The Haeckelization of Paul Davies

Davies is up to his same old nonsense again: he’s in Australia, lecturing people about his theory of the causes of cancer.

Seven years ago, the National Cancer Institute in the US asked Professor Davies to use his insight as a physicist to look at cancer. His conclusion is that most cancer biologists are thinking about the problem the wrong way.

Rather than treat cancer as a disease of cell mutation, he and his colleague Dr Charley Lineweaver at the Australian National University have developed what they say is a new theory of cancer that traces its origins to the dawn of multicellular life more than a billion years ago.

Professor Davies believes cancer cells are a “reversion to an ancestral phenotype”, the physical expression of deep genetic information that springs from the very nature of multicellular life.


First thing you need to know is that Davies is a cosmologist: he’s had no medical or biological training. His colleague, Lineweaver, is an astronomer who likewise has no relevant expertise in medicine or biology. This is an example of a peculiar phenomenon that occasional grips some physicists with a kind of arrogant hubris that allows them to decide that they know all things in all fields, and that all those biologists need is the kind of ignorant arrogance that allows physicists to think all problems are reducible to math with the smallest number of parameters possible.

The second thing you need to know is that that physicist has reduced cancer to the simplest possible explanation he can think of, and it’s based entirely on a bad concept from 19th century biology, a model for how organisms evolve that was promoted by Ernst Haeckel in a time before we knew anything about genetics, genes, or molecular biology. That concept has proven enduringly popular, I suspect because it appeals to simplistic notions about how evolution works. Ernst Haeckel had the excuse that he was living in a time before even Mendel’s work was known; Davies has no such excuse.

It’s like that list of children’s misconceptions about physics that I posted the other day. It’s appropriate that there are a lot of naive ideas about astronomy on that list, like these:

  • Stars and constellations appear in the same place in the sky every night.
  • The sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west every day.
  • The sun is always directly south at 12:00 noon.
  • The tip of a shadow always moves along an east-west line.
  • We experience seasons because of the earth’s changing distance from the sun (closer in the summer, farther in the winter).
  • The earth is the center of the solar system. (The planets, sun and moon revolve around the earth.)
  • The moon can only be seen during the night.
  • The moon does not rotate on its axis as it revolves around the earth.
  • The phases of the moon are caused by shadows cast on its surface by other objects in the solar system.
  • The phases of the moon are caused by the shadow of the earth on the moon.

Imagine if a biologist were asked to deliver an outsider’s perspective on problems in cosmology, and they said stuff like that. That’s not just an outsider’s perspective, that’s an ignoramus’s perspective, and it is not helpful. It’s just plain embarrassing. Now imagine that said biologist was invited to major universities around the world to deliver popular addresses on the solution to cosmology. This has become absurd and damaging.

I’ve tried before to explain why Davies is wrong. I tried a second time. Orac has shown how Davies and Lineweaver are tied to outright quackery. Apparently no one is paying attention, or cares what real biologists say about cancer, preferring to listen to a Real Scientist, one with degrees in physics, the one Real Science. I’m going to try and explain it all a third time. If any of you physicists out there understand what I say, could you go hammer it into Davies’ skull, since he’s too arrogant to listen to real experts?

Ernst Haeckel was an influential German embryologist, and he made an early attempt to wed developmental biology to evolutionary biology, but unfortunately he made the effort before we knew anything about genes or genetics, so he had to guess how morphology was inherited. He spun out a theory based on a few valid observations — embryos of different vertebrate embryos all resemble each other at an early stage — that revolved around the hypothesis that evolution proceeded by taking an existing form and tacking on additions to the developmental process. So, for instance, we humans evolved from fish, so our embryos go through a fish stage, which is then modified by adding limbs to resemble an early tetrapod. This is called recapitulation theory, because it proposes that embryos develop by replaying, or recapitulating, their evolutionary history.

The big problem with it is that it is wrong. Even at the time Haeckel was pushing this idea, another 19th century embryologist who was rightfully famous for the accuracy of his observations, Karl Ernst von Baer, was shouting from his manor in Estonia that Haeckel was full of shit (maybe not those precise words…or maybe their equivalent, since he was never shy about stating his views forcefully) because embryos do not recapitulate their ancestry, that human embryos do not go through a stage that resembles that of their adult ancestors, but rather simply first express the general basic traits of their phylum and gradually add specializations unique to their species.

