought.


Another commonly asked question had to do with the “HOW” of “How did we get here?”  The “WE” meaning humans and all life on Earth of course.  Kids are deep.  Well, some kids have their moments of deep reflection.  Yet, in a world with instant entertainment at their finger tips, surprisingly, many tweens/teens brood over their own existence.  I was personally asked to clarify the intricacies of evolution dozens of times, but had no idea how to respond.  In order to better serve my students I asked a question of myself, what is evolution?


The question, “WHAT IS EVOLUTION?,” rocketed me into a new season of life.  I began to read scientific journals like Nature, Science, Evolution, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The Journal of the American Medical Association.  I set up Google alerts for the latest articles and findings in the evolutionary community.  My copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species was never too far out of reach.  I watched documentaries and read New York Time’s best sellers on evolution.  I went as far as to contact heads of Biology Departments at major universities.  Getting an education on the subject of biological evolution caused me to feel a bit like Alice tumbling into a seemingly endless rabbit hole.


I had never liked the idea of “BELIEF” in evolution, due to my interest in science.  Belief is for things that cannot be observed, tested, replicated, nor verified.  Reading journals, watching documentaries, and chatting with evolutionary professionals I realized that there is a mountain of scientific evidence and research when it comes to the subject at hand.  There is a great deal of science that goes into evolutionary research!  With that said, I discovered a seemingly small inconsistency across the sources I had found.  No journal, publication, book, documentary, or professor offered a consistent and scientifically agreed upon definition of evolution.  In fact, some descriptions I found were in oblate contrast to each other.  Yes, even professors at prestigious universities (of which I will leave name-less) would send me their favorite or personal definition(s) of evolution which would conflict and/or minimally coincide with another professor’s idea of evolution.  In all of my research I have yet to find the same definition of evolution twice.


Knowing that evolution is a compulsory subject in U.S. public schools, I decided to contact some educational agencies.  The federally funded Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has created an educational frame work from which many states have adopted.  The NGSS does not offer a definition of biological evolution at all.  So, I contacted the California Department of Education and received the same response.  Next, I contacted the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which is the second largest school district in the United States after the New York City Unified School District.  Not surprising, LAUSD also does not offer a definition of biological evolution.  If a definition is taught in the classroom, it comes from one of the many various definitions provided by the current textbook of choice for that district.  Many teachers have the freedom to create their own curriculum which allows them to teach their favorite definition of biological evolution, even if it is their own.  Yikes!  Although the percentage of science teachers is more than likely a different number, 34% of Americans do not subscribe to evolution.  Imagine a science teacher that does not subscribe to evolution, yet has the freedom to create their own curriculum and define evolution as they please.  Sure, evolution is part of the required educational framework, but without a standard definition; where does this reality leave the future of science education?


Being completely baffled, I turned to high profile court cases surrounding the evolutionary contention.  Reading court transcripts going all the way back to the 1925 Scopes trial, I thought that I would absolutely find a definition of evolution.  Not a single case in the United States has ever offered a consistent definition of biological evolution that could be cross referenced with another case.  In essence, the legal battle that has been raging over evolution has failed to produce or outline a consistent, scientific, and legally agreed upon definition.


How could such a contentiously debated idea have become part of our nation’s required science curriculum, yet been left ambiguous?  The reality of failing to define biological evolution is far from being deemed just for those who oppose it, and frightening for the future of science education.  Leaving evolution as an ambiguous term is dishonoring of students, parents, and science.  I have written a book that explores this issue in greater detail and it is titled, WHAT IS EVOLUTION and is available by clicking on the image below.

What About Vaccinations?

What “DOGS” are in this FIGHT?

Before we dive into the data, let’s chat about the issue at hand.  The way I see the conversation surrounding vaccinations, we have two parties:

1. Concerned people who want the best for their children, for themselves, and for global society.

2. Vaccination producers.

From my experience, I have met well meaning folks in all three camps.  Wait, why do I say three camps when I only listed two in the above list?

Category #1 is comprised of folks who disagree on vaccinations.  Essentially, the concerned people who want the best for their children, for themselves, and for global society are divided on how the role of vaccinations unfold in the reality of science and empirical data.

The real fight is between truth and the multi-billion, soon to be trillion dollar vaccine market.

Are “the concerned” being correctly informed or being fooled by a well oiled and well funded marketing machine?

Let’s get Ready… Set… Question!

Why does the United States have the highest vaccine schedule and the highest infant mortality rate (IMR)?

