“Got your hypothesis peer reviewed yet?”
A peppering of snarky remarks followed.
Giving my cynical subscriber the benefit of the doubt, I replied:
“I was tempted to just ban you from the Facebook page. But it occurred to me that you may be making an honest mistake, because you are simply unaware of how much work has gone into this. This has not made it into peer reviewed publications. It was only announced on August 28.”
“You seem to have a snarky attitude. That attitude is unwarranted. Go to www.herox.com/evolution2.0 and watch the video of my talk at Arizona State University and familiarize yourself with the members my judging panel. The peer review is the judging panel for the prize. What they are judging is whether anybody has the right to claim the dinero.
I’m not sure you understand the peer review process. Books are not peer reviewed per se so that category does not formally apply.
Now for all practical purposes the book Evolution 2.0 is peer reviewed, as a number of well-credentialed scientists from major universities reviewed the entire manuscript before it went to press.
The paperback has now come out after 2 years in hardcover. I had opportunities to correct errors. I made some minor changes, the largest of which was that I had over-stated the results of the ENCODE project. That mistake was fixed. There were very few other mistakes.
You can scour the web and you will not find much substantial criticism of the book’s actual content.
Evolution 2.0 is endorsed by Denis Noble of Oxford University, Andrew Briggs of Oxford, John Torday of UCLA’s Evolutionary Medicine program, Kwang Jeon from University of Tennessee, Peter Saunders of King’s College London, and many others. Kwang Jeon is the editor of International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology.
Denis Noble is editor of Interface Focus and a Fellow of the British Royal Society which publishes that journal. John Torday is guest editor of the Journal Biology’s Special Issue “Beyond the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis- what have we missed?” as well as a similar forthcoming issue.
So I am endorsed by three editors of peer reviewed science journals.
These are not ordinary editors either. Denis Noble is the guy who figured out the cardiac rhythm, making pacemakers possible. He was the first to model a human organ on a computer (the human heart) – in 1960.
Denis is former President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. Here you can watch his address to the international congress of physiologists, demolishing Richard Dawkins’ now-obsolete Selifsh Gene theory.
Denis organized the famous 2016 Royal Society Evolution meeting in London, where evolutionary theory came to a crossroads, and where two dozen scientists who sharply dissent from traditional theory presented their findings.
Kwong Jeon conducted successful symbiogenesis experiments, showing that two completely different cells could perform a complete merger-acquisition in 18 months. In other words he demonstrated massive hyper-evolution in real time in the lab.
Look all these guys up. People at Oxford, UCLA etc do not give such endorsements lightly.”
Scientists are a very conservative bunch. Especially given that Evolution 2.0 trashes old-school Darwinian orthodoxy without remorse. Guys who have been practicing science for 30+ years allow their names to appear on book covers only with great caution.
These guys know: Recess is over for Neo-Darwinism. Gig is up.
In the process of recruiting judges for the prize, I talked to all kinds of top scientists. One Nobel Prize winner declined to participate, but suggested several excellent candidates. (I’m happy to report that when a Nobel Prize winner refers you to somebody, that somebody almost always replies to your email 🙂 )
I ended up with George Church of Harvard and MIT, who is one of the top 5 geneticists of our time, has 400+ publications and 95 patents; Denis Noble of Oxford, who is one of the top 100 scientists in the UK (he has a Commander of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth); and Michael Ruse of Florida State University, who is a somewhat famous atheist philosopher and historian of science.
I chose Michael specifically because 1) he’s an atheist – nobody can accuse me of stacking the deck in favor of Christians; and 2) he’s a friendly and inquiring atheist, in contrast with the arrogant belligerent variety that is so typical.
Skeptics are occasionally tempted to lump Evolution 2.0 with creationist and intelligent design efforts which bring to the table a preconceived notion that Origin of Life is unsolvable. That is a mistake. This problem may or may not be solvable, but we are running with the hypothesis that it is.
Meanwhile, what I won’t tolerate is: people making up stories about warm ponds and lucky lightning strikes and happy chemical accidents – and then claiming to wear the robe of science.
Origin of Information is the most fundamental unanswered question in science that can be precisely defined. And my backers have access to hundreds of millions of dollars of capital; so if commercializing this technology requires large investment, the resources are available to do it.
If this is solved, it will spawn brand new billion-dollar industries.
When I began my quest to recruit judges, I found that typical rank-and-file scientists were skittish. The best ones, however (George Church and Denis Noble for example) were unabashedly enthusiastic. I suspect it’s because, having made stellar achievements in their careers, they enjoy a luxury of independent inquiry that the average scientist does not have.
This is a worthwhile problem and it deserves the attention of the world’s finest minds. May the best man or woman win.