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When Darwin Failed: "Fishing For Perfect Markets"

Tyler Durden's picture


Perhaps the biggest affront to the natural order of things set in motion by central planners' intervention in capital markets of all varieties, is that through sheer brute force (of a printer, of posturing, and of outright politicized pandering), several academics in a low-lit room can suppress, for a brief period of time, the Darwinian survival of the fittest. Key word here is "brief" because in the end nature always gets even, and usually with a vengeance. In the meantime, however, epic distortions in what are already indefinitely irrational markets, which however always eventually regress to a rational mean (in popular jargon a process better known as "crash"), succeed in driving out legacy traders who no longer can navigate the chaos unleashed by the authoritarian ambitions oh the kind that ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union, and every other centrally-planned establishment, when abused on a long-enough timeline... For a vivid example of what happens "when Darwinism fails" we go to a parable from a just released letter to client by the English hedge fund Toscafund, which looks at modern day trading from the perspective of fishing in the Polynesian seas, which also does an admirable job in explaining why being lucky is almost always more important than being good (sadly, one can not sell "luck" in newsletter format for $29.95/ month).

By Savvas Savouri of Toscafund Asset Management

Fishing for perfect markets

I have spent many hours impressing upon students this sad reality. Whilst in theory forecasting using good fundamentals should be enough to deliver success, in practice financial markets are stubbornly imperfect and favour bad techniques. To make this point I go fishing for analogies.

To set a scene, I ask the audience to imagine watching a Polynesian fisherman going about his work. Having waded into the clear blue water of the South Sea's, he confidently holds a spear above his head and takes aim. With this imagery in mind I then ask the students to reflect on his fundamental technique. Why for instance is the trajectory of his aim not in the direction of where the fish appears to be. My point to them is 'good' forecasting does not confuse perception with reality. We consider the three judgements the fisherman is making; one based upon simple physics, another basic maths and the other behaviour theory. Using these in isolation the fisherman will fail, combine them and he will return home with a good return from his efforts.

Our good fisherman is aware the position of the fish is distorted. He may not know the precise science that because light travels at different speeds through air and water it kinks or refracts, but is aware of this distortion all the same. The second element our fisherman contemplates is momentum. He can see the fish is in motion and is aware it will have moved by the time the spear arrives. The third simultaneous judgement our Polynesian fisherman makes is the survival instincts of the fish. If it has not already been made aware it is being stalked by the shadow cast over it, it will certainly become conscious of a threat from the ripples set in motion by the harpoon entering the water.

Despite the complications, with painstaking teaching and practice the 'good' fisherman will not go home empty handed. His family is sure to be well fed, and he will impart to his sons the skills he had learned from his own father a transfer of knowledge that almost certainly has gone on for generations. Across our Polynesian fishing village bad fisherman have long vanished; Darwinian logic having seen they have. The population of the village has even steadied to reflect sustainable fishing levels. We have in effect a perfect market. Reaching this point I caution that financial markets have never reached this perfect state. To illustrate what I mean I return to the 'perfect' fishing village where only 'good' fishermen are at work.

I ask the student to assume 'bad' fishermen hadn't been eliminated by Darwinian evolution and congest the waters around our good fishermen. Their presence introduces not only complications to our good fisherman but a threat to their very survival. Not simply are the spears being thrown wildly around in such a random way they are a danger to our good fisherman, they are causing chaos in the waters. Where fish once moved sedately in calm waters they are now darting around in panic, and so more challenging targets for even the best of our 'good' fishermen. Matters are worse still for our good fishermen. Many fish have moved away from their preferred coastal water habitat into deeper, colder and more tidal waters; from one inhospitable place to another. Moreover, through their sheer weight of numbers, the bad fishermen are spearing ever more fish as the good fisherman return home empty handed. Before long fish numbers plummet and order in the fishing village has turned upside down. Whilst the families of 'good' fisherman go hungry, 'bad' fisherman boast of their successes, convinced they were good rather than lucky. I end my lecture with these words, "welcome to the imperfect world of investing, if you want perfect markets forget finance go fishing in the south seas".


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Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:49 | 2717292 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

Fuck Darwin. 

2000 years of inbreeding, and the best they can come up with is Mark Zuckerberg? Eugenics is a fools theory.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:02 | 2717311 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Yes, survival of the fittest - one of the most misconstrued references there is. Whoever wrote this article (and those commenting on survival of the fittest as "failed" or "eugenics") should read up on what was actually meant by natural selection. 

People should've paid more attention in science class during biology and these simple misunderstandings wouldn't come up with such frequency. 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:12 | 2717324 Medea
Medea's picture


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:28 | 2717437 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Indeed. Probably one of the more common misconceptions out there.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:20 | 2717934 chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

Whoever wrote this article is evidently totally unaware of the economic theory, first popularized in the late 1800's,

called "Social Darwinism".  The ultimate outcome of policies based on this theory led to the rise of the robber barons

of the 1900's and later, to the third reich.


Needless tosay, after the second world war, few people ever openly espouse this theory anymore ....


