Denyse O’Leary finds another review of Lifecode … and reveals again her own lack of discrimination. It’s by Jerry Bergman, a deranged young earth creationist who works for the Institute of Creation Research. Why??? This is a man with disreputable credentials afflicted with a ridiculous position on science — it’s like writing down the ramblings of some addled wino, and has just as much credibility.
It’s a tepid review that does not endorse Pivar’s work at all (not good enough for Jerry Bergman—that’s got to sting.) But mainly what we learn is that Bergman doesn’t know any biology.
All cells and embryos assume the toroidal shape. How they respond to this initial shape determines their adult morphology. The details of how this shape guides development and morphogenesis in general were, in my opinion, not very well defended in this work. This theory may explain certain aspects of the external morphology of a life form, but how much else does it explain?
No, Pivar’s theory explains nothing, because cells and embryos do not assume this hypothetical toroidal shape. The reason the work fails is that it ignores and contradicts basic observations of developmental processes — the kind of stuff undergraduates can routinely observe.
Bergman also whines a little bit; I can understand why he’d sympathize with crackpottery, since he’s one himself. But this claim is bogus:
In the meantime, the comments on Amazon and various Web sites leave me wondering why there is such an emotional and vociferous reaction to a new theory of evolution. Part of the reaction is that any theory that proposes to replace Darwinism produces a knee-jerk reaction of uncalled-for invective. This attitude hardly encourages new ideas.
There is no “knee-jerk”. There is a recognition that people like Pivar and Bergman are unqualified kooks who make stuff up, and act as if they’re knowledgeable. It is well-considered, measured, and deserved invective.