Pharyngula

Stuart Pivar has responded

Stuart Pivar has replied to my criticisms. He’s very quick. It’s too bad he isn’t rational.

Dear Dr. Myers,

My paper, “The Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton,” published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, does not describe what is observed in embryology. I never made this claim. The references in the paper illustrate and support the historical context. Namely, attempts to represent in drawings the missing historical stages lost by the phenomenon called condensation (the attrition of initial stages by the addition of terminal stages over eons, see Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Stephen Jay Gould, 1977).

By analogy this phase is the reconstruction of a missing first reel of a long movie. The model is a hypothetical construction, common in cosmology, geology and atomic theory, to account for historical or unobservable events. It is the only accurately predictive model of morphogenesis ever published.

For further explanation my proposed model, see: www.syntheticlifelab.com.

Sincerely yours,

Stuart Pivar

Yes, I know those drawings could not be derived from embryology, because nothing in the embryo resembles them. But that disclaimer still leaves wide open a significant question.

Where is the evidence for his “reconstruction”?

It’s not in embryology, it’s not in molecular biology, it’s not in systematics, it’s not in paleontology. It’s just, boom, plopped on the page in a series of fantastic sketches. If you’re doing science, the central part of any paper is a description of how you derived your conclusions, and that is completely missing. With that level of rigor, Brian Froud’s books could be called scientific evidence for the existence of fairies and goblins.