Pharyngula

Pseudoscience by press release

I just had to repost my review of Lifecode because the author, Stuart Pivar, is pushing the book again. Here’s the press release, shocking in its pretentious flapdoodle:

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.

Comments

  1. #1 PalMD
    July 12, 2007

    To quot Pauli, “This isn’t right…it’s not even wrong. This isn’t even science fiction…it’s just fiction. And the long list of supposed endorsements is dubious, to say the least.

  2. #2 Glenn Branch
    July 12, 2007

    Collins didn’t endorse the book; it’s just that Milner cited him in the introduction.

  3. #3 PZ Myers
    July 12, 2007

    That figures. Pivar seems to take someone saying “hello” to a neighbor as an endorsement of his book.

  4. #4 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 12, 2007

    Item #29 on the Baez Crackpot Index is the following:

    30 points for suggesting that a famous figure secretly disbelieved in a theory which he or she publicly supported. (E.g., that Feynman was a closet opponent of special relativity, as deduced by reading between the lines in his freshman physics textbooks.)

    I wonder if biology cranks invoke Gould the same way that physics cranks invoke Feynman (Hawking, Einstein, etc.). They’re all dead; none of them can argue.

  5. #5 Morgan
    July 12, 2007

    (Hawking, Einstein, etc.). They’re all dead…

    Careful there!

  6. #6 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 12, 2007

    Incidentally, I can’t find any corroboration ontube for the purported encomiums by Hazen, Goodwin and Tyson. Hazen’s CV lists three book reviews, none of which are on Lifecode.

  7. #7 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 12, 2007

    Morgan (#5):

    Oops.

  8. #8 Stacey C.
    July 12, 2007

    Here is Pivar’s self-reporting on the supposed endorsements. Notice how there are no links to other instances of the statements anywhere online.

  9. #9 Stacey C.
    July 12, 2007

    Oops…lets try this the low tech way:
    http://www.selforganization.com/reviews.htm
    That should work.

  10. #10 Raymond
    July 12, 2007

    I have heard Dr. Tyson speak many, many times. And although I’ve never heard him address the above nonsense directly, judging from what I’ve heard Dr. Tyson say in person, and from his writing, I say there is no way possible whatsoever that he subscribes to this garbage.

  11. #11 Kirkinson
    July 12, 2007

    I suspect that Tyson quote comes from an entirely unrelated discussion/paper/random musing/etc. on the possibilities of finding life on other planets that doesn’t encode with DNA.

  12. #12 Kirk
    July 12, 2007

    Confirming my suspicion, the source for the first half of the Tyson quote on the page Stacey linked to comes from an interview in 2004:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/origins/tyson.html

    It’s in response to the question, “What great origins-related discoveries would you hope for in the coming decades?” and his answer begins: “The discovery of life somewhere other than on Earth.”

    However, what comes after the ellipsis in the Lifecode “peer review” where Tyson allegedly says, “No mere mathematical curiosity, this physically plausible model should be investigated seriously by biologists,” is nowhere to be found in the above interview, suggesting it was either made up or, at best, pulled from an entirely separate and unrelated work.

  13. #13 tsg
    July 12, 2007

    Item #29 on the Baez Crackpot Index is the following:

    I always thought there should be an item for going directly to news media instead of through peer review. 40 points at least.

  14. #14 Matt Penfold
    July 12, 2007

    Blake,

    With regards people misquoting Gould they did that even before he was dead. He wrote an essay about how dishonest they were.

    Essentially because Gould took a positions on the nature of how evolution proceeds that were not mainstream the creationists claimed he denied evolution took place.

    Gould said evolution proceeded in fits and starts , punctuated equilibrium (aka punk eek). He also supported the concept of group selection which was opposed by a number of biologists such as Williams, Hamilton, Dawkins and Maynard Smith. At the time those views were not the consenus view, so the creationists being creationism and unable to stop lying anymore than they can stop breathing claimed Gould was saying Darwin was wrong, natural selection does not happen etc etc. Total crap of course.