Haeckel’s ideas were dead before they were born, although he didn’t know it, and despite their potency in the popular culture. But everyone who knows any developmental biology knows they were shown to be wrong 150 years ago, and that modern genetics has made them even deader. It’s a zombie theory that we keep blasting holes in and yet it just keeps walking, thanks to its grasp on the popular imagination. And Davies keeps that corpse shuffling along.

He even acknowledges Haeckel’s role in his theory of cancer!

A century ago the German biologist Ernst Haekel pointed out that the stages of embryo development recapitulate the evolutionary history of the animal. Human embryos, for instance, develop, then lose, gills, webbed feet and rudimentary tails, reflecting their ancient aquatic life styles. The genes responsible for these features normally get silenced at a later stage of development, but sometimes the genetic control system malfunctions and babies get born with tails and other ancestral traits. Such anomalous features are called atavisms.

Yes, he got one thing right: Ernst Haeckel said that. He doesn’t seem to recognize that we now know Haeckel was wrong.

It’s like saying that Aristotle thought that objects fell down because they had a natural tendency to move towards the center of the universe, which happened to be at the center of the earth. Yes, that’s true. He said that, and it’s a part of the history of science. It doesn’t mean that it’s a useful theory for developing rocket propulsion systems, or describing the motion of the planets. But there goes Davies, blithely citing Haeckel to support his theory of cancer.

And that theory is fact-free bonkers. Worse, it’s counter-factual.

The genes of cellular cooperation that evolved with multicellularity about a billion years ago are the same genes that malfunction to cause cancer. We hypothesize that cancer is an atavistic condition that occurs when genetic or epigenetic malfunction unlocks an ancient ‘toolkit’ of pre-existing adaptations, re-establishing the dominance of an earlier layer of genes that controlled loose-knit colonies of only partially differentiated cells, similar to tumors. The existence of such a toolkit implies that the progress of the neoplasm in the host organism differs distinctively from normal Darwinian evolution.

Only someone who has never examined a colonial organism would make that ludicrous comparison. Cancers are not turning into sponges or Volvox. Colonial organisms are stable, functional, self-regulating populations of cells. Cancers are sick and unstable (one of the things that occurs is a disabling of repair mechanisms — they spawn new variants rapidly, most of which are going to die); cancers are starving and hypoxic, which is on reason they’re falling back on the inefficient mechanism of glycolysis; and they’ve often knocked out the regulatory controls on the cell cycle. Even single-celled organisms monitor the cell cycle. Cancers are not atavistic.

Here’s a comparison for you: take my Honda Fit, cut the brake lines, flatten a tire, and set the back seat on fire — then try to explain to me that you were recreating a classic Ford Model T in my driveway. Not that you know anything about a Model T. You just think old cars weren’t as good as new cars, so damaging a new car is sending it on a journey back in time.

He’s also wrong on the genetics. He seems to think that there is a mysterious vault of ancient gene networks from 2 billion years ago locked deep in the genome, and cancer is like Geraldo Riviera, cracking open a sealed wall and allowing old modes of existence to rise again. It’s not true!

All genes are evolving. The genes that were working together in ancient eukaryotes have all changed over time; they are adapted to work in modern eukaryotes. They might have descended from ancestral alleles that existed billions of years ago, but drift and selection have done their work and the modern genes and gene networks have changed, or they drive fundamental biochemical processes that you can’t change in significant ways without breaking the organism wholesale. Cancer disrupts ancient mechanisms that regulate cell growth, it does not replace them with older versions.

There is no github or version control system for cells. Ask Max Delbruck: “Any living cell carries with it the experience of a billion years of experimentation by its ancestors.” Experimentation. Not static preservation of ancient states.

Really, you cannot imagine how painful it is for me to read Davies’ “theories”. They’re no better than the kooky claims of ignorant quacks, but they’re coming from a fellow with a rather distinguished career in science.

I’m not alone. The article cited up top also has comments from competent Australian researchers who are not happy with Davies (although they’re far more polite than I am, which is surprising coming from Australians.)

Darren Saunders is a senior lecturer at the University of NSW school of medical science. “It’s so frustrating,” says Dr Saunders, who is also a Visiting Fellow at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. “It’s like watching someone go through a biology text book from first principles.”

“He is critical of mainstream cancer research for having a lot of money, but Davies has also been well-resourced and really only come up with some uncertain theoretical insights.”

Yeah, I teach undergraduates, and right now they seem much cleverer than a certain senior physicist who can’t be troubled to learn the basics.

