Dr. Senapathy's First Postings and Initial Replies Thereto


From: Periannan Senapathy
Date: 13 Feb 1995


As a molecular biologist and genome researcher, I have enjoyed following the many ongoing debates in this and other forums over evolution theory -- both as a whole, and various aspects thereof. My own work in genome mechanics and genetic molecular structures has yielded much evidence pertaining to these debates, and over the years I have published several of my findings in PNAS, J Molec Biol, J Biol Chem, Nucleic Acids Research, Science and other journals.

Until recently I have published these findings separately, although clearly they are all related. Now, however, I am publishing a single unified theory that incorporates all of these pieces -- and an enormous body of other evidence as well. This new unified theory proposes a radically alternative explanation for the origin and diversity of life on Earth, asserting that most of Earth's organisms must have originated independently in one primordial pond, and that the natural-selection mechanism described by evolution theories could have produced only minor variations among essentially similar species. These conclusions surely will provoke a lively debate in the scientific community, but a fair reading of the theory will show that it easily explains all of the available evidence -- molecular, biochemical, organismal and fossil -- and notably accommodates all of the contra-evolution evidence that has dogged evolutionists since Darwin.

To stimulate and inform the debate, I have prepared a Web Page for the World-Wide Web that provides much more information about the theory, including the complete text of the Preface and first chapter of my new book, Independent Birth of Organisms -- a comprehensive articulation of the entire theory. If you are interested in more information you are invited to browse these materials at< P> http://www.genome.com/ibo/

These materials, and the book itself, are engagingly written to be accessible to educated lay readers, but the book is also fully annotated with my research and other technical data for scientific corroboration.

Periannan Senapathy, Ph.D.


To this first posting, Dr. Senapathy received numerous dismissive replies such as these:

From Josh Hayes, the s.b.e moderator: [moderator's note: I could have been hoodwinked on this one, but I really don't think this person is a creationist. I have checked out the page as cited, and while there are some glaring errors and misconceptions in his thesis (is everyone as sick as I am of hearing that the theory of evolution has never been proven? Oy!), it seems to be free of the evolution/creation hoo-hah. So I'm going to post it. Feel free to complain, and feel free to chat this guy up and find out what he's on about. Warning: if you look at his web page, you may wish to delay image loading, as there are some moderately large images on the various pages....

From Dan Phelps: You may be a molecular biologist, but you have no training in paleontology. This is obvious from the information you distribute.... You have ignored relevant information from fields such as paleontology in which you display remarkable ignorance.... It seems to be almost identical to creationist nonsense, except it never mentions creationism. It dwells on the alleged absence of transitional forms in the fossil record. ... The gentleman spends most of his time attacking evolution, but it is difficult to discern what his actual position is. This suggests to me that he has a hidden agenda.

From Keith Robison: I actually have a copy of the book by my feet at this moment (the author sent a free copy to my advisor), and that's about where the book belongs. While he isn't a creationist, the book is full of glaring errors and overstatements. Both his attack on Darwinism and the presentation of his theory (that modern day genomes sprung in toto from the primordial soup) are easily refutable, with the only problem being where to start (and also the patience to wade through the book -- self-published books don't have to go by editors).

From Guy Hoelzer: I am not sure that I want to bite on this post, but I can't help myself. I can't see how it is possible that any hypothesis such as you describe would be at all consistent with the fossil record, not to mention the other types of data you listed. If "most of the Earth's organisms...originated independently in one primordial pond" then how is it that the fossil record exhibits the appearance and eventual extinction of several dominant faunas, such as the dinosaurs or the invertebrates of the Burgess shale? These organisms are quite unlike any extant organisms and they were apparently very abundant for long periods of the Earth's history. Similarly, many currently abundant taxonomic groups, such as birds and mammals, are not found in the fossil records of those earlier times. It seems that the fossil record clearly reveals descent with modification over an extraordinarily long time, including the temporary success of certain life forms that diversify and dominate for a while then go extinct only to be followed by the temporary success of some other group. I am also very curious what you consider to be "all the contra-evolution evidence that has dogged evolutionists since Darwin". I must confess that I am ignorant of any hard evidence refuting the hypothesis that all life on Earth arose by descent with modification.


Reply by Dr. Senapathy:

First, let me thank the [s.b.e.] moderator for posting my message and for setting the record straight: that I am not a creationist. Certainly I am not.

