I get email

Spare me the obsessed. Vincent Fleury is still haranguing me over my review of his bad paper. He argues for a simplistic mechanical view of development, saying “Tetrapods are formed by a flow of cells which has a hyperbolic (saddle) point around the navel.
it is not tautological. They form from the navel upwards, and from the navel downwards, with a partial symmetry, quite obvious by the way, once you know it.”
This is complete nonsense, of course; while cells certainly move in interesting ways, the movement is not sufficient explanation of the phenomena, and it’s definitely not true that you can describe development as occurring from the navel outwards.

He’s written me again to complain and make some demands.

Dear PZ Myers

I am sorry to inform you that your website is used by a person “Oldcola” for a personal crusade, in which you are enrolled un willingly and manipulated.


You should be more careful with your reponsabilities on your forum.

When you have made up your mind about “swirling vortices” I would appreciate the withdrawal of your post against my paper, the explicit and public withdrawal of the word “crackpot”, and your apologies altogether.

With warm regards.

Vincent Fleury

The post stands and will not be going away.

I did not use the word “crackpot” even once in my review! I’ll use it now, though: Fleury is clearly a crackpot.

No apologies.

Regard that warmly, Vincent!

Vincent Fleury just wrote again. He’s going to get legal advice, and then contact me again. With warm regards.

I hope his lawyer is sensible enough to warn him that this is a fight he cannot win, and the more he wrestles with the tar baby of the internet, the crazier he’ll look.