Wednesday, March 6, 2019

#2153: Walter ReMine

Walter ReMine is an electrical engineer and young-earth creationist, and something of an authority in the creationist cargo cult science movement. ReMine is for instance responsible for (with Kurt Wise) reintroducing the pseudoscientific discipline of baraminology, which has become a central area of young-earth creationist pseudoinquiry with various pseudojournals, conferences and bullshit devoted to it; ReMine himself introduced a number of central baraminological concepts and the central terminology.

ReMine is particularly famous for his decades-long obsession with Haldane’s dilemma, which isn’t a dilemma and no obstacle to evolution, though ReMine makes sure to misrepresent science to make it sound like it is. Besides, ReMine’s position in the creationist community and the general hero worship that seems to be required for their work – after all, they cannot use science or evidence to identify authority – means that his claims have, despite being fundamentally mistaken, become fairly common talking points among creationists; falsification has never been a particularly effective contributor to change in creationist ideas. Of course, instead of correcting his mistakes, ReMine’s response to refutation is to complain about evil scientists and the global conspiracy that prevents him from revealing the fatal flaw in the theory of evolution to the world. (Hint for rational people: if the options are “there is a global conspiracy to suppress the truth I have discovered” and “I am wrong”, it is a good idea to at least consider the latter option.)

More recently, ReMine has introduced what he calls Message Theory, but seems to be still rather strikingly reluctant to properly define it – he does point to testability as a central virtue of the theory, but struggles to tell us how to test it. But he has at least (self-)published a book, The Biotic Message, which according to himself presents a completely revolutionary new theory – in reality, the book only tellsus that his theory is superior to evolution but doesn’t actually describe the theory in any systematic manner that would allow us to check. As for his arguments against evolution, they are somewhat undermined by the fact that he fails to understand some rather fundamental points about evolution. The book hasn’t quite managed to go mainstream quite yet (actual geneticists were not impressed), but you know: Conspiracies and stuff – ReMine more or less explicitly invokes them.

Diagnosis: If you develop a claim and nobody is impressed, the wise person will at least consider the possibility that the claim is wrong; ReMine, however, seems to be the kind of person who takes it to demonstrate that nobody else understands the field as well as himself, and therefore as a boost to his ego. (This would explain much of his antics quite well.) He has, however, established himself as something of an authority in the creationist community – which is not something to be proud of, of course.


  1. "Message Theory?"
    Sounds like that one episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" where all humans came from a common ancestor that programmed a message into their genes.

  2. Well, "Biotic Message" sounds like cool name for Magic the Gathering card, if we're talking nerdy stuff here...