In fact, I have been a staunch admirer of Darwin for a number of years. I was extremely interested in the question of how the very first ancestral living cell, considered to be the mother of all life on earth, had originated from inanimate matter. There was a big gap between the findings of chemical evolution and the origin of the first genes and the genome of the simplest possible living cell. I was so deeply interested in this question that I intensely studied the problem of the origin of genes using computer simulations at NIH. Once I worked out how the genes and the genome of the simplest possible living cell could originate from the primordial soup, I realized that evolution theory was unnecessary to explain the origin and diversity of organisms on earth. The very same mechanism that could explain the origin of the first cell could indeed explain the origin of not only many single celled organisms, but also many multicellular creatures directly and independently in the primordial soup. It is the eukaryotic genes and the eukaryotic cells that are far more probable than the prokaryotic genes and cells. Thus my theory offers a mechanism as to how the genes and genomes of not only single-celled organisms but also multicellular organisms -- with widely varying anatomies -- could originate directly in the primordial pond.

Regarding the name calling and derogatory remarks: I can certainly understand why some people are angry and indignant. Having been a staunch evolutionist myself, I could have been easily on your side -- instinctively thinking that any one opposed to the theory of evolution must be either a creationist or, at the least, stupid. I am certainly not surprised nor angry. I simply invite people to take an objective look at the new theory. It has been formulated purely based on systematic scientific research of several years and of sound methodologies. I am confident that you'll finally agree that even in the face of apparent proof for evolution -- the presence of similarities in gene sequences and protein sequences among distinct organisms and apparent similarities in the biochemistries and cellular machineries -- that the theory of the independent birth of organisms does work to explain the scenario of organisms, rooting all their similarities to the common pool of genes in the primordial pond and to other explainable fundamental phenomena.

Concerning the objections of some people, presumably from the paleontology quarters, that I am a molecular biologist but not a paleontologist: Yes, of course, it is true that I am a trained molecular biologist, and that I have no formal training in paleontology. But once I got the idea that basic evolution theory was wrong and that the independent origins of numerous creatures from a common pool of genes in a single primordial pond was the answer, I took advanced courses in paleontology to understand the field further. I have studied paleontology since then, now for more than a decade, and find that the basic fossil record (e.g. that numerous distinct creatures originated suddenly and simultaneously in a geological instant: the phenomenon termed Cambrian explosion) supports my theory strongly. I challenge any paleontologist to offer a genetic mechanism that could bring forth all these numerous unrelated organisms in a such a short span of time. Please note that Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge themselves say that traditional evolution theory obviously fails to explain the Cambrian explosion, and have proposed "punctuated equilibrium." But, again, this does not offer a genetic or molecular mechanism, and, in fact, it does not work when scrutinized at the gene level.

The question of life's origins is truly a multidisciplinary one: encompassing many fields including molecular biology, statistics & mathematics, paleontology, and zoology. I also studied zoology, including invertebrate zoology, and found that there are indeed numerous distinct organisms that are totally unrelated. Please note that zoologists themselves conclude that these creatures are unrelated, except that they have to say that these unrelatable creatures must have somehow evolved from one another, merely to fit the evidence to the prevailing evolutionary paradigm.

Again, I thank you for this opportunity to present and defend my new theory. I hope this post will encourage a more thoughtful debate, and I look forward to responding to your future comments.

Thanks for your time,

Periannan Senapathy


From Andrew MacRae: (Quoting Dr. Senapathy) "I ... find that the basic fossil record (e.g. that numerous distinct creatures originated suddenly and simultaneously in a geological instant: the phenomenon termed Cambrian explosion) supports my theory strongly."

This is incorrect. The "Cambrian explosion" was brief on a geological scale, but a) it does have a succession of faunas over a significant period of time (i.e. they are not "simultaneous"), b) at least some of the "suddenness" of the Cambrian explosion is likely to be a result of preservational biases as organisms developed mineralized skeletons, and c) there are major groups of organisms that first appear before or after the Cambrian explosion. The Cambrian explosion is a period of rapid evolution, but it incorrect to describe it as "distinct creatures originating suddenly and simultaneously in a geological instant." It is not that simple.

There is also the issue of other types of life besides animals, which do not appear to go through a similar diversification during the Cambrian explosion. Some groups appear to have diversified earlier, some later (e.g., groups within the plants, protists, and fungii).

