Is that Horse or Zebra Hooves I Hear Behind Me?

– By Mike Sutton –

On Sutton’s Law: First consider the obvious

Sutton’s Law:

“When diagnosing, one should first consider the obvious. Therefore, one should first conduct tests that could either confirm, or else dis-confirm, the most likely diagnosis.”


Ironically, Sutton’s Law – coined around 1960 by the eminent physician William Dock    – comes from a fixed-false belief that the bank robber Willie Sutton explained why he robbed banks    because “That’s where the money is“. In reality, Willie said he robbed banks for the fun of it and the money was just “chips” (   ).

Regardless of the ironically high and arguably always most obvious likelihood that the story behind it was bunkum, because no one at the time thought to confirm with Sutton the veracity of the story that is source of his mythical line, Sutton’s Law is still logically and practicably useful in many fields – such as clinical medicine, computer program debugging and mechanical problem diagnosis.

I applied Sutton’s Law when studying Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Wallace’s (1858, 1859 and 1860) claims to have each discovered the complex theory of macroevolution by natural selection, and the original associated artificial versus natural selection explanatory analogy of differences, independently of one another and independently of Patrick Matthew’s (1831) prior publication.

In considering the obvious, I was most certainly unable to disconfirm the high likelihood of some kind of significant pre-1858 Matthewian knowledge contamination of the brains of both Darwin and Wallace. In fact, my research confirmed the most obvious – with newly discovered hard facts – that Darwin’s and Wallace’s friends, influencers and facilitators, and their influencer’s influencers, read and cited Matthew’s book and the ideas in it before Darwin and Wallace replicated them. Consequently, it is far more likely than not, that this fact explains their replications of Matthew’s original ideas.

You can read the latest peer reviewed evidence to support the conclusion that Darwin and Wallace did not discover natural selection independently of its originator: Here.   

imageNullius in Verba

The full details of my bombshell discovery are in my Thinker Media Book: Here


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