(those who refues to study history are doomed to repeat it ......)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:15 | 2717998 billwilson
billwilson's picture

Typically the word fittest is misunderstood. It does not mean strongest or best, but most suited to the environment (as in the best fit to the environment). So in the analogy of the author, who seems not to understand Darwin, the fittest fisherman in the new environment may in fact be the bad lucky fishermen. So not a Darwin problem, but an author problem ... again.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 03:29 | 2719893 gwiss
gwiss's picture

I think you misunderstood what he was saying.  Read this paragraph again: "I ask the student to assume 'bad' fishermen hadn't been eliminated by Darwinian evolution and congest the waters around our good fishermen. Their presence introduces not only complications to our good fisherman but a threat to their very survival....  Moreover, through their sheer weight of numbers, the bad fishermen are spearing ever more fish as the good fisherman return home empty handed. Before long fish numbers plummet and order in the fishing village has turned upside down. Whilst the families of 'good' fisherman go hungry, 'bad' fisherman boast of their successes, convinced they were good rather than lucky."

He's not saying they are getting more fish per fisherman.  He's saying that there are so many that they disrupt the natural behavior of fish which the good fishermen over time learned to predict.  What this analogy requires is that you presume that some outside influence has made it possible for these fishermen to inundate this fishing village.  It requires you to presume that, by whatever method, somehow the village was flooded with bad fishermen.  It does not presume that these fishermen flooded the village because they were successful.

What he is asking you to presume is that the same thing happen to a fishing village that has happened to our society and markets, which is that a temporary outside influence totally disrupt the environment.  For a period of time, it seems that survival of the fittest has been conquered and overturned.  Thus, the population of those with minimal ability to provide for their young are somehow able to reproduce surviving offspring at rates surpassing those with more ability.  Or, businesses survive and even appear to prosper even though they have no cash flow at all (surely you see the bubble here, yes?)  Or, leaders whose only ability is the ability to thrive in the network wars of politics nevertheless end up successful, thus leading to the observation that both cream and shit float to the top.  Or, stocks react to those who BTFD whether it makes sense or not, thus eliminating the edge that those who thoroughly understood how to properly value a stock once had.

The point is, when you artificially fuck with a Complex Adaptive System, it seems temporarily that you have "beaten" the system, as those better suited for the manipulated system thrive while those better suited for the old system decline.  But you have not beaten the system, and you have not created a new system.  Instead, you have simply transferred the survival judgement from the individual to the system as a whole.  Normally, the fisherman and the fish evolve symbiotically, as the fisherman weeds out the slow and weak fish, and the fish weed out the slow and weak fishermen.  By destroying the symmetry of the system, you have made it unstable.  Thus, instead of the crappy individuals being weeded out, the crappy systems get weeded out, because crappy systems no longer have an intact process to improve themselves, and instead just collapse catastrophically.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:03 | 2717312 qqqqtrader
qqqqtrader's picture

A little bit off topic but the price of fish is up 44.8% in the last 10 years.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:14 | 2717322 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture



LMFAO!... :-) +1

I just KNEW you had the perfect chart at your fingertips to make it all mean something... (on the topic of fish ~ listen 2 that dude peeps ~ he's an islander)...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:17 | 2717334 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

One billion fish are caught and eaten everday... Peak Fish!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:21 | 2717339 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...good thing they reproduce...Peak Caviar!!!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:13 | 2717570 Precious
Precious's picture

Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by frigging fish water.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:23 | 2717796 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

If by 'fish water' you mean water full of fish poo I'd have to say that's a good thing. It grows great veggies.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 17:32 | 2717581 Precious
Precious's picture

PETA attack !

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:12 | 2717326 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

Zuckerberg is what, like a billion times richer than you?


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:21 | 2717429 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

People keep blaming Mark Z, and waiting for him to "hit another home run."

They forget, he STOLE the FB idea from the Winklevoss boys.....he's played out.

Any "good ideas" will need to come from one of his employees.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:55 | 2717860 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Zuckerberg is only rich because the government and corporate powers allowed him to become rich. Facebook is not a fluke, it's a secretly government enabled centralization of public information.


BTW Zuckerberg already lost 50% of his wealth in a few months, so he did basically worse than most people in a short period of time. Who knows maybe some day he screws up even more, he may even end up broke. That's how incompetent he is.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:17 | 2717930 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

Wait, are you saying zuckerberg didnt make that?

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:27 | 2718012 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

I guess even a broken clock like Obama is right twice a day.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 14:23 | 2718498 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Not by a long shot, and half as "richer" as he used to be.



Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:13 | 2717419 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Tyler my man.........I know it's a Saturday and the news cycle is slow, but this topic is a sleeper debate!!!

On a related note however, I'm working at an MMA event right now and let me tell you, "survival of the fittest" is alive and well in this industry!!!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:11 | 2717574 Precious
Precious's picture

Slacker !