"I challenge any paleontologist to offer a genetic mechanism that could bring forth all these numerous unrelated organisms in a such a short span of time."

There is a possibility that a significant number were around earlier, either as a) soft-bodied organisms that did not preserve or b) small organisms that just became "bigger", and more likely to preserve and/or leave trace fossils. There is also some speculation that the global climate changes around this time may have produced new opportunities, and that the rapid diversification of organisms during this period reflects the wide-open niches that were available (this "bottom-heavy" pattern is partly duplicated after mass extinction events, where many new opportunities were created by the extinction of other species, but the situation in the Cambrian would have been uniquely "unoccupied"). There are potential explanations for such a unique event.

It is important to realize that there may be more to the Cambrian explosion than what is obvious at face value. It is currently being intensively studied, and plenty of data is still changing in interpretation, so it is a bit premature to start drawing definitive conclusions about what exactly happened -- in my opinion anyway -- beyond the fact it appears to be a period of exceptionally rapid evolution/diversification.

"Please note that Stephen J Gould and Niles Eldredge themselves say that traditional evolution theory obviously fails to explain the Cambrian explosion, and have proposed 'punctuated equilibrium'".

Actually, the initial proposal of punctuated equilibrium had little to do with the Cambrian explosion, and punctuated equilibrium has more to do with speciation than the broader evolutionary patterns (which are the cumulative effect of many speciations).

"But, again, this does not offer a genetic or molecular mechanism, and, in fact, it does not work when scrutinized at the gene level."

This is news to me. One of the reasons for proposing smaller, isolated populations as a mechanism for speciation was the ability of mutations to have a greater potential effect in a smaller population.

"I also studied zoology, including invertebrate zoology, and found that there are indeed numerous distinct organisms that are totally unrelated."

This is incorrect. For example, zoologists classify echinoderms, chaetognaths, hemichordates, and chordates as separate phyla, but have always recognized the close similarities in development, symmetry, cellular, and many other features between these groups (they are all deuterostomes). They are quite clearly a related group versus other phyla.

"Please note that zoologists themselves conclude that these creatures are unrelated, except that they have to say that these unrelatable creatures must have somehow evolved from one another, merely to fit the evidence to the prevailing evolutionary paradigm."

No. They have many similarities, and these are usually pointed out in invertebrate zoology texts.

You have quite a bit more research to do before you can say your model accurately reflects the evidence, let alone "refute" evolutionary theory.


From Bob Morse: I've been very disappointed to see the knee-jerkishly arrogant -- and decidedly UNscientific -- reactions to a recent announcement here, from a Dr. Periannan Senapathy, regarding his genome research and its implications for evolution theory. ... I have reviewed Dr. S's materials, including his book, and it is abundantly clear to me that most participants here ... have summarily dismissed the theory, without the benefit of having actually read the damn thing, simply because Dr. S. has dared to challenge the evolution orthodoxy.

I understand that you (we) have had to suffer the rantings of many a bible-thumping pseudoscientist bent on trashing evolution theory, and I suppose it is only natural to be suspicious of any new idea that seems, even superficially, to have originated from the same quarters. But contrary to the sarcastic (and libelous?) allegations of several forum participants, Dr. S does not seem to be a Creationist, and I have seen no evidence that he has any association with any Creationist organization or fundamentalist religion. But more to the point, none of his published materials make any reference to any deity or spiritual/supernatural force, except in this brief passage from chapter 1 of his book:

"Many theologians, secular philosophers and poets --and even many scientists -- have been content to answer the question [about the origin of life] abstractly, in terms of a divine spark that somehow transformed inanimate matter into living organisms. But such explanations tell us only 'who' -- not 'how.' Science is obliged to characterize the 'spark' and the 'somehow,' whether or not the process can be attributed to divine intervention."

Now that's not exactly a Creationist tune he's whistling here. In fact, I read this as an explicit disavowal of any and all religious preconceptions to his work, and an articulation of Dr. S's conviction that the natural world can and must be characterized in worldly terms, which makes any invocation of supernatural forces utterly beside the point. (I often wonder why the Creationists don't simply declare evolution to be one of "God's wondrous works," and then claim victory and get the hell out of town.)

