comments on comments

Short replies to almost a third of the comments posted to PZ’s “An ontogeny of toilet drain behavior”

#4 Posted by: Tim Awake | June 17, 2009 3:24 PM

I love it when scientists cross disciplines and simply assume that because they know one field of study, they know the other. It leads to absolutely hilarious stuff, especially if you like to scavenge scientific papers/books for fiction ideas.
This is not a SF magazine where the paper is published, but a science journal. At least i think so. Not really hilarious when you thing at it twice.

#5 Posted by: E.V. | June 17, 2009 3:27 PM

It sounds like ID woo: he just wrote the results to fit his beliefs.
Yep, that’s exactly what I though when I first meet Fleury on the Net. And the idea was enhanced during exchanges with him. Maybe the relation/ressemblence comes through platonicism.
I think he suffers from the idea that he could be mistaken as a creationist/IDiot, but then he restricts his definition of creationism to YECreationism.

#10 Posted by: Glen Davidson | June 17, 2009 3:36 PM

Physics is bound to affect life greatly, and yet organisms are hardly going to be optimized to fit with physical constraints.
He seems to think like a creationist projecting “god can do anything” onto their myth of evolution:
In which case, Darwinian evolution plays with a very restricted set of shapes, with stringent internal (physical) correlations, and the known body forms might be unavoidable, in the long run.
Or not. Since we have very good reason to think that evolution cannot innovate much beyond the basic tetrapod “body plan,” coming up with an additional reason for such constraint tells us about as much as saying “design” does–nothing at all.
Are adult insects hexapods because eight legs won’t do? Arachnids appear to do fine with eight, although it’s true that they don’t fly.
It’s fairly easy to come up with a few examples of such evolutionary constraints which apparently don’t involve physical constraints. That this nails the case, I don’t know, but there’s more evidence of evolutionary constraint on basic “body plans” than for physical constraints for same, thus far.
Glen D

One of my questions that remain unanswered is why physical constrains should be considered apart from chemical or biological ones, not just another component of the natural selection arsenal. Just to satisfy the ego of physicists?

#13 Posted by: Jerry Coyne | June 17, 2009 3:40 PM

Man, I’m glad YOU did this rather than I. We keep hearing that this kind of idea presages a revolution in evolutionary biology, in which natural selection will be relegated to a minor role. That revolution, however, always seems to be just a wee bit around the corner. . .
Now Dr Coyne, that was before Vincent Fleury, you know. Be afraid of the swirls, the four swirls of Fleury.

#14 Posted by: Hoolicious | June 17, 2009 3:41 PM

As a biologist who studies the effects of physical and mechanical forces on cellular behavior, I am smacking my forehead in embarassment for this guy. There are so many interesting, testable, and legitimate points to make about how physical factors like fluid shear and isometric tension impact tissue morphogenesis! Like how cell shape changes lead to changes in gene expression, or motility, or even differentiation (via all your favorite cytoskeleton-associated signaling molecules). Oy vey!
I do apologize, PZ. I try to teach the physicists and engineers about biology, but I can’t be everywhere at once.

You should try YouTube lesson on that. Not sure that this will be efficient enough to avoid every crank, but some people will profit.

#15 Posted by: Wes | June 17, 2009 3:42 PM

So now, in addition to Pivar’s Meat Doughnut Theory of development, we can add the Embryonic Swirly Theory.
How long before the DI starts demanding evo-devo “teach the controversy”?
There should be an agreement between Pivar and Fleury if it is about Doughnuts, Swirls or Swirls in Doughnuts before Dembski show any interest on that. At least Dembski grabs the importance of information.

#16 Posted by: Sili | June 17, 2009 3:52 PM

There’s only one question that needs be asked: Who does Fleury know on the editorial board of The European Physical Journal: Applied Physics?
My guess, the editor-in-chief, both physicists from the same Grande Ecole, Ecole Polythechnique.

#17 Posted by: Brock | June 17, 2009 3:52 PM

Ha. I was going to cut the guy some slack and shrug it off as an author being (despite perhaps an earnest attempt) out of his depth and lacking focus. But that swirly skull at the end is just plain stupid without mechanical measurements.
Although maybe if I stare at it long enough, I’ll activate my hidden powers of echolocation :p

It is, isn’t it plain stupid? But Fleury is probably allergic to measurements.
No good for echolocation activation, you should try something else.