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:16 | 2717425 stocktivity
stocktivity's picture

The only fish in this market are suckers!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 06:27 | 2717771 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The problem  for the traditional spear fishersman  is that the new

guys are using dynamite(algos), to harvest the sea.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:10 | 2717857 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:17 | 2717877 Stock Tips Inve...
Stock Tips Investment's picture

Financial markets are far from perfect. Even the term "perfect" may be questionable. When we turn daily market million people with ideas, methods, cultures, different strategies. That makes it interesting. There are many cases of good companies whose shares are deplorable behavior. Other companies, with poor results, have very good performance. Not to question both the fundamentals. I think it's more important to act in the market, considering them.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:49 | 2717293 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "I ask the student to assume 'bad' fishermen hadn't been eliminated by Darwinian evolution and congest the waters around our good fishermen. Their presence introduces not only complications to our good fisherman but a threat to their very survival. Not simply are the spears being thrown wildly around in such a random way they are a danger to our good fisherman, they are causing chaos in the waters. Where fish once moved sedately in calm waters they are now darting around in panic, and so more challenging targets for even the best of our 'good' fishermen"...



(a couple of threads ago, francis_sawyer got accused of being on an acid trip... maybe they were right)...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:23 | 2717341 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

Of course we unwashed traders are the "bad fisherman" complicating the waters for the "good fisherman".

Now I remember why I despise professors; those pompous arrogant pontificating little pricks.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 01:11 | 2717660 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

The only thing worse is traders.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:33 | 2717359 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...its the central planning fisherman thats on acid here.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:58 | 2717395 francis_the_won...
francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

No, fellow Francis, this makes perfect sense. When we started rewarding failure in this country, we diminished the value of success.

My best example is all of the "successful" real estate "investors" I saw running around SoCal about 6 years ago.  Some of these clowns were friends of mine, and they thought they were very smart.  Any attempt to explain leverage to them, and its' negative effects (I left compounding out of the conversation), was lost on deaf ears.  Yes, a lot of them have hit me up for loans in the past few years, and yes, they all still send out emails proclaiming the housing market bottom.

Why this (the quote above) makes sense to me, is that I'd love to pick up a property, long-term, right now, but prices are still a joke because all of the "bad fishermen" are still running around this place and keeping prices unrealistic. 

(For the record, the only reason I'd buy property in SoCal right now is because I have no problem becoming a debtor if/when inflation hits.  If deflation hits first, I'm already covered).

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:23 | 2717433 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

.....everyone get's a trophy.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:06 | 2717931 AynRandFan
AynRandFan's picture

The analogy was a pretty good one, until the author got lost and just ended the article.  In the stock market, traders are taking advantage of the high level of fear by throwing their money at every stock regardless of risk.  Because careful investors who bet their own money are unwilling to be involved, prices just rise and rise.  The good fishermen are those that bet on the predictable, and the bad fishermen are those that just throw their spears at everything that moves.  Eventually the "fish" (price appreciation) will disappear when enough people realize that the shotgun approach has been exhausted.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:51 | 2717295 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Why bother fishing when you can do a Corzine and steal fish instead?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:30 | 2717349 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

"I promise, I'll keep your fish segregated in this bucket"

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:25 | 2717436 Kali
Kali's picture

you didn't spear that fish.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:28 | 2717537 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Couldn't you segregate it better in your stomach?


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:52 | 2717296 Zola
Zola's picture

Its only that way if you LET it BE. He should be talking to his students about the principle of ACTION and defending a JUST CAUSE. No he seems content to feed his captors the tools of his own destruction... Where did I see this before ? Ah yes... 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:52 | 2717298 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

what happens when the good fishermen in the pacific catch radiated fish, the good fishermen in the gulf catch deformed fish and the good fishermen in the atlantic catch all the remaining fish?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:13 | 2717327 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Get some irradiated Fukushima mutants going & it'll give 'givin' you the FISH EYE' a whole nother meaning...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 20:58 | 2717305 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Darwinism is a big joke, the equivalent of telling me the more times I crash my car the better it will run.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:19 | 2717335 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I'm still waiting for the Lost Tribe of Missing Links to be found and tie it all together for us.

So far, after what amounts to trillions, they've come up with a lemur's femur...I think...very impressive ;-)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:27 | 2717345 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

Exactly. If humans evolved from apes why do we still have apes?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:36 | 2717362 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"Exactly. If humans evolved from apes why do we still have apes?"

Either awe-inspiring stupidity or in need of a /sarc tag. 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:02 | 2717396 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Do you really believe we evolved from apes?

Where is the proof?...I mean, outside of Rosie O'Donnell.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:06 | 2717402 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

I want to say Michelle Obama but that would be racist, so I won't.  :~)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:11 | 2717416 James_Cole
Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:34 | 2717446 nmewn
nmewn's picture


The math for green slime evolution doesn't work out...I've got my money on Roger Penrose, who even though an atheist, managed to unnerve himself ;-)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:40 | 2717460 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

The coelecanth supposedly died out 160 million years ago. Then they found them still alive, exactly as they appeared in the fossil record. NO evolution for 160 million years? Guess they were perfectr for their niche for all that time... what a joke.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:30 | 2717604 Praetor
Praetor's picture

No the coelacanth was thought to have died out 65 million yrs ago. No evolution? How do we know, have you conducted a DNA analysis on modern and ancestral coeleacanth to determine of the DNA sequences are the same? I think not.