“The multidisciplinary approach is worthwhile. It’s a great idea to come in unencumbered by dogma but you can’t also be unencumbered by evidence,” he says. “Part of the frustration is that if [Davies and his colleagues] spent a bit of time digging into the literature, they’d find evidence that blows a lot of holes in these ideas.”

“Unencumbered by evidence” ought to be Paul Davies’ motto.

Here’s a bit of an overview of the evidence, from Hanahan and Weinberg’s Hallmarks of Cancer paper. It diagrams 10 key changes in cancer, together with boxes and arrows pointing to each with current strategies for dealing with them. Just take a moment and think about how these fit into the “atavism” model.


One feature, at about 8:00 on the diagram, is “genomic instability & mutation”. Cancers are not genetically stable, which is one of the things that makes them difficult to treat — they keep changing as you find ways of killing them. Do you think ancient organisms were genetically unstable?

Apparently, another thing ancient multicellular colonial organisms did as a routine part of their existence was to coax blood vessels to infiltrate them: “inducing angiogenesis” at 7:00.

I guess they were also swimming about in an ocean full of growth suppressors (1:00) and antibodies (2:00), and oxidative phosphorylation was an invention of multicellular animals (10:00).

I suspect you’re willing to think about it. Maybe you’re even willing to download the paper and read about it in more detail. Pat yourself on the back; you’re a wiser person than Paul Davies.


  1. Rowan vet-tech says

    He has clearly never laid eyes on an actual tumor… because those things don’t at all like ‘primitive’ organisms. Especially when they outgrow their stolen blood supply and turn into huge, necrotic, pus-filled oozing messes of incredible grossness. My (actually neighborhood stray) cat’s eye was not trying to turn into a sponge. It was a group of cat cells basically going “YOU”RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!” and turned that eye into a lumpy red dripping mass.

  2. says

    You’d think Davies and Lineweaver would have encountered physics cranks that are doing the same thing they are, taking some old bit of knowledge that is now considered wrong in the field in question, and using it as the basis for their incorrect theory.

  3. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin wants to know how to tweak her genes to return to her inner T. rex.

  4. Bob Foster says

    I am a simple environmental scientist working at a state regulatory agency, and though I have absolutely no training in cosmology, and barely made it through college level calculus with a B, I would like offer my take on the origin of the universe — the so-called Big-Bang was nothing more than a cosmic dump from another dimension whereby an advanced alien civilization flushed its waste energy into what would later become our universe. There you go, Prof. Davies, I hope that helps.

  5. komarov says

    How do creationists feel about Davies? He’s not exactly ‘anti-evolution’ in that sense but he is working with the same outdated textbooks and happy to waste everyone’s time and resources pursuing useless rubbish. Maybe Davies and the creationists could team up. He’s got the legitimacy they crave and … hm. I have no idea what creationists have to offer beside ill-gotten money they pulled out of somebody else’s pocket.

    “Unencumbered by evidence” would make a fantastic motto for the anti-science brigade all over the world. Put it in latin (“aequioribus expeditus testimoniis” according to google, which I doubt), put it on a nice crest* and you’ll at least get a nice letterhead and branding for ‘reports’, powerpoints and the likes out of it.

    *I’d go with the classic shield split into four sectors. Top left: broken test tube and tipped-over beaker spilling liquid. Top right: Blackboard with complicated equations on it, only half way through the writing becomes increasingly erratic before being crossed out, with some angry questionmarks at the end. Bottom left: A small telescope, tipped over, a Newton’s cradle with only one ball left and a half-eaten, mouldy apple. I’m not sure about the bottom right (biology). It’s tempting to put a ‘intelligent design’ reference in there but that’s too obvious and too specific. The dividing lines could be stylised as measuring tape with some odd, outdated units like furlong, cubits or .. ahem .. inches.

  6. zenlike says

    That whole article. Yikes. Some highlight that stand out for me besides mentioned above:

    The title:

    Cancer theorist Paul Davies to speak on the disease’s evolutionary history

    Paul Davies is a “cancer theorist” the same way the time cube guy is a “physics theorist”. The speaking about part is trivially true, it just doesn’t mean he speaks the truth or reality about it, just his warped vision.

    Rather than it being a mutation, he says that cancer is a cell’s way to cope when it undergoes certain stresses. He uses the analogy of a computer switching to “safe mode” when its operating system is threatened.

