Giuseppe Sermonti (born 1925) is a retired Italian professor of genetics. Sermonti is well known for his criticism of natural selection as the deciding factor of human biology.
Early life and career
Born in Rome, graduated in agriculture and genetics, he entered the Superior Institute of Health in 1950, founding a department of Microbiological Genetics. He became professor of genetics at the University of Camerino, then at the University of Palermo in 1965, and finally moved to the University of Perugia in 1970, where he is presently emeritus professor and where he manages the Genetics Institute of the University from 1974. From 1970-1971 he presided over the Associazione Genetica Italiana.
He is the discoverer of the genetic parasexual recombination in antibiotic-producing Penicillium and Streptomyces. He was vice-president of the XIV International Congress of Genetics held in Moscow and he was appointed as president of the International Committee of the Working Group on Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms. In 1994 Sermonti attended an AIDS denial conference in Bologna where he spoke on the damages of campaigning against AIDS rather than HIV.
In 1971 Sermonti published Il Crepuscolo dello Scientismo (in English The Twilight of Scientism), a post-modernist, critique of science. In 1980 Sermonti published an anti-evolution book Dopo Darwin (After Darwin), co-authored with Roberto Fondi. Since 1979, Sermonti has been Chief Editor of Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, one of the oldest extant biology journals in the world (founded in 1919).
Between 1986 and 1989 Sermonti produced three books on the hermeneutics of fairy tales, entitled Fiabe di Tre Reami (Fairy Tales of Three Realms), arguing that they contained unexpressed principles of science: Snow White is the narrative of cupellation as well as of the phases of the moon; Red Riding Hood is the story of mercury; Cinderella is the tale of sulfur. In 1987 Sermonti was one of the founding members of the Osaka "Group for the Study of Dynamic Structure" which holds the view of process structuralism, a view which is not widely held.
Along with physicist Antonino Zichichi, Sermonti is considered one of the leading two creationists in Italy. In 1993 Sermonti published in Answers in Genesis's young earth creation magazine, an article entitled "Not from the apes". The young earth creationist Henry M. Morris cited Sermonti (along with Guy Berthault, Roberto Fondi and Wolfgang Smith) as a Roman Catholic creationist in response to John Paul II's 1996 statement on evolution, however, Sermonti has not described himself as either a Roman Catholic or a creationist.
Sermonti has been involved with the intelligent design movement. He is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute's "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism", a petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution. Sermonti attended the Kansas evolution hearings with the Discovery Institute in 2005 but no transcript of his testimony exists as the court reporter could not understand what he was saying due to his strong Italian accent. His book Dimenticare Darwin (Forget Darwin) was published in 2003 and was translated into English as Why Is a Fly Not a Horse? which was published by the Discovery Institute and edited by Jonathan Wells. In the book, he denies being a creationist, saying that "For the reservations I harbor about Evolutionism, I have been accused of being a Creationist. I am not: if I am allowed, I would only aspire to being a creature".
- Genetics of Antibiotic-Producing Microorganisms, 1969, (Wiley, London) ISBN 0-471-77635-1
- Il Crepuscolo dello Scientismo (Twilight of Scientism), 1971, 2002, (Nova Scripta, Genoa) ISBN 88-88251-01-4
- Dopo Darwin (After Darwin), with R. Fondi, 5 editions, 1980-1984 (Rusconi, Milan) ISBN 88-18-02515-5
- Fiabe di Tre Reami (Fairy Tales of Three Realms), 1985–1989, 2004 (La Finestra, Trento) ISBN 88-88097-31-7
- Why is A Fly Not A Horse?, 2005 (Discovery Institute Press). ISBN 0-9638654-7-1
- Tra le quinte della scienza, 2007, Di Renzo Editore, ISBN 88-8323-175-9
- Alternative AIDS Conference:Bologna Italy
- Fuso, Silvano (May 11, 2002). Antidarwinism in Italy. CICAP. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- Not from the apes
- Henry M. Morris Evolution and the Pope
- Kenneth Chang (2006-02-21). "Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- "Signatories of 'A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism'" (PDF). The Discovery Institute. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- Transcript of the Kansas evolution hearings
- Andrea Bottaro, Of Form over Substance: a review of Sermonti, Panda's Thumb June 19, 2005 and http://ncse.com/rncse/25/3-4/review-why-is-fly-not-horse
- Giuseppe Sermonti (2005). Why is a Fly not a Horse?. Discovery Institute. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-9638654-8-9