Ants and spiders havent changed much structurally either, and yes, if an animal reaches the perfect requirements for survival in that ecological niche, further evolutionary changes may not be beneficial for the species continued survival.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:29 | 2717538 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

First, Penrose is a physicist not a biologist. 

Second, probability is totally irrelevant. The probability of you coming into existence is extremely low, yet here you are. Divine miracle that your particular DNA set showed up as opposed to all the other possible combinations? If you're a Christian you would say yes I suppose.

OK, then same logic to your cup of coffee. What is the probability that those particular beans would show up in your coffee? Very low, so I guess it's another miracle. The fibres that make up your clothes, what are the chances?? miracle! The combination of ingredients in your shit - another miracle!! 

You can apply probability to any event / combination of atoms / physical property and come up with huge numbers - it doesn't mean anything. 

The fact that Penrose self-identifies as an atheist should give you a hint on his views.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 04:31 | 2717726 Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

You have stuck your finger in the sore spot. Biological sciences and Physics do not agree. Until they figure this out we have equivocation and the science disfunctions or disjunctures.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 06:39 | 2717773 Acet
Acet's picture

Actually they do.

Probability is used to try and forecast the future, not to explain the past.

One does not look at something that has already happened (say, two cars crashed on a disused back road at midnight) and try and compute the probability of it happening - the probability of what it is to be what it is and of has already happened to have happened is always 1, since it is already so - one tries and compute the probability of something happening in the future (maybe the same thing again).

One does not look at a person, an animal a species or in fact anything which is what it is and say: how likelly is it that this exists? The answer is that we're 100% sure that it does since it's coming to existence is a fait acomplit.

From another angle: if no intelligent live had evolved, there would be nobody asking themselves "How likelly it is that we came to be" and if intelligent life had evolved in the shape of an octopus, then for certain there would be some octopus-shaped intelligent beings around asking themselves how little likelly it is that they had evolved from the dumb octuposes still around that that surelly an imaginary being in the sky that created them would be a better explanation.

No, evolution is not about probability, it's about the law of large numbers.

And in this specific context what the law of large numbers says is that if in a species some individuals have a tiny, tiny difference that gives them a tiny tiny survival advantage above the others and you have an enormous number of tries were just once in a while the individual with the difference survives while the one without it would perish, eventually that miniscule difference will have spread throughout the entire species.


Using probability to try and discredit evolution is the scientific equivalent of setting up and attacking a straw maw - it's a purposefull misuse of Mathematics made to confuse the untrained with scientific-sounding words while in fact not making a valid argument at all. 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:33 | 2717840 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"First, Penrose is a physicist not a biologist."

Quite so.

But making simple observations on animals does not prove grand theories of the origin of man. Penrose has disproved, to my satisfaction, human evolution from green slime.

"Second, probability is totally irrelevant."

Acet does a fine job of rebutting that above, so I'll only add Darwin had all the intellectual "seeding influences" of his time, that he also had to battle inside his head, while making his observations. Was it a mistake of nature that Darwins son went on to be a prominent member within the eugenics society?

Or was that just an irrelevent probability? ;-)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 13:45 | 2718356 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"Acet does a fine job of rebutting that above"

Actually, Acet was making the same argument I was making, only in a nicer way and expanding it to say that biology and physics do agree (another argument). 

Maybe you didn't get to the end of his comment but it's pretty hard to misunderstand:

"Using probability to try and discredit evolution is the scientific equivalent of setting up and attacking a straw maw - it's a purposefull misuse of Mathematics made to confuse the untrained with scientific-sounding words while in fact not making a valid argument at all."

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 01:16 | 2717664 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture


I know all because I have an avatar of a "Guy" who would be horrified that your idea of being a rebel is snarky comments on a website.  '-;:

Fucking pathetic. Really. 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:31 | 2717841 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Are you a masochist?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:25 | 2717435 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

UHHHHH....lightning, maybe. <SARC>

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:35 | 2717803 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture


Have you been in Wal-Mart in the wee hours?  The missing link is still linked and living on the dole.  

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:05 | 2717399 francis_the_won...
francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

What scares me, James Cole, is that you have equal amounts of up and down votes.  This SHOULD be a site that attracts the brighter types.

(I gave you an up vote)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:13 | 2717421 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture


FWIW ~ I was in the same conundrum... I started to make a comment about politicians wives, then thot better of it (but now ~ here I am again because of your comment)... I must admit, this one has me baffled...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:09 | 2717512 francis_the_won...
francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"I must admit, this one has me baffled"

I am originally from Texas.  I have seen otherwise intellegent people say things on this subject that make my head spin.....what's a Francis to do?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:35 | 2717551 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

I've actually found a lot of religious people will agree with evolution up to a point but when it starts to get into areas where it conflicts with their religious texts the blinders come on and all logic goes out the window. Intelligence becomes irrelevant.

