There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| Style over substance|
The "theory" of Emication was a brainchild of Nils Heribert Nilsson (1883-1955), an early-20th century Swedish biologist. In his most voluminous work Synthetische Artbildung ("Synthetic speciation"), he laid out his theory. Joel Hedgpeth summarizes the thesis of the elegantly printed, two-volume opus, as follows in a review for Science:
The concept of evolution as a continuously flowing process can be proved only on Lamarckian lines, since "evolution and Lamarckism are inseparable because they include the same fundamental ideas." There is no proof from the data of genetic recombinations or mutations to support the generally accepted concept of evolution; therefore, evolution is not occurring at this time. Nor does it seem to have occurred in the past, since the fossil record is the result of piling up and preservation of world biota during the periods when the nearness of the Moon induced tremendous tidal action (the "Tethys sea") and freezing at high latitudes because of the pulling of air toward the equator hastened such preservation. During these revolutionary periods there was resynthesis of the entire world biota by gene material or gametes along the same basic lines (hence, there is no point to phylogenies, since the similarities of organic life are due to the synthetic activity of similar "gametes"); this process is termed "emication."
It's obvious that Heribert Nilsson either hadn't heard of the concept of continental drift, or he knew but doesn't accept it (nothing too uncommon in the 1950s). Instead, he invoked tremendous tidal waves "for the fact that many fossil floras, such as that of the London Clay, consist of species whose modern relatives live in tropical countries far removed from the site of deposition," as G. Ledyard Stebbins writes in an article for The Quarterly Review of Biology in 1955.
Thoroughly debunked is "Heribert-Nilsson's final line of 'evidence' against evolution consist[ing] of an attempt to criticise certain basic principles of genetics, particularly the linear order of the genes on the chromosomes," as quoted after Stebbins.
So, there is something someone (i.e., the author himself) called a "scientific theory". And it's rubbish. No wonder that creationists take an interest in it — and no one else.
- Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung, vols. I and II, Grundlinien einer exakten Biologie, (1953) Verlag CWK Gleerup, Lund, Sweden, 1303 pp.
- Joel Hedgepeth, review of Synthetische Artildung, Science 13 August 1954: Vol. 120. no. 3111, pp. 257-258
- G. Ledyard Stebbins, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Dec. 1955, pp. 384-386