The following quote is from a study that compares infant mortality rates with infant vaccine schedules among 34 developed nations.

“The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. When nations were grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges (12–14, 15–17, 18–20, 21–23, and 24–26), 98.3% of the total variance in IMR was explained by the unweighted linear regression model. These findings demonstrate a counter-intuitive relationship: nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates.

Efforts to reduce the relatively high US IMR have been elusive. Finding ways to lower preterm birth rates should be a high priority. However, preventing premature births is just a partial solution to reduce infant deaths. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs, is essential. All nations—rich and poor, advanced and developing—have an obligation to determine whether their immunization schedules are achieving their desired goals.”

What is the Real Data Surrounding the Disneyland Outbreak?

  • Zero Deaths.
  • 17 people were hospitalized.
  • 125 people acquired the measles.
  • Only 28 (22.4%) of the 125 people affected were intentionally unvaccinated.
  • Among the 28 intentionally unvaccinated patients, 18 were children (aged <18 years), and 10 were adults.” – CDC source
  • None of the Disneyland measles cases were tested for wild strain or vaccination strain measles.  Why?  Vaccinated people become contagious and the National Institutes of Health has known this fact since at least 1995. source
  • Another study published in 2014 shows the vaccinated to be contagious.  source

What about Sanitation & Hygiene?

What about the Flu Shot?

What are the Vaccination Risks?

Does Vaccinating pose a Moral Issue?

Vaccine production starts off by growing weakened viruses on human diploid cell cultures, yet human diploid cells come from aborted fetuses.

“The WI-38 strain of human embryonic lung
cells is in short supply (13). This strain has been
in wide use for years as one of the standard cell
strains for viral isolation work (5) and more
recently for production of viral vaccines (2, 11,
12). In diagnostic virology this strain has been
relied upon for isolation of viruses belonging to
the herpes family (herpes simplex types 1 and 2,
cytomegalovirus [CMV], varicella-zoster [VZ]
[6]), numerous enteroviruses (4, 7), rhinoviruses
(3), and to a lesser extent other respiratory viruses (1). Other fibroblast cell strains are now
needed to replace WI-38. Several candidate
strains derived from human embryonic lung
have been well characterized, including MRC-5,
a strain derived from a 14-week-old male fetus
(8), and IMR-90, a strain obtained from a 16-
week-old female fetus (10). In the present study
WI-38, MRC-5, and IMR-90 cells were compared
for ability to recover viruses from clinical specimens, for speed of development of cytopathic
effect (CPE), for clarity of CPE morphology,
and for in vitro longevity.”

National Institute of Health – source

What are the negative implications of using aborted fetuses?

It has been shown that your DNA is drastically altered after someone else’s DNA enters your body.  For example, the popular DNA Ancestry site 23 and Me has stated the following:

“If you have received a bone marrow transplant using cells from a donor, we cannot support your use of the 23andMe® Personal Genetic Service.” (source)

A fascinating case is one of a bone marrow transplant case where an individual had acquired the alternate DNA of the bone marrow donor.

So, the question we must ask has to do with the potential genetic disorder the donor may or may not have.  Are they going to be acquired by the person receiving the treatment?

Using the fibroblasts of aborted fetuses is like playing Russian roulette.  What if that child was going to be born with mental challenges or any other abnormality?  What would be a good reason to have an unknown fetus’ lung cells injected into another human?

Interestingly enough, many parents have claimed to see a decline in mental capabilities in their child after having received vaccinations.  Could it be due to what the report clearly states in regard to the first fetus used to create MRC-5?

“The MRC-5 cell line was developed in September 1966 from lung tissue taken from a 14 week fetus aborted for psychiatric reason from a 27 year old physically healthy woman.” (source)

Would you consider yourself a good parent if you knowingly injected your child with lung cells from a fetus that was aborted for psychiatric reasons?

Would you consider your Pediatrician a good doctor if they knowingly injected your child with lung cells from a fetus that was aborted for psychiatric reasons?

Why is it ILLEGAL to sue a Vaccine producing company?

Why are vaccine producers allowed to have a monopoly on certain vaccines?

For example, MERCK is the exclusive manufacturer of the MMR vaccine and made 1.8 billion dollars in sales in 2018.

Does the World Health Organization see your children or profit margins?

Miloud Kaddar, Senior Adviser, Health Economist for the World Health Organization is very excited about the numbers.  Take a look at his presentation.

Have you seen the movie: VAXXED?

Revealed government cover up