That said, there are plenty of extremely ignorant people on zh.   

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 06:50 | 2717778 Acet
Acet's picture

I trained in Physics and know some people that are both Physicists and firm Christians and I can tell you that those things are not at all incompatible.

It's perfectly possible to believe in Evolution while also believing that God has made the Universe as it is with all it's physical strange laws and set things up so that Evolution would turn out the way it did and create us (don't forget, God is omniscient).

Only the kind of people that would read a sacred text such as the Bible as a literal description of events would actually find Science and Religion incompatible. Then again, if your belief in the divine comes from what you are told and what you read, rather than being something born inside of you, then it is not really faith - it's a form of social conformism. 


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 14:01 | 2718417 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

There's nothing in science that makes God an impossibility and I know there are Christian evolutionists out there. My point was just that once science comes into conflict with the text most people I've talked to go with the literal text. That might explain why such a high percentage of Americans think evolution is all made up. 

Genesis 1:27: "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 16:59 | 2718817 Acet
Acet's picture

Actually I was just extending on your argument. I think we're pretty much in the same wave.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:30 | 2718015 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Well, there is ignorance and then there is its subset, wilfull ignorance.

Charles Darwin was one of the bravest men in history.  To subject himself to riducule, to propose an Origin counter to Genesis, and put at risk his relationship with his devoutly Christian wife, required courage that few men possess.

Darwin predates DNA- a man of vision.

The Big, Angry Guy in the Sky may be comforting, but it is not science.

Belief, as always, well founded or not, is a deeply personal thing.


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 15:15 | 2718613 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

What I always find the most ironic is that the people who say the Bible is the most imporant book/source of knowledge in their life know almost nothing about its origins, various incarnations, and the history of it and you always see a fair amount of Christians who actually think the Old/New Testament is the world of God.  Amount of ignorance is shocking.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 18:53 | 2719033 Kayman
Kayman's picture


Actually, there is plenty written about Christian history, but it is mainly suppressed.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:09 | 2717865 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

What scares me, James Cole, is that you have equal amounts of up and down votes.  This SHOULD be a site that attracts the brighter types.


Unfortunately many libertarians are also (religious) conservatives (Ron Paul being one) who do not believe evolution happened and still happens. So there's your answer.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:38 | 2717556 Praetor
Praetor's picture

@ OOKSpay Exactly. If white North Americans evolved from European's why do we still have Europeans?

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:57 | 2717815 old naughty
old naughty's picture


To remind of we were never them?

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:01 | 2717918 Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

I fear for the US Education system when I read your comment. By the way, every time you find a "missing link", you create two more. If the logic behind that baffles you....well, I guess my sentence was fully complete without the "If". Funny how adult homo sapiens will question Darwin, but take everything that bloated a-hole Alex Jones says as gospel. As for Jones himself, what more proof does one need to reject the hypothesis of Intelligent Design, unless god's wind tunnel was down the day Jones was born. In some Robin Williams movie the argument against "intelligent design" was said best: who would put a waste disposal facility right next to a recreation area? When Dell or Apple builds a new laptop, I wonder if they leave the old Heathkit IC in it, in addition to a few vacuum tubes, since according to the faithful, such included obsolescence constitutes some sort of intelligent design?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:05 | 2717400 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture



     There are no transitional fossils because there was never any transition, or evolution, only devolution. However... having that understanding makes you the equivalent of not believing Bernanke is a genius, or that the FED can solve our financial crisis.  :~)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:11 | 2717412 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Good Lord I'm a heretic...LOL!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:31 | 2717353 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Darwinism is about adaptaion to changing conditions.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:42 | 2717368 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

EDIT:  Even stranger yet.  I posted this as a reply to Ookspay

Very strange....

When I try to access your stats page I get:

"Access denied

You are not authorized to access this page."

This is not the case for any other person's comments.

Strange....   I guess your pig Latin name is more correct than I thought.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:58 | 2717394 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

I have now allowed access to continue, try again...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:35 | 2717552 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

hey R_R!

Saturday Funhouse - YouTube

okspayoay?   Hahaha!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:55 | 2717370 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

Darwinism is about coming up with enough academic bullshit so the government  will fund your voyage to exotic islands.

Same for Louis Leakey. Oh looky at this jawbone. It is so much thicker and curved than any found before. I hereby claim it is a new species. The smart anthropoligists realize its just a ditch diggers job and you do not get famous finding the same old shit over and over. Fact: There is more differentiation in the skulls and bones of todays modern men from around the globe than all the fossils that have been exclaimed as a new species of evolutionary apes.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:09 | 2717407 francis_the_won...
francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"There is more differentiation in the skulls and bones of todays modern men from around the globe than all the fossils that have been exclaimed as a new species of evolutionary apes."