    The ironic thing is that is in these areas that there is still genuine disagreement in biology. The debate is over the unit of selection and how that selection proceeds over time. The idiot creationists have a real “controvesy” and cannot see it.

  15. #15 Peter Ashby
    July 12, 2007

    One wonders how he explained transgenic and knockout animals? I used to make my living making transgenic mice along with people doing knockouts. We even crossed one of my transgenics with a knockout to make analysing it easier and we even got a Nature paper out of it.

  16. #16 Steve Murphy
    July 12, 2007

    Consistent with the theme in this thread, if you look at Brian Goodwin`s cited `support` you discover that some of the PR firms flogging this thing actually speak about Goodwin`s comments on self-organization in general and link that in a b-i-i-i-g stretch to explicit support to Pivar`s book (which seems to hand-wave around the term self-organization much the way cranks tend to use quantum mechanics to justify any idea). Thus, PZ`s characterization of this being driven by press release is spot on – Goodwin is cited because he has addressed one concept that also pops up in Pivar`s book. Quite the ringing endorsement indeed.

    Lesson here: I think I`ll ask my publisher to claim that PZ endorses a textbook I helped write (plant focused – ew!) because after all I do mention embryology and evo-devo on one line in one chapter…

  17. #17 saurabh
    July 12, 2007

    As ninety-somethingth author on that ENCODE paper, I have to say the idea that it did anything to overturn our knowledge of genetics is preposterous. There was precious little that was novel in the paper, more’s the pity, and certainly nothing earth-shattering that would cause us to reverse basic, long-established conclusions like, say, the Central Dogma, which the above yahoo is challenging.

  18. #18 Greg Peterson
    July 12, 2007

    A few weeks ago I started reading a book by J. Scott Turner, The Tinkerer’s Accomplice, that seemed to me to be infected with this same sort of iffy “science,” so I gave up on it. But I also struggled with what I read in The Plausability of Life by Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart, thinking that it sounded “off” somehow, but I exchanged emails with Sean Carroll and he assured me that the authors were on to something but probably needed some more concrete examples (probably thinking of the sort of things Carroll himself did with icefish and color vision). Here’s the thing: What is the hallmark of something that is novel and surprising in a genuinely thought-provoking way, and what is sheer crackpottery? I have a pretty good BS detector, and I’m not afraid to ask around, but in general, how can the relatively well-read layperson avoid being suckered by pretty pseudo-science?

  19. #19 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 12, 2007

    Pivar seems to take someone saying “hello” to a neighbor as an endorsement of his book.

    Indeed. To the other quote-mining we could probably add the one of Hazen. At its best it could possibly be about an article that Pivar has submitted (and probably got refused), because it mentions “Plate 1 of the article”.

    And for an example of how Pivar has tried out the quotes, there is this vouched for document of ‘the same’ quotes on the book site.

    He tries to make Goodwin say

    “This is a pure structuralist model of life origin, a contribution to biological taxonomy.”

    on for size, while the review tries

    “This pure structuralist model of life origin is a contribution to biological taxonomy.”

    instead.

    Similarly, Hazen’s quote in the quote document is distorted and mined.

    And by this time it is up for grabs which model Sasselov thinks is plausible.

  20. #20 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 12, 2007

    Pivar seems to take someone saying “hello” to a neighbor as an endorsement of his book.

    Indeed. To the other quote-mining we could probably add the one of Hazen. At its best it could possibly be about an article that Pivar has submitted (and probably got refused), because it mentions “Plate 1 of the article”.

    And for an example of how Pivar has tried out the quotes, there is this vouched for document of ‘the same’ quotes on the book site.

    He tries to make Goodwin say

    “This is a pure structuralist model of life origin, a contribution to biological taxonomy.”

    on for size, while the review tries

    “This pure structuralist model of life origin is a contribution to biological taxonomy.”

    instead.

    Similarly, Hazen’s quote in the quote document is distorted and mined.

    And by this time it is up for grabs which model Sasselov thinks is plausible.