    Is there already an internet law about this? Otherwise I’m calling it:

    ‘zenlikes law’: when someone tries to explain biology through a computer metaphor, it is usually wrong, wrong, wrong. (The first wrong is for the explanation of the biology part, the second for the explanation of the computer part, and the third for the analogy itself.)

    The academic director of the centre, Professor Stephen Simpson, says: “Our centre was set up to bring to people together to think about complex problems across from different perspectives and to kill the odd sacred cow along the way if necessary. Professor Davies exemplifies those characteristics.

    Next year: Burzynski! No more sacred cows people! Maybe the year after that we can invite Chopra.

    “So there’s been a trillion dollars just in the US spent on trying to tackle cancer and the impact is very small on average life expectancy. It’s a rather sorry story.”

    Straight up lies, life expectancies have gone WAY up. This alone should disqualify this hack from ever opening his mouth again on cancer research.

    “Cancer biologists have more or less never heard of evolution; it’s quite extraordinary,”

    Well, he at least heard about it. Sadly, he gets it all wrong.

    Davies says that the big problem with pursuing alternative treatments is that it’s very difficult to do clinical trials when there is little return for drug companies. “You can only do a clinical trial if a drug company puts up $100 million and they’re not going to do that if they won’t get their money back through a drug. And this grossly distorts the way unconventional treatments are studied.”

    Big pharma! Big pharma! I wasn’t kidding when I said let’s invite Chopra, he probably has more to add then this moron.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    is Davies finding Physics and Cosmology boring?
    That he now knows everything about it and is trying to branch out into a new field with serious problems for him to explore?
    It sounds like he is going the arrogance route, declaring himself smarter than everybody, that with a passing glance can solve any problem presented to him.
    sometimes, some progress may be made by approaching problems from the completely wrong direction. That discovering how wrong the proposed solution is, can lead one onto the correct path to the actual solution.

  8. blf says

    The crocoduck which appears in poppyhead’s rotating banner, a unicorn, a upside down obviously dead Dodo, all on a whale with scales as the background, might be suitable for the bottom right.

  9. says

    I have very low expectations for Davies, but I am considerably more disappointed to hear that Lineweaver is involved in this. I recognize Lineweaver as the author of “Misconceptions about the Big Bang”, which was a formative article when I was young (I checked, it’s the same person). That article was a triumph of scientific knowledge over pop science bullshit.

  10. consciousness razor says


    I’ve tried before to explain why Davies is wrong. I tried a second time. Orac has shown how Davies and Lineweaver are tied to outright quackery.

    Although it isn’t directly relevant, I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention his involvement (not sure how extensive) with the paper about bacteria using arsenic instead of phosphorous, his frivolous crap about panspermia, or various other useless bits about the origins of life, just to name a few other examples.


    Maybe Davies and the creationists could team up.

    Well…. there’s this bullshit. He’s also a Templeton “laureate.” You can’t say he’s not trying.

    He’s got the legitimacy they crave and … hm.

    That’s kind of debatable. Maybe it’s enough if people don’t know much about him and assume legitimacy for him.

    slithey tove:

    It sounds like he is going the arrogance route, declaring himself smarter than everybody, that with a passing glance can solve any problem presented to him.

    That seems to be his attitude while discussing physics among physicists as well. Watch him speaking here for a little taste. Even if he had contributed a lot to physics, which I couldn’t honestly evaluate, and if he wasn’t prone to so much crankery, he’s just an all-around blowhard.

  11. OptimalCynic says

    This reminds me of a chap in the UK, Richard Murphy. He does the same thing to economics that Davies is doing to biology, and with much the same results. Unfortunately because he’s glib and tells people what they want to hear, he ended up as the architect of a big chunk of Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policy. I think the moral is – keep this guy away from politicians at all costs! They don’t need any help misunderstanding biology.

  12. Artor says

    Someone should send Davies a link to the Time Cube website, and see what he makes of it. I wonder if he’d catch the comparison, or if it would whoosh over his head?

  13. Jack says

    One Christmas a well-meaning family member, knowing I was a physics student, got me a copy of Davies’s The Mind of God.

    It was the most awful trite I’d ever read, bored me witless with its self-important meaninglessness.. So apparently he’s as bad a biologist as he is a philosopher, I’m not surprised at all.

  14. maupertuis1752 says

    Dear Mr. Myers:

    In response to your interesting reference to the Streisand Effect at, would you be so kind as to post all of the questions that I posed at in response to your piece titled “Word salad with math?”

