One other thing about Stuart Pivar’s book: he has collected a few endorsements. They are a little strange. One is by Robert Hazen, a chemist, and if you read it, it’s more like a review of a paper in which the reviewer is trying to state some things he finds plausible about the work. In this case, he likes the idea of the fluid-filled plastic models for making “a more rigorous mathematical exploration of the relationships among such variables as length, width, viscosity, forces, and resultant segmented morphology”, which is fair enough. I don’t think Pivar has demonstrated the competence to carry out such a study, and the fundamental flaws in the rest of the work do not justify any confidence in him.
Another endorsement is by Neil deGrasse Tyson. A funny thing…I’ve written to several of the people Pivar cites as supporting his work. Tyson replied, and has said that part of the quote is an out of context reference to a completely different subject, and that another part is a fabrication. He has asked that Pivar remove his name from his website, which he has not done. Tyson’s name is also prominently used on the back cover of his book—I don’t see that going away, either.
Almost two thirds of the book is taken up with copies of articles and book chapters by other authors. I wonder if Pivar got permission from the authors and publishers before using their work wholesale like that?