#18 Posted by: miko | June 17, 2009 3:53 PM

yeah, there is a great (though not fully developed) literature on how cells and tissues sense, respond, and are constrained by mechanical forces. of course, they do it with gene products. this guy sounds like a well-intentioned crank.
I think you got a point, he is probably well-intentioned. And a second point. He is a crank.

#31 Posted by: MJ | June 17, 2009 4:51 PM

“…assume a spherical cow.”
Almost there, Fleury prefers spherical melons (and it’s the right season for melon in France).

#36 Posted by: josh | June 17, 2009 5:48 PM

Speaking for physicists worldwide, please don’t blame us for this guy’s interdisciplinary peregrinations. I mean, it is all physics when you get down to it (plus logic) but that’s in the sense that the structure and operation of genes along with everything else is physics. That doesn’t mean that a) a biologist can’t say highly intelligent things about development without fully reducing it to precise molecular forces, or b) a physicist can apply macro level analyses like fluid dynamics to a highly complex system which we have every reason to think depends crucially on “micro” level variables, i.e. genes.
I’d be very interested to know what constraints fluid dynamics,etc. put on developing organisms, but that skull diagram is like a flashing sign: “Actual Equations Applied To Actual Data Not To Follow”. It seems obvious to this non-biologist that you can’t ignore the effects of genes and genetic pathways on form in light of the confirmed success of genetics.
He seems to posit that genetics can be translated into a few relevant flow parameters (viscosity?) and then, given an initial asymmetry,the final form is determined. Looking at the enormous diversity of form across species and the relatively well conserved forms within a species I can’t imagine this approach being fruitful.
Josh, one of the funniest exchanges I had with a physicists who supports Fleury (not his theory, just Fleury as a fellow physicist) was about approximations, those approximations that don’t let him see the varieties of forms across species. The right approximation was defined as the one that let you easily have an analytical description of the problem under investigation :-)

#38 Posted by: KeithB | June 17, 2009 6:09 PM

Oh, and I don’t think “Clarifying” means what Fleury thinks it means. I think “Inconceivable” works better in the context of his paper. 8^)
What do you mean by “inconceivable”? He did conceived it no?

#39 Posted by: frog | June 17, 2009 6:57 PM

The unfortunate problem is that physicists don’t do biology — it’s too hard — and biologists don’t do physics — most can barely add.
But it seems obvious that those “developmental” genes must be expressed via physical interactions. They’re not programs in a computer — they are constraints on a physical transformation. Unfortunately, that metaphor sticks in people’s minds…
Now, the fact that biologists have found molecular biology and genomics easier doesn’t say much to me about it’s relative value: what gives you a quick bang for the buck may definitely be a cul-de-sac.
How do cells decide about their migratory paths or when to apoptose? Those must be driven primarily by physical cues, not abstract “signals” like pointers in a computer program. Squish me, and I do one thing; poke me and I do another — those aren’t are pure signals, but a convolution of signals (arbitrary phenomena) and really getting poked and squished.
Unfortunately, doing that well would require a lot of very hard mathematics. And those who know such fields like topology (what I would love to see a good application to embryology!), often know too little about the application to avoid sounding like or becoming crackpots.
It would be nice to see topology applied in embryology and I suspect that if all we get is Pivar and Fleury is because before getting a nice application you need to know what the variables are. And we don’t have all of them actually. There are some nice applications from people like Newman who came up with the idea of “physical phenotype” of the cell.
This kind of approaches are what I expect to be fruitful, linking genetic information and its expression with chemical/physical information integration.
It’s not illusory to expect that such models will profit to biology and as far as I know biologists welcome them.

#45 Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | June 17, 2009 7:56 PM

I was taught where the lateral-plate mesoderm comes from in the last years of highschool. I have a hard time imagining that that’s not done in France, Belgium, or Switzerland.
Development follows Murphy’s Law. Vertebrate development follows O’Toole’s Commentary on Murphy’s Law.
Well, it is not taught in highschool and it’s not even well taught during general biology studies at the university (second year of studies, maybe I hadn’t a particularly good embryology teacher). But it’s so easy to find out for somebody interested on the topic…
O’Toole was right!

#49 Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | June 17, 2009 8:57 PM

Donc il est vrai, Monsieur ? Vous n’avez pas appris à l’école (en Te, j’imagine) d’où vient le mésoderme des plaques latérales ? Et vous n’avez même pas essayé de parler à des gens qui font de l’évo-dévo — il y en a à Paris 6, donc probablement sur le même campus que le vôtre ?
The last I heard of Fleury talking with an oncologist, the oncologist explained Fleury that cancer is not a genetic disease. The discussion was held at Hôpital Cochin!