Before or after Fukushima?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:16 | 2717514 Haole
Haole's picture

The massive submerged stone structures off the coasts of Japan, Chile, etc. are but a few of the indications that there have been advanced hominid civilizations "coming and going" (with quite a bit of help) on this planet for tens of thousands of years, perhaps millions.  Much of what we've been told about our history as a species, never mind the utter bullshit that is "evolution", are "scientific" abominations at best.   ET creationism, genetic engineering and cultivation, bitchez.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:12 | 2717870 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

You're either an idiot or making fun of idiots.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:43 | 2717895 Haole
Haole's picture

Hey thanks!  I can tell you're really sharp when you need to question yourself over the execution of your original insult and have to edit it long after it's inception...

If I'm an idiot in your eyes that's awesome.


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:26 | 2718007 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Well as long as you keep proving you haven't got the slightest idea about how our world works, I am right to call you an idiot. Thanks for removing all doubt. :)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 15:17 | 2718615 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Nah just an idiot.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 00:52 | 2719797 Haole
Haole's picture

You and this TWSceptic character are the intellectual decendants of the people that laughed at the Wright Bros. before they flew but good humor nonetheless. 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:42 | 2718029 Kayman
Kayman's picture



Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:44 | 2717372 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Yes. True.

But it got really complicated when it got confiscated by "evolutionists". And the evolutionists still can't prove their theory.

It now relies...oddly enough, on faith ;-)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:06 | 2717509 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

I have no faith in faith.

The fossil record, especially on land, is full of holes... The only way of papering over the holes is with 'punctuanted equilibrium'.

Fred Hoyle's speculations on 'The Intelligent Universe' make more sense to me... and Hoyle definitely believed that there was a very high intelligence at work in the very distant past and probably to the present day.

Hoyle believed that there was a god. He did not believe that there was a god listening to the pleas of those praying for divine intervention.


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:45 | 2717853 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


I keep getting dumped to voicemail myself.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:50 | 2717908 nmewn
nmewn's picture doubt about it, the landscape is littered with the bones of many false starts and declarations that had to be "amended" to fit with reality.

My all time favorite declarative statement from the scientific community at large will always remain "Why, this changes everything we thought we knew!!!"

To which the keen observer of their musings must say, um wut? Many have spent an inordinate amount of time backing or critiquing your former hypothesis, what guarantee is given that you're right this time?

The honest ones will say none.

It is remarkable to me, that a rational mind can spend an entire lifetime searching in vain to prove or disprove some grand thing, only toward the end of a wasted life, turn to theology in despair ;-)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:47 | 2718042 Kayman
Kayman's picture

We are always looking for a beginning, a starting point, and God is a plausible fit.

Perhaps, what is, is. And there is no "beginning".

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:39 | 2717804 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

Things evolve from the simple to the complex.  How hard is that?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:58 | 2717393 snblitz
snblitz's picture

"survival of the fittest" does not appear in Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life".  If you read the book, you will find his theory is more accurately described as "survival of the most average", with, according to his theory, the median population developing new and better traits over time.

However, Darwin himself points out the holes in his theory in an appendix which you can only read if you can find a printing of the book which includes it.

The largest hole, which he himself describes, is that the evolutionary tree is, according to the historical record, regrettably upside down.  Instead of mutation leading to diversity, one finds a continuous diminution in the number of species occurring even before man showed up.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:13 | 2717420 francis_the_won...
francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

"Instead of mutation leading to diversity, one finds a continuous diminution in the number of species occurring even before man showed up."

Why does this statement bring to mind the consolidation of the banking industry?

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:31 | 2717440 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

He, himself, said:

They have never "created" life.

Species don't change types.

They have never observed evolution.

If you can't "observe it, measure it, duplicate it", it doesn't follow the scientific method.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:44 | 2717628 GoldSilverDoc
GoldSilverDoc's picture

If you are going to make comments, you really, really shouldn't demonstrate your ignorance so convincingly.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 02:03 | 2717687 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

You certainly demonstrate elitism well. 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 06:46 | 2717777 css1971
css1971's picture

No, it's more like.

The more times dumb people crash their cars and die, the better their neighbours children's cars become in the future.

The dumb people are dead, so they never get a better car.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:44 | 2717343 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

All I ever needed to know about evolution I learned from Mick Jagger

Well they tell me I'm a monkey man

 Im just looking for a monkey woman too.


The Rollng Stones

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:43 | 2717360 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

I think the imperfect market gets much worse than any of the examples given. Today, the fish have figured out the fishermen, taken control of their boats, and are killing and eating the fishermen.


Furthermore, the fish are rapidly evolving into amphibians, so, even if you don’t go in the water, they’re coming to get you.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:22 | 2717599 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Just watch out for the dreaded canderu!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 14:54 | 2718566 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Candiru. Fish that invade human urethra! Egads!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:45 | 2718038 monad
monad's picture

We so hongry. Come on now, you must go along with it. Barry said we can eat you; its the law.