You don't have to read very deep into Dr. S's WWW page to see that, while his conclusions are clearly speculative, they do seem to be logically derived from sound scientific principles and sound, published scientific research -- just like the evolution theories they purport to refute, and indeed just like most new scientific theories. The most dramatic of his premises -- that complex eukaryotic genes preceded prokaryotic genes in the chronology of life on Earth -- heretical as it must appear to evolution purists, has in fact been published for peer review in PNAS and other highly respected and refereed scientific journals, and has been publicly accepted by many scientists, including Colin Blake. Of course, publication and celebrity endorsements don't make the premise true, but they should offer a clue that Dr. S's methods and conclusions have been accepted as soundly derived and worthy of serious consideration by a panel of highly qualified scientists. Which leads me to a few pointed questions: If Dr. S's science is "good" enough for PNAS and Colin Blake, why isn't it good enough for sci.bio.evolution? Are Dr. S's detractors suggesting that we discard the results of sound scientific research if the results don't happen to coincide with what we prefer to believe? Is that your idea of "good" science?

As I understand it, sci.bio.evolution is a forum for public discussions of the scientific aspects of evolution theory (or am I mistaken?), and I simply do not see how Dr. Senapathy's work and insights could possibly fail to qualify -- regardless of whether they are ultimately proven or disproven. Dr. S's research has been accepted by refereed journals, and endorsed by eminent scientists, and it carries a monumental significance for evolution theories, inasmuch as it appears to invert the presumed simple-to-complex evolution of organisms, and also establishes the plausibility of eukaryotic genomes forming independently -- and abundantly -- in Earth's primordial ponds. By what stretch of the imagination do you regard this topic as unworthy of "true" scientific discussion in sci.bio.evolution?


From Dan Phelps: Dr. Senapathy's material that he made available via WWW and other ways was "decidedly UNscientific." He ignored relevant material from paleontology and trotted out the usual line of probability arguments that are usually misused by creationists. He then proceeded to misuse these arguments himself. ... He ignored contradictory information to his odd ideas. What else need be said?


From Bob Morse: Mr. Phelps is mistaken, in so many ways. Dr. Senapathy has not "ignored relevant material from paleontology"; he has simply proposed an alternative interpretation for the available evidence, since the prevailing interpretation cannot be reconciled with new molecular evidence, published by Dr. S in PNAS (83:2133-2137, 85:1129-1133) and elsewhere, showing that complex eukaryotic genes actually preceded prokaryotic genes, rather than vice versa as previously believed.

Unlike Mr. P, who seems to believe that paleontology is the only valid scientific discipline, and that research in other disciplines must be discarded if it does not happen to coincide with the prevailing views within one's own narrow field, Dr. S seems to understand that any comprehensive explanation of the natural world must accommodate all available evidence obtained from all scientific disciplines. And unlike Mr. P, who seems to believe that the currently prevailing interpretations of paleontological evidence are the only possible interpretations, forever and ever amen, Dr. S seems to recognize the critical distinction between "evidence" and "conclusions," and that the prevailing conclusions in any scientific discipline are dynamic.

Unfortunately Mr. P does not identify what he calls "the usual line of probability arguments that are usually misused by creationists," but presumably he is referring to the compelling statistical analyses that form the basis of Dr. S's eukes/prokes thesis. Surely Mr. P will want to dash off a letter to the editors of PNAS, to expose the Creationist roots of these analyses, which were reviewed and accepted by PNAS' distinguished panel of referees prior to publication. (Apparently those dolts at PNAS were hoodwinked too, eh, Mr. P?) I know we will all look forward to reading Mr. P's damning expose, which certainly will document in chilling detail how Dr. S has misused his own fraudulent data for his own nefarious ends. And of course serious scientists the world over will want to thank Mr. P for his tireless devotion to scientific integrity, to say nothing of his uniquely capable insights into the molecular structural characteristics of eukaryotic and prokaryotic genes.

After reading Mr. P's most recent critique, I was naturally eager to hear his views on the other points I'd raised in my previous post -- notably the conspicuous absence of any meaningful criticism of Dr. S's methods or data (something a little more substantive than "it just ain't so"), and of course the "unscientificness" and arrogance of Mr. P's own vague criticisms. But alas Mr. P is silent on these topics. Perhaps in his next post he will enlighten us with some specific facts to support his allegations, and hopefully he will provide at least one shred of evidence to document his repeated libelous claim -- already specifically denied by Dr. S -- that Dr. S is a Creationist.