#53 Posted by: efrique | June 17, 2009 9:13 PM

Wow I bet there’s a bunch of physicists who submitted legitimate-but-rejected-for-reasons-that-boil-down-to-lack-of-space papers to that journal who are absolutely livid right now.
I’ve noticed this attitude among a subset of physicists – that phsyics somehow underlies everything (which in a trivial sense it does, of course), so they (the subset) think they can go in and revolutionize some field or other with a few months work siiting in a chair. There have been physicists that have moved into other areas and done great work – I can think of several. They usually had to spend years at it first, though, and actually do experiments once they get there. The ones who think they can do it on the quick usually miss a few basic but vital bits of information, which kind of screws up the whole bit of theorizing, and wastes the opportunity (and everyone’s time). A pity really – no doubt a proper collaboration could produce some nifty insights now and again.
Proper collaboration produced, produce and hopefully will continue to produce very nice stuff. I was unaware of this before starting discussions with Fleury, but since then I found good stuff around.

#58 Posted by: Merrydol | June 17, 2009 11:27 PM

Tommy @ 44,
I think a lot of folks probably just lurk around the science posts. There’s not as much opportunity for debate for the non-scientist readers (and those of us in totally different fields), but they’re still fun posts to read!
As I already commented, the most important topic concerning this particular paper is the method used, which is a shame for a scientific paper. I was expecting a little bit more discussion on that.
Some commentators grasped the idea by mentioning the DI way of dealing with science. Wiley Miller, of Non Sequitur described it nicely through Danae, less then a month ago.

#67 Posted by: Bernard Bumner | June 18, 2009 6:18 AM

So, Vincent Fleury turns up to defend his conclusions, without actually addressing the real meat of the complaint; that the basic premise upon which those conclusions are predicated may well be flawed due his neglect of the established molecular and genetic basis for ontogeny.
At the very least, he is guilty of offering for publication (as the journal, editor, and referees are also guilty of accepting) a paper which is poorly assembled and would have benefited massively from the input of a good developmental biologist. If he has good data, in need of explanation, then he has succeeded in burying it well.
At worst, he is positing novel explanations for phenomena already better explained by the conventional interpretation of other data.
I think that science (along with Vincent Fleury himself) has not been well served by the editorial board of this journal. Sadly, this king of thing seems to be increasing common, what with more and more journals becoming ever more desparate for original research articles.
This is not the first time that Fleury innovation on the domain charms a journal. It is a physics journal and that’s probably less worrying then his first publication of his model at Organogenesis, where the editor-in-chief is an embryologist and in one of the figures the epiblast is depicted between two extra-cellular membranes/matrices (upper and lower). I asked for a correction, nobody have done anything about it. Fortunately, and naturally, as far as I know the paper was cited just twice, by Fleury.

#69 Posted by: Confuseddave | June 18, 2009 6:44 AM

…that progressively separates into paraxial and lateral plate mesoderm on the basis of their distance from the embryonic axis. It comes from the same place as the other mesoderm; it’s simply a sub-domain of the mesoderm that separates from the others.

Not actually true – certainly not in the chicken (can’t exactly speak for other organisms, sadly – but the mesoderm (a bunch of it, at least, lateral plate included) is formed by the primitive streak and it’s come from a few fate mapping studies that it’s the position along the streak that defines what type of mesoderm it’ll become – so cells at the top go into the midline (with the node giving rise to the notochord among other things), cells in the middle become paraxial mesoderm, and cells further down become lateral plate. Fish and frogs might be weird, but I’m fairly sure that’s how amniotes make their lateral plate.
Still, the point remains that while there may be controversy about *how* it’s made, it’s not quite that we don’t have a clue.
Vincent: Hi! I’ve come across your claims before (I work in the same department as Kees Weijer, whose work on gastrulation I understand you’ve butchered somewhat over the years).

it makes little sense that somebody like Prof. Myers tries to review it, and then complain about the lengthy and tedious introduction.

You miss the point. Many reviews have long and tedious introductions. His point was that your introduction did not support your hypothesis. I don’t care what field you’re writing for, in scientific literature you have to pare down to the minimum that illuminates your problem.

I find it somehow sad that he should put forward some mean comments about english mispells. We foreigners have already a big pain to write in english.

Then get a competent native speaker to proofread it. It’s not complicated; I freqently proofread papers written by non-native speakers in my lab.

