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Time’s Claim of Evolution Regarding Obesity: An Unscientific Myth

Time magazine carried an article headed “How We Grew So Big” in its 7 June, 2004, edition. This article dealt with the subject of obesity, one of the main health issues facing present-day society, and offered information on such matters as obesity levels among various age groups, other health problems caused by obesity, and measures being taken against obesity by health organisations.

In brief, obesity is a rise above normal levels in the natural energy reserves stored as fat in mammals, that gives rise to health problems. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for energy storage, heat insulation, shock absorbance (reducing the effect thereof) and some other functions. Overeating and lack of physical activity results in excessive storage of fat and thus obesity. In societies where people spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer or television, where high calorie foods are easily obtainable, and in which the consumption of such foods is encouraged by means of advertising, obesity is a widespread problem. Whether or not a person is obese is determined by the proportion of fat in the body to body weight.

Like every physiological function, fat storage is a function controlled by genes, and experts estimate that around 20 to 30 genes are linked to obesity.

Excessive calorie intake and inactivity can cause a living thing to put on excessive weight, and obesity can become common in society due to a number of factors. However, this does not turn one living thing into another. In other words, it does not lead to evolution. For example, no matter how much obese individuals proliferate in a population, like the obese laboratory rats in the picture, those rats will not turn into another creature, rabbits for instance.

In short, while referring to obesity there is no scientific justification for seeking to equate excessive fat storage with claims of evolution.

However, since evolutionists have adopted the theory of evolution as a dogma they have come up with the myth that fat storage, like all other physiological functions, came about through evolution. Indeed, it is plain to see that the author of the Time article, Michael D. Lemonick, is a dyed in the wool evolutionist. In the article, Lemonick sets out the alleged evolutionary origin of obesity. At this point he maintains that genes actually underlie obesity, and that over an imaginary period of millions of years these genes were subjected to the so-called “laws of evolution.” According to this view, humanity was exposed to famines during the fictitious process of evolution. It is then suggested that since human beings had to eat every good-tasting thing they could find during this imaginary process, obesity was the consequence.

First of all, the term “laws of evolution” employed by Lemonick is an empty one with no scientific basis. Science studies repeatable and observable phenomena. The theory of evolution”s claim that one species turns into another actually concerns a process dogmatically assumed to have taken place, but which cannot possibly be observed, as Lemonick knows full well. It is only possible for a phenomenon to be described as a law if it is observed to be repeated without exception of the course of a large number of experiments. In science, therefore, a law concerns repeatable and observable phenomena, such as those observed in experiments in physics and chemistry. The theory of evolution, on the other hand, concerns a process that is dogmatically assumed to have taken place in the past, but which can in no way be repeated. The prominent Darwinist zoologist Ernst Mayr drew a sharp distinction between the theory of evolution, which falls under the category of historical science, and observable and repeatable science:

…Darwin introduced historicity into science. Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science – the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have [supposedly] already taken place. Laws [of nature] and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain. 1

As we have seen, it is not science that regards evolution as a law, but Lemonick with his dogmatic mindset.

Secondly, the evolutionary tall tale made to fit the fact that obesity is linked to the genes is invalid. Stating that a feature of a person is linked to particular genes constitutes no scientific explanation of how the genes to encode and control that feature might have evolved. In the same way that stating that the launch systems of a spacecraft are controlled by particular computers provides no information as to how those computers came into existence, so stating that obesity is linked to genetic factors provides no information to confirm that those genes came into being through evolution. One of the evolutionists who have criticised this perspective, which is frequently resorted to for the sake of evolutionist propaganda in the popular media, and the errors of which are ignored, is John Maynard Smith, an evolutionary biologist who said the following on the subject: “The idea that once you”ve found the gene that switches on X, you understand how it evolved is rubbish.” 2

The claim that obesity developed in connection with famine during the alleged process of evolution is a fairy tale with no scientific basis whatsoever. Relating stories of this kind, one of the main vehicles of evolutionist propaganda, leads to the deception of society by depicting speculation based purely on imagination as scientific facts. The evolutionist palaeontologist Stephen J. Gould describes the situation in these terms:

Evolutionary biology has been severely hampered by a speculative style of argument that records anatomy and ecology and then tries to construct historical or adaptive explanations for why this bone looked like that or why this creature lived here… Scientists know that these tales are stories; unfortunately, they are presented in the professional literature where they are taken too seriously and literally. Then they become [scientific] “facts” and enter the popular literature… 3

Henry Gee, editor of Nature magazine, has also stated that telling such tales is unscientific:

For example, the [alleged] evolution of Man is said to have been driven by improvements in posture, brain size, and the coordination between hand and eye, which led to technological achievements such as fire, the manufacture of tools, and the use of language. But such scenarios are subjective. They can never be tested by experiment, and so they are unscientific. They rely for their currency not on scientific test, but on assertion and the authority of their presentation. 4

The evolutionist claim put forward in the Time article therefore consists of an unscientific fairy tale adopted as dogma. We call on Time magazine to accept the fact that Darwinism is an outdated theory totally invalidated by the scientific facts, and advise it to abandon the support it gives to Darwinism, which it has taken on board as a world view, by means of unscientific propaganda.


1. A classic evolutionist tactic is employed in the Time article, with expressions like “for most of the 7 million years or so since we parted ways with chimps,” or “[our earliest ancestors”] cousins the apes,” which are intended to indoctrinate people with the idea of evolution but which are of no scientific value at all, being used. There are no scientific findings to suggest that humans emerged through evolution. Evolutionists interpret a most inadequate fossil record with imagination and prejudice, in the light of their own dogmatic beliefs.
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2. It is claimed in the article that the eating of good-tasting foods evolved in a so-called instinctive manner in mammals. This claim consists of a mere word game, intended to give the impression of shedding light on the matter, but which actually contains no scientific exposition of any kind. Furthermore, the situation portrayed as being explained through evolution actually constitutes an impasse for it. Darwin himself admitted the fact that instincts cannot be explained in terms of evolution.

1. Ernst Mayr, “Darwin”s Influence on Modern Thought,” Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, July 2000, p. 80
2. “Games and theories,” New Scientist, issue 2399, 14 June 2003, p. 48
3. Stephen Jay Gould, “Introduction,” in Björn Kurtén, Dance of the Tiger: A Novel of the Ice Age (New York: Random House, 1980), xvii-xviii,
4. Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time, Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life, The Free Press, A Division for Simon & Schuster, Inc. , 1999, p. 5, emphasis added

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