Ross Perot attempts to reason with Al Gore check Al Gore's deceptive speech methods 

Capone / TV 2012!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:42 | 2717369 samsara
samsara's picture


"The Turbo button is only for BRIEF boosts"

"Now you've gone and broke the bloody ship"

Galaxy Quest

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:59 | 2717375 Die Weiße Rose
Die Weiße Rose's picture

If you don't believe in the Scientific evidence of natural Evolution or natural Selection,

you shoulds invest in J.C's new:

'MF - Curiosity MyARSe - Fund' !

....that way you could defy all the laws of Quantum-Leveraged Meta-Physics -   

and use Aliens and Hopium to drill for Oil on Mars

and fool everyone else.


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:53 | 2717386 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

in slewienomics there is no substitute for luck

~~:> i'm williamBlake and i approve of tyler's intro

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:07 | 2717405 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Throwing Random Switches

The bad fisherman remind me of a bad president investors hired for a company of mine.  When problems occured I would generally be tasked with fixing them.  I would take a an approach which was guarenteed to resolve the problem in a known amount of time and uncover the underlying problem so it could be fixed.  This time frame would be given to customers as to when the issue would be resolved.

This president however, lacking any real knowledge of how the business worked, would walk in and start randomly throwing switches until things started working.

This was very disruptive to customers, especially to those whose services had been working, but at some point the random behavior would correct the problem without identifying the problem and he would smuggly walk off back to his office and announce to the board/management that he again had to save the company.

The president, in fact, magnified the problem so when he "fixed" it, it was that much more important.

It was then that I learned that most "brought in" management has not the slightest idea what it is doing. The same goes for board members.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:11 | 2717414 ekm
ekm's picture


It looks like Paul Tucker, the deputy gov of the Bank of England is trying to emulate the Polynesian fishermen.


Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, told an October meeting of the chief executives of Britain’s largest banks that there was a serious chance none of their businesses would survive to the end of the year.

“Gentlemen, you could all be out of business by Christmas,” Mr Tucker said in a stark warning to the bank chiefs, according to three sources present at the meeting.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:31 | 2717441 shitting_alpha
shitting_alpha's picture

that is not much of an analogy, but much more like swiss cheese, which is an analogy.


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:44 | 2717564 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'm shitting_similes, BiCheZ!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:31 | 2717443 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Bernanke simply needs to print more fish for the bad fishermen to catch.

Problem solved.


Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:43 | 2717464 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture



Some of you may remember Dr. Freckles from MW. He’s a bit eccentric on his blog, but there are days when he hits a homerun.  

Liberal Douche Admonishes us to Buy American — he painted this on his Subaru…

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Look at the second photo, left corner.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:37 | 2717557 adr
adr's picture

To be fair that Subaru is made in the USA.

Has to be a college professor. Subaru wagon, Darwin Fish, and a Union supporter ribbon.

Somehow I doubt he is a 99%er. Probably making at least $120k on tenure.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:32 | 2717547 adr
adr's picture

I went fishing with my uncle once. He sat for hours trying to catch a few bass. He knows more about fishing than I will ever be able to learn. He kept trying to fish the spots where the bass should have been, places he caught them before.

I cast a line into the middle of the pond and got a hit on it in seconds. I reeled in a nice smallmouth. Standing there dumfounded my uncle said, amazing way to go kid.

What does this story have to do with anything? Sometimes even if you know nothing, you can get lucky. Instead of trying to replicate your luck, quit while you are ahead.

Investing right now is blindly casting a line in the middle of the pond.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:27 | 2717602 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

In an environment where "creative accounting" runs amok, there is no such thing as "investing!"

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:37 | 2717617 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

If by "investing" you mean putting money into the stock market ponzi, it is nothing whatsoever like "blindly casting a line".


It's more like strangling yourself with the fishing line, setting fire to the boat, and jumping into the lake.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:18 | 2717793 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I kind of equate it to throwing your pole, tackle, and net into the pond and then expecting the fish to jump in the boat.

Fortunately I sold all my fishing gear early and now use the boat for PM storage.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:35 | 2717553 bobert
bobert's picture

In an evolutionary world squirrels and deers would learn to use cross walks or learn to watch for cars better than they do.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 23:59 | 2717585 houserich
houserich's picture

That's your solution. Their solution is to aggressively reproduce.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 06:22 | 2717769 css1971
css1971's picture

Evolution takes a couple of hundred generations.


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:37 | 2717845 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Do not confuse adaptation with evolution, mutations are random events while adaptation is the force of nature doing anything and everything to share DNA. We would be inundated with new specie of every sort with only a few hundred generations as a data sample were your musings true. Imagine how short a time that is for say fruit flies...

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:50 | 2717907 Haole
Haole's picture

Whoever junked you is likely out there drooling and rocking back and forth right now.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 17:28 | 2718869 bobert
bobert's picture

I know anything and everything can happen over billions and billions of years.

I'm only smart enough to relate to things that happen say for example in ten thousand years.