About the lateral plate thing, oh boy, all too ridiculous. If he has read the paper honnestly, he should have noticed that it was referring to the lateral plates in the limb field. There are indeed four bumps in the presumptive hips and shoulder areas of embryos… and nowhere in biological articles you find an explanation for these bumps, or gentle curvature of the lateral plates, or whatever you feel like calling it.

That’s even worse! The origins of the lateral plate are at least a little vague, the origins of the limb buds are really well known. You’ve apparently missed the really famous classical experiments (in amphibians, if I remember, but a similar thing is done in chickens) where grafts of the overlying ectoderm into different regions causes new bumps (we call them limb buds) to form from naive lateral plate. It really is very well established that signalling molecules from the embryonic “skin” cause the limb buds to form by differential proliferation of the cells, not some intrinsic physical field – in fact, it’s so well established that you can stick a bead soaked with said signalling molecules into the flank of a developing embryo and induce an extra limb.
If you want to convince me that your daydreaming is a genuine challenge to this model – after all, it is only a model, and there are always alternative explanations – you’re going to need a pretty big pile of experimental data to back it up.
You really are an embaressment to all physicists working in biology. And unlike PZ, I know a few who do make damn good biologists (Julian Lewis is the one who springs to mind).

#73 Posted by: Confuseddave | June 18, 2009 7:26 AM

I tell a lie – the signalling does in fact come from within the lateral plate mesoderm. I was confused because later on FGFs are produced by the AER in the ectoderm as the limb bud extends.

Limb development begins when mesenchyme cells proliferate from the somatic layer of the limb field lateral plate mesoderm (limb skeletal precursors) and from the somites (limb muscle precursors) These cells accumulate under the epidermal tissue to create a circular bulge called a limb bud. Recent studies on the earliest stages of limb formation have shown that the signal for limb bud formation comes from the lateral plate mesoderm cells that will become the prospective limb mesenchyme. These cells secrete the paracrine factor FGF10. FGF10 is capable of initiating the limb-forming interactions between the ectoderm and the mesoderm. If beads containing FGF10 are placed ectopically beneath the flank ectoderm, extra limbs emerge (Ohuchi et al. 1997; Sekine et al. 1999).

From Gilbert, an undergraduate textbook on Developmental Biology, freely available at NCBI’s pubmed.
See, this is a model supported by a thing called evidence. It may turn out to not be true, but to show that, you’re going to need more evidence of your own that explains all of these observations and more. Self-indulgent postulating about unsupported cell movements is not going to cut it.
You are wrong on one point ConfusedDave. Twice Fleury made it to a peer-review publication without more evidence, no need for such thing as more evidence. And he can go around claiming that his theory (not hypothesis or model, theory is published in peer-reviewed journals. Laymen think that everything published in peer-reviewed journals is true. They can’t imagine that some bullshit make it also through the review process.

#75 Posted by: Confuseddave | June 18, 2009 8:16 AM

Also, scanning the paper, I came to this gem on segmentation:

In addition, when the embryo is split, the somitomeres form everywhere at the same time, and not in a sequential fashion following [Hensen's node], thus suggesting a direct effect of shear along the fold (some sort of buckling).

I’m going to be generous and allow that you’re too incompetent to understand the subtleties of this 1983 experiment versus EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE SEGMENTATION FIELD, and not an inveterate liar who is deliberately cherrypicking his data.
With this in mind, I can direct you to a large number of papers using experiments in which the embryo is split in two, and the result is sequential formation of somites. It’s the basic experiment of any somitogenesis lab.
Start with Isabel Palmeirim’s paper on Hairy1 – look at figure 5. Try Yasumasa Bessho’s 2001 paper to see the same thing in the mouse (figure 1 E-G). Of course, these are only short cultures – so try Sarah Gibb’s paper from 2009 – some of those half embryos were cultured for nearly four hours (check out figure 2). Guess what? Regularily formed segments, one every 90 minutes. Heck, I’ve done this technique myself.
Your ignorance of the field you’re intent on revolutionising is laughable.
Thank you for the Oops I’ll add to my list with the references you provided.
Fleury is cherrypicking his data, but I don’t think he is conscious of where this lead him. He needs stuff that could support his point of view and anything will do, even if it is contradicted, even if it is irrelevant.

#80 Posted by: Stephen | June 18, 2009 10:49 AM

As a physicist, I have to say -
Are we sure this guy isn’t an engineer?
The answer is no, he is not an engineer, he graduated from one of the most prestigious french schools, Ecole Polytechnique. Some people pretend that they form excellent engineers, but people are mean.