  21. #21 Nix
    July 12, 2007

    Blake@4, of course Gould himself wrote at least one essay (_The Piltdown Conspiracy_) in which he himself engaged in lots of, ahem, close reading of letters from Teilhard de Chardin in an attempt to prove that he didn’t just suspect that Piltdown was a hoax long before this was widely known, but that he was behind it…

  22. #22 Nevyn
    July 12, 2007

    I was just at the Darwin exhibit here in Chicago’s Field Museum, and guess who was on the video as you walk in? Tyson talking about the unifying power of natural selection in the life sciences, and the utter incomprehensibility of biology without it.

  23. #23 Carlie
    July 13, 2007

    Nevyn,
    I was just there too! Today, in fact. It was quite good. I cringed at the horse leg lineup, but otherwise it did a really nice job of getting the important information across.

  24. #24 Sophist, FCD
    July 13, 2007

    Well, I’m sure Stephen Jay Gould approved of books in general, and this is a book, so…

  25. #25 Gerdien de Jong
    July 13, 2007

    Greg Peterson:
    But I also struggled with what I read in The Plausability of Life by Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart, thinking that it sounded “off” somehow,…

    To me, it sounded “off” too, certainly the introductory and final chapters. The middle four chapters are fine, and do explain that it is not necessary to select for changing position of blood vessel, changing muscle strength, seperately at the same time as selection for more bone formation in a beak. The view of Kirschner & Gerhart on the neo-darwinian explanation of selection on beak size (all separate independent genes!) is a classical straw man. The Plausability of Life reads as if Kirschner & Gerhart haven’t taken note of any work on natural selection, and certainly have no grasp of quantitative genetics.
    Against this book too, the charge would be that it is a popular book avoiding peer review.

    Kirschner & Gerhart made much of all the various morphologies that result from neural crest cell. But they fail to give any explanation of why neural crests cells are involved in those novelties (like antlers) and how the novelties come about. That is, they have no explanation to offer when their ideas come up to being tested. (Not that anyone else has any explanation of the origin of antlers that I have heard, but Kirschner & Gerhart claim to have found something that can explain novelty. They cite novelties, but do not offer an explanation).

    Greg Peterson: …. but I exchanged emails with Sean Carroll and he assured me that the authors were on to something but probably needed some more concrete examples (probably thinking of the sort of things Carroll himself did with icefish and color vision).
    Kirschner & Gerhart are on to something: core modules, expanding core etc, but I thought they failed to deliver the major mechanism they claimed to be involved in novelty, facilitated phenotypic variation.

  26. #26 Tatarize
    July 13, 2007

    I find Tyson as hard as those others to actually endorse such nonsense. I think you could safely find him on the correct side of science 999/1000. And I’m probably committing libel with that last 1/1000th.

  27. #27 Greg Peterson
    July 13, 2007

    Gerdien de Jong, thanks very much. That was quite helpful.

    Greg

  28. #28 mark
    July 13, 2007

    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.

    He’s definitely got something there–I’ve been raising an aquarium full of pyrite for many years now, and have seen how some of the baby pyrites developed into quartz and apatite. I’ve also tried to get pyrite to mate with fluorite but have so far been unsuccessful.

  29. #29 Nevyn
    July 14, 2007

    Carlie,

    Is the horse leg line up a euphamism for the tape of Francis Collins et.al. blabbing about the compatability of evolution and religion? I cringed too, but I think they wanted to throw a bone (and a small one at that, say one of those inner ear bones) to the religionists considering the entire exhibit was a devestating refutation of their entire creation myth.

  30. #30 stuart pivar
    July 14, 2007

    Dear PZ

    You reviewed the wrong book!!

    “Lifecode, from Egg to Embryo” is brand new. “Lifecode” of 2004, exists in only a few review copies. Since then, I have answered my critics by substantially augmenting the model, and providing correspondence with observed nature, based on known, accepted phenomena. The new book is the result. However, you have referred your readers to your previous review, as if it was the same book under discussion.

    The confusion about using a similar title led to the seeming endorsement by prominent scientists of a bogus theory. In fact, each of them is well aware of what they call plausible, publishable and worthy of further investigation. When you receive your copy this morning you may be overjoyed to see that the riddle of embryogenesis has been solved by a model you cannot seem to refute. Later today, pages from the new book will be posted on http://www.selforganization.com

    My sources in embryology are extensive, including the n-translated works of the German nineteenth-century experimental embryologists which, luckily, I am able to read. By the way, observation shows that there are hundreds of different kinds of gastrulation, not just five.

