Francis Hitching

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It's fun to pretend

Paranormal

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Fails from the crypt
His book, The Neck of the Giraffe, is one of the silliest and most ignorant I have read for years.
Richard Dawkins[1]

Francis Hitching (born 1933) is a British television journalist and author. He is notable not least because creationists have extensively quotemined his 1983 book The Neck of the Giraffe or Where Darwin Went Wrong and some other works. His other books are on dowsing, ley lines, and pseudohistory.

Evolution[edit]

Hitching became well known in the creation-evolution debate in the late 20th century, starting with an article titled "Was Darwin Wrong?" in the April 1982 issue of Life magazine. In the same year, he wrote a popular book titled The Neck of the Giraffe or Where Darwin Went Wrong (1982). His book has been quote mined by many creationists and some of his comments appear in hundreds if not thousands of creationist and intelligent design books.

Fake credentials and made-up endorsements[edit]

In The Neck of the Giraffe he claims to be an evolutionist, which implies some sort of scientific credentials, which he doesn't possess. He also claimed to be a member of the Royal Archaeological Institute, but an inquiry to that institute said he was not. Perhaps even worst of all, in the "Acknowledgements" section he implies that Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins helped with and/or endorsed the book, but both Dawkins and Gould stated that they have no idea who Hitching is. Dawkins being Dawkins didn't mince any words about it: "I know nothing at all about Francis Hitching. If you are uncovering the fact that he is a charlatan, good for you. His book, The Neck of the Giraffe, is one of the silliest and most ignorant I have read for years."[1]

Of course, some creationists still call him a scientist.[2]

Doesn't even deny evolution[edit]

In spite of creationist quote-mining, any honest reader of Hitching's book can see that he doubts only the Darwinian mechanisms of evolution (such as natural selection) and not evolution in general. Hitching accepts the evidence for common descent and wrote that evolution is a confirmed fact.[3] Furthermore, Hitching even wrote creationism was based on fraud and magical faith; creationists have ignored that part of Hitching's book.

Hitching wrote that evolution is driven by neo-Lamarckian and saltational mechanisms, and is thus an advocate of non-Darwinian evolution.

Publications[edit]

  • Pendulum: The Psi connection (1977)
  • Earth Magic The Astounding Mystery of the Greatest of All Lost Civilizations (1977)
  • Earth Magic (1978)
  • Dowsing: The psi connection (1978)
  • The Mysterious World: An Atlas of the Unexplained (1979)
  • The World Atlas of Mysteries (1981)
  • The Neck of the Giraffe or Where Darwin Went Wrong (1982)
  • Boom Business of the 90s: Essential Start-Up Guide to Network Marketing (1992)

External links[edit]

References[edit]