#81 Posted by: Bernard Bumner | June 18, 2009 10:50 AM

Unfortunately, Vincent seems seem determined to continue to defend his “hydrodynamic explanation”, and seems to be not at all concerned with the apparent deficiencies of his model (or, at least, his presentation of it in this paper) with respect to observed molecular biology and genetics.
The best form of defence is not always attack, and if his colleagues were embarassed, then it does not make them right.
There are numerous and egregious errors, pointed out here and elsewhere – it is far from just PZ who has noted problems. It seems rather churlish to characterise one critic as incompetent whilst failing to address the substance of their critique, and simultaneously ignoring a large number of others who share similar concerns.
I wonder whether he is at all willing to admit that some of the biology-related content of the paper is incorrect? It is very sad that a physicist, publishing in the field of biology, feels the need to pretend that this is simply a matter of biologists failing to understand physics.
I hope his colleagues will be more embarrassed after a check of the errors in the paper. And I suspect that the embarrassed colleagues who pointed Fleury to PZ’s review are “me” personally :-)
I really hope that Fleury will keep his usual attitude: dismissing whatever doesn’t fit in his point of view and avoiding direct answers to direct questions.
What is annoying is that he is no more alone dealing with that, the APJ AP editorial board is also concerned. It will be interesting to watch their reaction when they will discover the quality of the paper they accepted.

#82 Posted by: emote_control | June 18, 2009 11:38 AM

“at last a little candlelight in this biologists’ darkness.”
Sounds like something a creationist or antivaxxer would say. We scientists who actually study the organisms in question are deluded into thinking we possess understanding, when we are actually scrabbling along by our fingers in the darkness. Only by accepting the half-baked blatherings of the enlightened outsider who descends from the Olympus of [whatever it is they're interested in] can we begin to truly SEE.
I’m sorry, Fleury. We’ve heard that line before. You’re going to have to do better than passive-aggressive hostility to convince anyone that your ideas aren’t just a Time Cube.
You are the very first bringing the antivaxer crowd in comparison to Fleury’s attitude. I had qualified him of science denialist and compared him to AIDS denialists (for several reasons), but the antivaxers comparison looks also appropriate.
I don’t think Fleury hopes to convince anybody not already convinced that a darwinian approach of biological evolution is inappropriate. His approach is teleological, his archetypes seem to be quite platonic and his acceptance of evolution and genetics is quite superficial and only conceded if their role is minor not just in front of physical constraints, but specifically mechanical, hydrodynamic ones (which is the domain of competence of Fleury in physics if I understood well).
It’s interesting that Fleury managed well with our local most prominent anti-darwinian nut, Jean Staune, who described Fleury as his Rosette stone, bringing together every single anti-darwinist Staune catalogued in one of his books.

#84 Posted by: David Marjanović, OM | June 18, 2009 1:41 PM

About the lateral plate thing, oh boy, all too ridiculous. If he has read the paper honnestly, he should have noticed that it was referring to the lateral plates in the limb field. There are indeed four bumps in the presumptive hips and shoulder areas of embryos (see a 3rd day of development in a chicken) and nowhere in biological articles you find an explanation for these bumps, or gentle curvature of the lateral plates, or whatever you feel like calling it. That really is the issue, you need a physics force to generate these bumps, by fundamental laws of nature (this is what physics means, by the way).

Well, no. You need Shh (sonic hedgehog) to generate an outgrowth from the body wall, and then a similar signal protein to induce the lateral-plate mesoderm to follow that growth. That’s all.

The origin of tetrapod bauplan is a hyperbolic flow originating in the fact that development has to pass through a 4-cells stage.

Then why did the pectoral fins appear before the pelvic ones (and before the origin of jaws, incidentally)? The Osteostraci, which are closely related to the jawed vertebrates, have well developed pectoral but no trace of pelvic fins. (L’auteur de ces pages, Philippe Janvier, est ici au Muséum, vous pouve[z] parler avec lui directement.)

Don’t fish have pectoral, pelvic and anal fins?

If so, are three pairs of fins early or late in fis-descent terms?

Nope. The anal fin is not paired. It’s a midline structure, like the dorsal fins and the tail fin.
Hindlegs are pelvic fins.