    I eagerly await your comments on “Lifecode: From Egg to Embryo.”

    Stuart Pivar

  31. #31 Keith Douglas
    July 14, 2007

    Greg Peterson: Places like this blog are a good place to start …

  32. #32 B. Dewhirst
    July 15, 2007

    Speaking as a Materials Science Doctoral Candidate, there are very good reasons why crystals can self-organize and something like a biological system can’t (or would have great difficulty doing so, etc.)

  33. #33 stuart pivar
    July 15, 2007

    Dear PZ Myers,
    I will ignore your insulting and intemperate language and concentrate on the substantive issues.

    You have not taken the trouble to read the material, and failed to notice that “Lifecode: from egg to embryo” is a new book. Embryology is a vastly complex subject which has historically described nearly a hundred different kinds of gastrulation. It is fallacious to imagine that one can understand embryology by the five animals studied in Bio 101. Zebra fish development is typical only of the zebra fish.

    The Lifecode model of embryonic self-organization is in fact in concordance with the observed sequences of chick embryology, which is conveniently seen in flattened plan view. Fish, xenopus, drosophila and mouse sequences are unintelligible due to opacity and resolution problems. See Rachel Fink’s “A Dozen Eggs”, a classic in time-lapse photomicrography. I suggest you reread your Korschelt and Heider to remind you of what the germ plasm, the egg, and gastrulation are about.

    Tuesday the rest of the biology faculty at UMM will receive a copy of “Lifecode: from egg to embryo.” If any can refute the model,or any substantial part, my publisher will offer a very generous stipend for its publication. Meanwhile please see http://www.selforganization.com. You will then see why rominent scientists have endorsed the model as plausible, ublishable, and worthy of investigation. Once informed, I expect you will do so as well.

    Stuart Pivar

  34. #34 stuart pivar
    July 15, 2007

    I’d like to call attention to No #17 in the blog comments posted beneath the story about the press release for my book “Lifecode: from egg to embryo.” The comment reads in full:

    “As ninety-somethingth author on that ENCODE paper, I have to say the idea that it did anything to overturn our knowledge of genetics is preposterous. There was precious little that was novel in the paper, more’s the pity, and certainly nothing earth-shattering that would cause us to reverse basic, long-established conclusions like, say, the Central Dogma, which the above yahoo is challenging.
    Posted by: saurabh | July 12, 2007 04:45 PM”

    “Little that was novel” in the ENCODE paper? Not threatening or “earth-shattering” to the genomic paradigm?

    Something is terribly wrong here. Has the writer seen The Economist, June 16-22, 2007 cover story “Biology’s Big Bang: Unravelling the secrets of RNA. P 86: “Molecular biology is undergoing its biggest shake-up in 50 years…” Same page: “It is beginning to dawn on biologists that they may have got it wrong…RNA has been…neglected as a humble carrier of messages and fetcher of building materials. This account of the cell was so satisfying to biologists that few bothered to look beyond it. But they are looking now. For, suddenly, cells seem to be full of RNA doing who-knows-what.”

    P. 89 “some very murky waters are stirred up. What is being proposed is the inheritance of characteristics acquired during an individual’s lifetime, rather than as the result of chance mutations. This was first suggested by Jean Baptiste Lamarck, before Charles Darwin’s idea of natural selection swept the board…”

    Now please allow me to quote from the respected, venerable AFP press wire service, which went out to the world’s newpapers, magazines, and internet on June 14, 2007, with this article by science writer Richard Ingham: “Landmark Study Prompts DNA Rethink: The most detailed probe yet into the workings of the human genome has led scientists to conclude that a cornerstone concept about the chemical code for life is badly flawed. The ground-breaking study, published in more than two dozen paper in journals on both sides of the Atlantic, takes a small percentage of the genome to pieces…In between the genes…are long, tedious stretches that appear to do nothing.

