As I posted below, Giuseppe Sermonti (1925 - ) is the editor of Revista di Biologia and a clear supporter of Davison in particular, and anti-Darwinism in general. According to Wendell Bird (writing in 1988 in ICR Impact #176, Sermonti, writing in Dopo Darwin:Critica all Evoluzionismo (1980),

reject[s] macroevolution because of its scientific weakness. [15]

If we wish to keep to the substance of the matter, the new scientific Weltanschauung not only brings to mind the ideas of many distinguished men such as Goethe, Cuvier, Linnaeus, Vico, Leibniz, Paracelsus, Cusano and Aristotle, but . . . the traditional view of a cosmos or systema naturae perceived as a static whole. . . .
The result we believe must be striven for can therefore only be the following: biology will receive no advantage from following the teachings of Lamarck, Darwin and the modern hyper-Darwinists; indeed, it must as quickly as possible leave the narrow straits and blind alleys of the evolutionistic myth and resume its certain journey along the open and illuminated paths of tradition.

Henry Morris mentions Sermonti (along with Guy Berthault, Roberto Fondi, amd Wolfgang Smith) as a Catholic “creationist” in his rebuttal of Pope John Paul II’s 1996 statement on evolution. Sermonti, Berthaut and Fondi feature as “eminent research scientists [who] answer the main claims of the materialistic philosophy of Evolution” in a video (Evolution - Fact or Belief) being sold by the Catholic Daylight Origins Society. The video also features “[f]ilmed experiments [which] challenge the principles of the vast geological ages, supposed evidence for Evolution”. Further evidence of his YEC credentials is in that he has written for Answers in Genesis’ Creation Magazine in 1993 (”Not from apes”).

In this video, Sermonti apparently “finds that natural selection eliminates novelties which mutations can create. So natural selection has a stabilising effect on species and odd forms become extinct. Extinct old forms in no way explain the presence of extant forms. Even what are called “simple cells” are in fact extremely complex and have always been so. There is no evidence that man has evolved from an animal. the human DNA is original.” [link]

He talked at the 2004 conference The Meaning and Purpose of Life: Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives organized by the Hare Krishna Bhaktivedanta Institute, as did Michael Cremo author of Human Devolution, Forbidden Archeology and The Mysterious Origins of Man.

The Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal has a nice article on anti-Darwinism in Italy which mentions Sermonti (and a certain Antonino Zichichi) as the only “prominent exceptions” to the acceptance of Darwinism. It features this quote from 1970:

The idea of a gradual evolutionary development of our species from creatures like the australopithecus, through the pithecanthropus, the sinanthropus and the neanderthaliano, must be considered totally ground-less and it must be rejected with decision. The man is not the most recent ring of a long evolutionary chain but, contrarily, it represent a taxon that exists substantially unchanged at least since the dawns of the Quaternary Era […] On the morphological and anatomo-comparative plan, the most primitive - or less evolved - between all the ominidis results to be really the man of modern type! […] Are certainly less distant from truth those people that […] sustain the opposite hypothesis, and that is that Australopiteci, Arcanthropi and Paleoanthropi are all forms derived by the man of modern type!

I.E. Homo sapiens has been around since approximately 2 million years b.p. and that other homids are “devolved” from the “modern type”. No wonder Cremo and Sermonti turn up together.

Like Davison, Sermonti has some interesting ideas:

From 1986 to 1989 Prof. Sermonti produced three books on hermeneutics of classic fairy tales, showing that they contained (unexpressed) principles of science and technology (e.g. Snow-White is the narrative of the silver purification - cupellation - as well as of the phases of the moon, Red-riding-hood is mercury, Cinderella is sulphur). In these books he maintains that Science is of the same stuff as the Fairy Tales. [link]

We’re one short step away from alchemy and mystic sigils here folks.

Interestingly, with shades of Phillip Johnson, Sermonti appeared at an “alternative AIDS conference” Rethinking AIDS held in Bologna in 1994 [link].

In short, Sermonti appears to be a YEC structuralist who denies human evolution, and yet another member of the “big tent” that is Johnson’s Intelligent Design movement. The Discovery Institute’s John G. West favorably quotes Sermonti as saying “Darwinism… is the ‘politically correct’ of science,” (Rivista di Biologia, 95 [2002], p. 10) in his letter opposing Paul Gross’ NAS article “Intelligent Design and that Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy,” (Science Insights, v7.4). Indeed, the DI notes that Sermonti is a “[p]rominent” biologist who also signed their statement opposing Darwinism. It is clear that (apart from the negligability of Sermonti’s “prominence”), the DI doesn’t really care about who it gets into bed with in an attempt to con the public that biology is in a state of crisis. Sermonti has shown himself to be ignorant about the age of the earth and the human fossil record. PZ Myers said it best (in his comment on yesterday’s post):

And the thing is, when creationist organizations go trawling for “scientists” to add to their list of dissenters from evolution, deranged fruitcakes like Davison are what they get. That’s something that has to be taken into account when the DI brags about their list of scientists: there aren’t that many on their list, and what they’ve done is to skim off the frothy spume of crazies.