And the French react the way they do to British cuisine …
New Zealand journalist Suzan Mazur interviews French scientist Vincent Fleury, who investigates origin of form with experiments involving cellular flow. The topic of P.Z. Myers, dean of American Darwinism and darling of Nature, came up:
Suzan Mazur: PZ Myers, the Howard Stern of sciencebloggers, recently reviewed your paper Clarifying tetrapod embryogenesis, a physicist’s point of view, which was published in The European Physical Journal: Applied Physics. It appears Myers is increasingly doing a pas de deux with the physical approach to evolutionary science, trying to reposition himself now that a paradigm shift is afoot. In essence, so he can maybe say, well I knew it all the time.
[ … ]
Vincent Fleury: There are several issues. First of all, it’s the style of the man. When you read his blog, you read things like I’m a professor and if I had a student, I would have asked him to rewrite the paper in this and that way. Who is this man?
Suzan Mazur: Think Animal House and pimply adolescence. His audience, incidentally, includes some prominent evolutionary scientists — one of whom commented on your paper in the Pharyngula blog.
Vincent Fleury: Myers’ blog is constructed in a certain way. He writes reviews that are not that bad but then he opens it up to his hounds, half of whom are mad. Crazed! They finish the job.
Freedom of speech is one thing, but it is extremely insane to open the microphone to crazy people.
Suzan Mazur: Why was your paper sent to Pharyngula?
Vincent Fleury: Someone else sent the paper in to harass me. Myers says implicitly that he despises all these self-organization ideas, but if you look at his blog, his web site is a an example of self-organization.
Suzan Mazur: How have your colleagues at CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) responded to his attack?
Vincent Fleury: Who cares? The few who know of him in France understand it’s rubbish.
Yet doesn’t Nature love him?
File under: Why there really is a controversy.
See also: Mazur’s book on all this.