    “The term for them is ‘junk’ DNA, reflecting the presumption that they are merely driftwood from our evolutionary past and have no biological function. But the work by the ENCODE (ENCylopaedia of DNA Elements) consortium implies that this nuggets-and-dross concept of DNA should be, well, junked…Previously written off as silent, it emerges as a singer with its own discreet voice, part of a vast, interacting molecular choir.”

    This same presumably authoritative article goes on to say: “Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), which corralled 35 scientific groups from around the world into the ENCODE project, said the scientific community ‘will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do…Another rethink is in offing about how the genome has evolved,’ said Collns. Until now, researchers had thought that the pressure to survive would relentlessly sculpt the human genome, leaving it with a slim, efficient core of genes that are essential for biological function. But the ENCODe consortium were surprised to find that the genome appears to be stuffed with functional elements that offer no identifiable benefits in terms if survival and reproduction.”

    This goes on and on. Erika Check, writing in “Nature,” the science magazine of record, wrote on June 1, 2007 that individual genomes, such as the one presented to James D. Watson, “are now largely symbolic, because it’s difficult to draw concrete information about a person’s health from his or her genome.” A few weeks ago, “New Scientist” also carried a major article about ENCODE’s so-called “rethink” of the genome.

    Highly respected Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin, in his classic book “It Ain’t Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions” (first published in 2000 and subsequently revised in several editions) saw it coming almost a decade ago.

    Lewontin wrote in that book: “DNA is not self-reproducing; second it makes nothing; and third, organisms are not determined by it” (second edition, p. 141). Later on, Lewontin says (p 140) “No living molecule is self-reproducing…Not only (p. 143) is DNA incapable of making copies of itself, aided or unaided, but it is incapable of “making” anything else…It is the evangelical enthusiasm of the modern Grail Knights [he characterizes genomics as the Holy Grail of biology] and the innocence of the journalistic acolytes whom they have catechized that have so fetishized DNA…So its basic ontological claim, of the dominance of the Master Molecule over the body physical and the body politic, becomes part of the general consciousness.” (p 164). Lewontin, in the same book, refers to “Junk DNA” as nothing but “a label for ignorance.”

    Now let us return to where we started, with the comment posted by someone claiming to be one of the authors of the ENCODE paper: “I have to say the idea that [the new "rethink" of June 14] did anything to overturn our knowledge of genetics is preposterous. There was precious little that was novel in the paper, more’s the pity, and certainly nothing earth-shattering that would cause us to reverse basic, long-established conclusions.”

    So let me get this straight: I’M THE ONE who doesn’t understand what science is all about?

    Stuart Pivar

  35. #35 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 15, 2007

    Nix (#20):

    Well, first of all, nobody doubts that Piltdown Man was a hoax. The question is just “whodunit?” Whether Charles Dawson was “the lone boneman” or if Teilhard de Chardin assisted him in burying some jawbones beneath the grassy knoll, the salient fact is that the “discovery” was a fraud, and eventually scientists caught it.

    Then, too, I find it rare for physics cranks to summarize their theses in this fashion:

    My case is, to be sure, circumstantial (as is the case against Dawson or anyone else), but I believe that the burden of proof must now rest with those who would hold Father Teilhard blameless.

  36. #36 DGS
    July 16, 2007

    I do wish that I was not prompted to say that discussion of the ENCODE article meant for public consumption, whether by Francis Collins, The Economist, or AFP wire services, is emphatically *not* the same as scientific consumption and synthesis of the results of the article. Public communication of this type has no more scientific relevance than does a public announcement of discovery of an “obesity gene”, or “intelligence gene”, or “heart disease gene”. The public wants sound bites, but scientists don’t (and shouldn’t) communicate with each other that way. In my opinion the mere fact that Stuart Pivar has just above used sound bites as argument (a trait shared with IDers with respect to these same ENCODE results) is enough all on its own to make me skeptical about his qualifications as a scientist, and the usefulness of his ideas. Thanks Stuart for saving me from spending any more time on your work.

  37. #37 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 16, 2007

    The confusion about using a similar title led to the seeming endorsement by prominent scientists of a bogus theory.