    Not just the one reproduced at

    So that your readers are made aware of the information that you evidently chose to hide from the public?

    Perhaps for pecuniary reasons?

    Kindest regards,

    R. H. Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D.

  15. Al Dente says

    Dear Mr. Lambertsen PhD, VMD

    Does it always take you several years to respond to blog posts?

    Have a wonderful bountiful lustful day,
    Al Dente, BA, PDQ, RSVP, ETC.

  16. treefrogdundee says

    “The moon can only be seen during the night”

    Believing this to be true would mean one of only two things. Either that a person has never in their life looked up during daylight hours or that they don’t even know what the moon is. Either way, I’m now too depressed for words.

  17. Ted Lawry says

    According to Wikipedia:

    “Davies is Principal Investigator at Arizona State University’s Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology. This is part of a program set up by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to involve physicists in cancer research which has set up a network of 12 Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers.

    Wow. Just Wow. As a physicist, I apologize for my profession. On the other hand, maybe I am overlooking a career opportunity….

  18. blf says

    On “The moon can only be seen during the night”, another bit of nonsense — not on poopyhead’s quoted list — I’ve run into in the past is just as stoopid, if slightly more understandable: “The moon is always overhead”, apparently just floating in the sky or something. This seems to be the explaination for why you can sometimes see it during daylight.

  19. Rowan vet-tech says

    Dear R. H. Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D.,

    What bits PZ included are already complete nonsense and I have no qualms about stating that I fully expect the entire piece was nonsense.

    Yours Truly,

    Rowan, RVT.

    p.s. Please stop making me be embarrassed to be in the same field, if at a “lower” level, than you.

  20. says

    Wow, I write about Davies, and then R. H. Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D. shows up, and Eugene McCarthy (MFAP man) harangues me on Twitter.


  21. chrislawson says

    zenlike@6: if he thinks “Cancer biologists have more or less never heard of evolution” then he is talking through his backside. Not only are cancer biologists aware of evolution, there are literally thousands of papers in cancer journals about evolution and oncologists work with the theory every day of their lives to minimise the evolutionary pressure on cancer cells to become more resistant to chemotherapy. This as about as educated as saying “physicists have more or less never heard of momentum.”

  22. chrislawson says

    I think there are two main reasons Haeckel’s theory of embryogenesis took off:

    1. “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” is a really neat phrase that compresses a lot of clever information into three words (sadly the clever information is wrong, but if you like the idea of sounding smart with three words, then Haeckel’s your author).

    2. His diagrams are so fantastically good that you could (and people do) hang them on the wall as art. This, of course, has nothing to of with how accurate the interpretation is.

  23. chrislawson says

    I would also like to ask Lineweaver and Davies how cancer biologists thinking mutation is important in understanding cancer biology somehow puts them in opposition to evolutionary theory.

  24. Al Dente says

    chrislawson @23

    This as about as educated as saying “physicists have more or less never heard of momentum.”

    Momentum is a myth. There’s only “intelligent pushing.”

  25. consciousness razor says

    Momentum is a myth. There’s only “intelligent pushing.”

    Of course, in some parts of the multiverse, it’s stupid pulling, so there is also that. But we happen to be the lucky ones. That’s just science.

  26. golkarian says

    @Ted Lawry I’d say that most of the people in PSOC ( would agree with PZ/disagree with Davies on this one. I think that when one tries to apply math and physics to cancer (or anything else in biology) one runs the risk of becoming arrogant and missing the biology, but I don’t think that risk justifies painting everyone involved with the same brush.

  27. zetopan says


    While I am somewhat older than you, I am still quite amazed that you haven’t noticed by now that with crackpots: EVERY DAY IS CRACKPOT DAY.

  28. chigau (違う) says

    ‘intelligent pushing’ and ‘stupid pulling’
    both deserve ++++ lots and lots

  29. leerudolph says

    “The moon is always overhead”

    Well, someone’s in something over their head, that’s for sure.

  30. leerudolph says

    @chrislawson #24:

    “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” is a really neat phrase that compresses a lot of clever information into three words (sadly the clever information is wrong, but if you like the idea of sounding smart with three words, then Haeckel’s your author).

    Since I had it open in another window anyway, and will probably never end up finishing (in anything like its present form) the article to which it is an inessential historical footnote, here’s a bit more about that phrase.

