Prominent Scientists Reject Mainstream Genetics, Support New Theory of How the Human Body is Formed
New York, NY: In the foreword to the new book Lifecode, From Egg to Embryo by Self-organization, by Stuart Pivar, (Ryland Press), Darwin scholar Richard Milner* directs attention to the recent landmark ENCODE report (June 14) in which Human Genome Project Director Francis Collins calls the long-accepted model of genetics “badly flawed.” A week later, in a NY Times Science Times report, scores of scientists concluded that, after fifty years of genetic research, they don’t really understand what genes do, or how they work.
Lifecode presents an alternative theory of evolution which contends that the embryo is formed by self-organization, as are crystals, rather than by a genetic code subject to natural selection. Accompanying illustrations depict hypothetical construction blueprints for the various body forms. Biological Self-organization has long been a contending alternate theory for the code of life; recent proponents include evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Brian Goodwin.
In a review of Lifecode, Robert Hazen calls the model plausible, worthy of publication and further study. Professor Hazen is a leading NASA origins of life scientist at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC. Other supporters include Dimitar Sasselov, Director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, evolutionary biologist Brian Goodwin, author of “How the Leopard Changed its Spots,” and Neil Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium.
This new theory detailed in Lifecode may also be said to counter Intelligent Design by providing a more cogent account of evolution than does Darwinian natural selection.
Nowadays, I don’t consider an encomium from Francis Collins to be worth much of anything, but he cites some other big names in there … I am highly dubious about any of them. He earlier made a big deal out of Stephen Jay Gould’s support, after Gould was safely dead and unable to question it, and what the book contains is page after page of rank nonsense that Gould would not have endorsed. I’d be disappointed if Hazen and Tyson had recommended the book, and particularly appalled if Goodwin actually liked it—the book is a series of pretty pictures of imaginary embryology taken entirely from the mind of Stuart Pivar and with no support from actual embryology, that is, the stuff we see in our labs in our microscopes. I have a suspicion that their praise is a distortion as gross as the claim that scientists don’t understand genes or how they work.
Pivar is a classic crackpot, and Lifecode isn’t a science book by any measure. There is no theory there, and no evidence or observation. I can’t believe any scientist would be taken in by it.