    Am I misreading this, or does this say face up that the earlier book was bogus?

    the riddle of embryogenesis has been solved by a model you cannot seem to refute.

    Alright then, no analysis needed then since the ‘science’ is dogma.

    You will then see why rominent scientists have endorsed the model as plausible, ublishable, and worthy of investigation.

    And no explanation for the suspicious endorsements from “rominent” scientists on the ‘ublishability’ of the model.

    Thanks for so tellingly saving us spending any more time on your work.

  38. #38 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    July 16, 2007

    The confusion about using a similar title led to the seeming endorsement by prominent scientists of a bogus theory.

    Am I misreading this, or does this say face up that the earlier book was bogus?

    the riddle of embryogenesis has been solved by a model you cannot seem to refute.

    Alright then, no analysis needed then since the ‘science’ is dogma.

    You will then see why rominent scientists have endorsed the model as plausible, ublishable, and worthy of investigation.

    And no explanation for the suspicious endorsements from “rominent” scientists on the ‘ublishability’ of the model.

    Thanks for so tellingly saving us spending any more time on your work.

  39. #39 Paul Hands
    July 16, 2007

    To Stuart Pivar : Your book isn’t science. It’s got some window-dressing that makes it look like science, but it remains in the realms of fantasy.

    As Pauli said : “This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong”.

  40. #40 stuart pivar
    July 16, 2007

    Dear Stuart,

    I have included a reference to your work in my latest book: Nature’s Due; Healing Our Fragmented Culture. (Floris Books, Edinburgh, 2007). You will find it on p.124, where I say the following:
    An extension of the structuralist principles explored in Chapter 4 has been emerging in connection with the natural geometry of biological form, consistent with these principles of doing what comes naturally by following paths of least energy or effort. An elaboration of the principles of this approach, based on a dynamic geometry of biological form that is grounded in topology (a mathematical theory of continuous transformations of forms), is presented in a book by Stuart Pivar entitled Lifecode (2007). This approach resonates with Goethe’s ideas about biological form, discussed in the next chapter, which are acknowledged in this book. Together with the ideas about language and hermeneutics discussed in Chapter 4, this provides a framework for a comprehensive biological theory that links gene activity with the generation of the structure of the whole organism as a creative unfolding of meaning into living form.
    The reference I give is : Pivar, S. (2007) Lifecode, From Egg to Embryo Ryland Press, N.Y.
    Brian Goodwin

  41. #41 DGS
    July 16, 2007

    Dear Stuart,
    I have included a reference to your work in my latest book: Nature’s Due; Healing Our Fragmented Culture. (Floris Books, Edinburgh, 2007). You will find it on p.124, where I say the following

    this provides a framework for a comprehensive biological theory that links gene activity with the generation of the structure of the whole organism as a creative unfolding of meaning into living form.
    The reference I give is : Pivar, S. (2007) Lifecode, From Egg to Embryo Ryland Press, N.Y.
    Brian Goodwin
    Posted by: stuart pivar

    The case, I think, is closed. I am most happy that Stuart keeps providing us with ammunition. Just because *someone* took you seriously doesn’t mean actual working scientists have to. Especially if that someone is looking for meaning in transcription, gene regulation, &c. I mean, that’s fine, but scientists are just plain not going to (professionally) care. And if they did, they would be bad scientists.

    By the way, I think the word biological in the above should be replaces with philosophical or epistomological or heurmaneutical or &c., something other than anything having to do with biology as a science.

  42. #42 eddie
    February 10, 2009

    I came here looking for commentary on brian goodwin, as I’d just read his contribution to ‘what we believe but cannot prove’.

    Ewww! Po t’ tha Mo.

    PS – Would Darwin’s Origin get published nowadays? It doesn’t have a colon in the title.

  43. #43 Roman Krausse
    January 1, 2010

    I m rlly njyng rdng yr wll wrttn rtcls. It lks lk y spnd lt f ffrt nd tm n yr blg. I hv bkmrkd t nd I m lkng frwrd t rdng nw rtcls. Kp p th gd wrk!

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