    Haeckel (1866) states his “biogenetic law” repeatedly, with various domains of applicability—plastids, organs, antimeres, metameres, zooids, and corms as well as general ‘organic individuals’—and several phrasings, the most common asserting that “die Ontogenie” of the biological unit under consideration is “eine kurze und schnelle Recapitulation der Phylogenie”, i.e., ‘a short, quick recapitulation of the phylogeny’ of that unit. Eventually (Haeckel, 1874, p. 7), his statement evolved into the form in which it remains known today: “Die Ontogenie ist eine Recapitulation der Phylogenie”, i.e., ‘ontology recapitulates phylogeny’.
    References: Haeckel, E. H. (1866). Generelle Morphologie der Organismen [General morphology of organisms] (Vol. 2). Berlin, DE: Georg Reimer.
    Haeckel, E. H. (1874). Anthropogenie: oder Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen [Anthropogeny: Or, the evolutionary history of man] (Vol. 1). Leipzig, DE: Wilhelm Engelmann.

    (I omitted explicit references to several intermediate forms of the phrase.)

    2. His diagrams are so fantastically good that you could (and people do) hang them on the wall as art. This, of course, has nothing to of with how accurate the interpretation is.

    Yes, they are truly works of art. I’ll take your word that they’re faithful representations of their subjects (I am not in any way a biologist; I just love irrelevant historical footnoting, and rooting around in Google Books).

  31. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    Someone I know (friend of a friend kind of thing) is actually teaching his daughter that the moon is only visible in the daytime*. I wonder what will happen the day the child looks up and says “Daddy, what’s that?” In the meantime, though, it’s an example of the fact that the children’s misconceptions aren’t just naivete: sometimes it’s that they’re believing misguided parents or teachers.

    *This came up in conversation with the mutual friend, so I wasn’t in a position to ask where this person got that idea, or to suggest that he spend more time in the Big Blue Room.

  32. chrislawson says

    golkarian@28: I don’t there’s any problem applying maths to biology. They go well together. The problem is applying maths to a demonstrably false over-simplified model and acting like you’ve cracked a big problem and all current and past biologists in the field are idiots.

  33. maupertuis1752 says

    Dear Mr. Myers:

    In response to your interesting reference to the Streisand Effect at, would you be so kind as to post all of the questions that I posed at in response to your piece titled “Word salad with math?”

    Not just the one reproduced at

    So that your readers are made aware of the information that you evidently chose to hide from the public?

    Perhaps for pecuniary reasons?

    Kind regards,

    R. H. Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D.

  34. says

    Dear Mr Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D.:

    You’ve posted the same message twice. That’s spam. I saw it the first time, guffawed, and ignored your nonsense, so you don’t need to post it multiple times.

    But sure, an article I posted four freaking years ago is paying me huge dividends from the Science Establishment. You aren’t very firmly tethered to reality, are you?

  35. maupertuis1752 says

    Dear Mr. Myers:

    So your final decision is to continue to hide information from the public?

    Perhaps for pecuniary reasons?

    Kindest regards,

    R. H. Lambertsen, Ph.D., V.M.D.

  36. chigau (違う) says

    Mr. Lambertsen
    Your question is very pooly worded.
    What do you actually want PZ to do?

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Perhaps for pecuniary reasons?

    Slander, which you can be sued for. Time to shut the fuck up.
    And you haven’t presented one iota of solid evidence for any of your claims, whatever they are. Which are therefore dismissed without evidence.

  38. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @42:
    nerd, you made a minor slip in your word choice (using slander instead of libel):

    Slander can occur through the use of a hand gesture or verbal communication that is not recorded.
    Libel, on the other hand, is the written “publication” of a defamatory remark that has the tendency to injure another’s reputation or character.
    Libel also includes a publication on radio, audio or video. [or blogs comments. —slithey]
    Even though this would be considered oral, or verbal, communication to someone it is actually considered to be libel because it is published in a transfixed form.

  39. rjw1 says

    I noticed some ominous signs some years ago when Davies started pontificating on exobiology, how the hell would he know anything about the subject, I not if sure anyone does, actually.

  40. says

    To me, it seems like these scientists are grasping in the wind for a “Darwin” or “Einstein” like revelation in thought that allows us to explain something complex in a stunningly tidy answer. Unfortunately, we may have exhausted the universe’s supply of such tidy answers and the answers to things we really want to understand (cancer, dark matter/energy, psychology, etc) are probably just going to be complex and unsatisfying and uncomfortable to us.