David, you show an advanced degree of integration in France (vous pouver) :-)
Now, you don’t think that Fleury have any advice to take from any experts who don’t just agree with him, do you?
What Fleury don’t get is that he is the ridiculous guy when saying that it was impossible to find where the lateral mesoderm plate comes from and he stupidly restrict it ti the lateral plate in the limb field as if the limb fields where independent of the rest of the mesoderm. But Fleury don’t want to know where the LMP comes from, especially if the cell movements don’t fit his model. And they don’t. So, in front of an ignorant audience, that is physicists, he can play his game: biolos don’t know where the LMP comes from, I’ll show them.
Now, your mean question about pectoral fins will be ignored, you don’t expect Fleury to consider a contradictory element, WTH, not two in the same comment!

#87 Posted by: Steamshovelmama | June 18, 2009 2:31 PM

Well, that’s all very… bizarre…
Layperson, here. Self-educated in biology enough to follow PZ with ease, physics almost non-existant so other than to say I don’t actually get what argument Dr Fleury is making – apparently removing the directional influence of genes from the theory of development seems… extreme. And by definition the processes of embryo development are subject to, carried out by and confined by the laws of physics and chemistry. To say so is a trivial statement.
However what really surprises me is Dr Fleury’s response which does nothing to defend or correct PZ’s interpretation of his article. His tone is patronising and offensive – and I’m fairly sure this isn’t down to the second-language thing. In fact he comes across like any other mindless internet troll. If it I hadn’t been reading this blog and had the response introduced by PZ that’s exactly what I would have thought he was.
I’m not expecting meekness or humility – PZ was forthright in his views and I’d expect Dr Fleury to be just as outspoken but the level of vindictiveness and ad hominem attacks in his reply is quite worrying in a (presumably) reputable scientist.
Steamshovelmama I sorted out your comment as the more complete a layperson offered. Fleury have a good reputation which he cultivated with a few general public books, the last one presenting his theory. And that’s a problem, when one address general public or another discipline’s publics (in this case physicists) on the assertive tone Fleury use to convey false information which make his point of view look as if it was reasonable.
The main reason I’m still on Fleury’s theory is his trollish attitude across a forum which pissed me off sufficiently to want to dig in his theory to see what could be retained. For the moment nothing.

#95 Posted by: Samantha Vimes | June 18, 2009 11:51 PM

Fleury has definite crank-like qualities– it’s always worrying when someone says people are too stupid to understand him, rather than explaining anything. Or claiming that any criticism more detailed than, “We already know the real answers” proves he’s on to something.
Crank-like qualities?
You are probably too stupid to understand him, that’s all ;-)

#98 Posted by: Bernard Bumner | June 19, 2009 6:35 AM

Vincent, you were brave showing up here. I’d say about a quarter of posters are know-it-all ankle-biters.

That being the case, or not, there isn’t anything particularly brave about streaking through the place waving your bare arse in people’s face and running away.
Normally, when scientists are confronted with scientifically literate criticisms of their work, they feel the need to offer a scientifically literate defense. I can understand that being labelled a crank can be stinging, but if Vincent genuinely feels misrepresented, then his right to reply might have been better used to address the substantial criticisms of the paper. If people misundertand me I personally feel the need to explain, and especially if someone has missed the point of my research.
Remember, people here – whatever your opinion of them – are often professional scientists, and many of us work in developmental biology, cell biology, or genetics. You’d imagine that this exactly the audience that this kind of interdisciplinary research should be pitched to (as well ss biophysicists).
That’s not bravery Bernard, that’s unconsciousness fueled by pure arrogance. He had (have) more than the “right to reply” he claimed. He had the entire comments section, didn’t he? The “right to reply” is more a rhetoric movement to show his indignation, and prepare the field for his lawyer, than anything else.
To a simple question asking for a simple straightforward reply (a list of measurements or nothing) he almost wrote a novel with anything else than the acceptance that he don’t have those results he needs to support is sentence.
I say: unconsciousness fueled by pure arrogance, nothing more.

#102 Posted by: Aquaria | June 19, 2009 11:21 AM

M. Fleury, that’s Dr. Myers.
And please cease the ad hominems. It only makes you look like pathetic crank.
Finally, ask yourself this, if you can tamp the swelling of your colossal ego: Is it possible that you might have been entirely wrong about the biology? Is it possible that it is extreme hubris to think that you, with training only in physics, are smarter at biology than someone who has devoted his life to that field of study?
Do you have enough humility and integrity to admit that?
If you don’t, then you’re definitely a crank.
Aquaria, Fleury is not just smarter than “someone” he is smarter then “anyone” else, especially smarter the any biologist. ;-)

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