Can't fit into that grouping don't talk to me.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:38 | 2717847 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

The deer have to sacrifice themselves that way, it is according to Obambi-care rules.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:07 | 2717590 houserich
houserich's picture

It turns out, many of the fish are robots. A couple of dudes laugh their asses off sitting on the hill with their remote control, watching the failing fishermen.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:28 | 2717607 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

I think this article deserves a far better average rating than 3.3 (with just 11 voting).

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:36 | 2717616 AU5K
AU5K's picture

Evolution is just a theory.  We have not seen a new species created.


Well, liberals are their own species, but that is DE-EVOLUTION.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:24 | 2717797 css1971
css1971's picture

Well that blows the "God did it" theory out of the water then.

Humans have managed to create new species. For example Chihuahuas are never again going to breed with wolves. If humans can do it why shouldn't it happen naturally?

In the natural world any mutation has to remain compatible with the others in the species in order to survive. If it doesn't, it can't survive because there can be no offspring. You're not going to see a new species until there are a significant proportion of the existing species with the mutation, it's going to take a long time. I have no idea how you would ever see a species spring into being in the natural world... When humans do it, it's called "breeding" and we have thousands of years of observing that happening for real.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:09 | 2717873 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Chihuahuas are not a different species of anything, merely a breed of a selected variety of phenotypes of canis lupis familiarus.

The genotypes are all the same species.

Because you look different from your brother doesn't mean your brother is a martian.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 07:27 | 2717799 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Does cloning count?

Just asking....

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:23 | 2717875 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Evolution is just a theory.  We have not seen a new species created.


A scientific theory (which is what it is) is the BEST possible evidence we humans can come up with. It's basically as good as the claim that gravity pulls you down. That's how certain we are about evolution.


If you keep saying to liberals that evolution didn't happen, you will make other libertarians/conservatives look like fools. Please stop it.


PS: YES we have seen new species being formed.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:02 | 2717919 Haole
Haole's picture

"PS: YES we have seen new species being formed."


Give one example occuring naturally.  Just one.  First, endeavor to learn how biological classification is denoted in taxonomic ranks and what a species is.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:36 | 2717957 monad
monad's picture

DOS, StuxNet. We are witnessing transhuman evolution from genomes to something exotic beyond your imagination; something that doesn't die, or forget, and that has perfect mathematical cognition of the entire energy spectrum.

Puny human.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:43 | 2717964 Haole
Haole's picture

You've got me there, thanks monad.  ;)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 11:31 | 2718003 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

I can name more than one. Many new species have formed during the last 100 years alone, which is like a millisecond in the complete duration of evolution on this planet.


But please do your own research, it would be ridiculous for me to post this here, it's off-topic and can easily be found just by learning how to use Google.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 12:07 | 2718055 Haole
Haole's picture

Indulge us with your wisdom and your proof of a species actually being created (and not discovered) in the last 100 years instead of defering any proof you claim to have.  It should be easy for such a knowledgable person and take less time to actually answer the question than to divert altogether as above. 


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 02:40 | 2719795 Haole
Haole's picture

"I can name more than one. Many new species have formed during the last 100 years alone..."




Yeah, that's what I thought...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 06:05 | 2719974 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Again, there are many. Please do not force me to make you look like an idiot. Then again you already proved you are one. But Again, search Google and you will find your answer. No I'm not talking about discovery but NEW SPECIES.

Sat, 08/25/2012 - 04:43 | 2736467 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

liberals are untermenschen and you are the ubermenschen....ahh now i understand.

Feckin nazi wannabe's, i bet you aint even got blond hair or blue eyes.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 01:02 | 2717649 Catullus
Catullus's picture


Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:41 | 2717849 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

In reality polynesian fisherman did not have a problem with luck since the seas were very abundant with fish.  That was all fine until the never ending Asian apetite for fish decimated the global fishing stocks.  The parallel in finance? 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 17:32 | 2718881 bobert
bobert's picture

You are smart.

I was going to make a recommendation to buy something Chinese @ the market tomorrow, however, live in fear of my compliance dept., busting me so I won't.

Do your own research :)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:56 | 2717861 fdgdfgd
fdgdfgd's picture

Some recent study found that humans split from some ancestor much earlier than thought before. So, in my opinion, most theories are not fundamentally wrong, but they are not totally correct either.


On the text, the world really is different with a mass of bad fishermen around. Things happen that would not and should not happen. If it was up to a good fisherman, Greece would have defaulted already.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:05 | 2717871 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I've read all those comments on apes and darwin and I can figure out the fasination on where we come from.  Who cares?  Apes, Adam, Aliens?  who cares.  Tell me about tomorrow and where we are going instead of worring about the rear view mirror.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 09:21 | 2717883 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

The best I can assure you with absolute certainty is that you'll be taking a dirt nap in the future.

Invest in some 3'x7' real estate now. Avoid the rush.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:25 | 2717941 monad
monad's picture

What use is 3x7 to me when I'm dead? I'm not going fishing with you, you're dangerous.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 17:33 | 2718884 bobert
bobert's picture

I would like to tell you more but I can't :)

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:23 | 2717938 monad
monad's picture

Master Po, why is it that they do not see this?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!