Mr. P: "Dr. S. ignored contradictory information to his odd ideas."

As we have just seen, Mr. P, this comment actually describes (and rather awkwardly) your own pronouncements on this topic, but not Dr. S's.


Dan Phelps replies: Dr. Senapathy claims that all organisms sprang from the "primordial soup" complete. He misrepresents the fossil record and claims that the "Cambrian explosion" supports his view. He is ignoring information available in a freshman-level historical geology text.

Just because something gets into a journal doesn't make it so. Journals, despite crank claims to the contrary, often will publish new ideas. What exactly did Dr. S. say in his paper? I suspect it was nothing like the nonsense he spammed multiple Usenet groups with when advertising his new book. What evidence does Dr. S. present in his paper that he does not present to us?

... Paleontological theories must be consistent with other scientific fields to be considered science. Likewise, scientific claims from other fields must be consistent with paleontology. Despite claims to the contrary, Dr. S's claims are nonsense when compared to the fossil record.

We don't know what Dr. S. wrote in his PNAS article. I do know that he claimed (among other things) in the information he made available on the net that the eye was too complex to have evolved, and that the genes for the eye sprang fully formed out of the "primordial soup." This argument is very similar to creationist nonsense, differing only in its alternatively bizarre conclusion.

I never said that Dr. S. is a creationist. I said that he uses the exact same misconceptions of evolutionary theory that the creationists use and then is vague about his own ideas. This suggests to me that Dr. S. is hiding some odd metaphysical agenda.


From Joachim Dagg: Dr. Senapathy should have posted the results of his research or a summary of it, instead of saying something about research and results and then putting forth his interpretation of it. Is he afraid of too many others interpreting his results different?

  1. The new idea has to explain ALL the old facts in as good a manner as the old.
  2. The new idea explains the problems, which the old did not explain.

Any new idea, that does not fulfill BOTH this presuppositions will be ignored by science, because it is the only way to exclude biases from science. The first presupposition is not fulfilled by Dr. Senapathy's ideas. And so science will simply ignore them. That is just the way it is, the only objective way without subjective biases. Dr. Senapathy may scream and shout, break down and cry or get a fit. It does not help - life is one of the hardest!

JM: Please -- look at who is getting emotional. Dr. Senapathy DOES explain BOTH of your presuppositions. You assume he does not, but you have not read his book. His book is in four parts:

  1. the problems with evolution (you are obviously tired of hearing about these),
  2. his theory,
  3. how his theory fits in with the existing facts, and
  4. how his theory answers all those problems.

His web page only touches on item 1.


From Josh Hayes: Senapathy's idea flies in the face of paleontological evidence, but the question begs an answer: how is it that eukaryotic genes seem to be older than prokaryotic genes -- bearing in mind that I haven't read the PNAS paper, so I can't comment on whether that's a fair representation of the work. If this IS a fair description, it's a good question.


Reply from Larry Moran: This is not a fair description. Senapathy claims that the ancestor of all living organisms had genes that contained introns - in other words he is a supporter of the "introns early" hypothesis. According to this hypothesis eukaryotic genes have retained introns and prokaryotic genes have lost them. This is not the same as claiming that eukaryotic genes are older than prokaryotic genes. The ancestor of all living organisms probably had many of the characteristics that we now associate with prokaryotes.

I will not defend everything that Dan Phelps wrote earlier but I am happy to comment on the published papers.

The relevant papers are:

Senapathy, P. (1986) Origin of eukaryotic introns: a hypothesis, based on codon distribution statistics in genes, and its implications. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83,2133-2137.

Senapathy, P. (1988) Possible evolution of splice-junction signals in eukaryotic genes from stop codons. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85,1129-1133.

These papers present rationales in support of the idea that introns were present in primitive genes. There is lots of data that refutes this idea and very little data that supports it. It now seems that introns arose late in evolution. Senapathy says,

"These data suggest that prokaryotic genes could have evolved from the split genes of primitive single-celled eukaryotes by means of the 'gene-processing' mechanism." "Thus, the first primitive living cells to come on earth seem to have been the primitive eukaryotic single-celled organisms, and, from them, the prokaryotic cells evolved by a retrograde evolution." "In addition, only eukaryotes, not prokaryotes, have a split structure of genes. These data lead to the logical interpretation that the most ancient primitive cells, those that selected and evolved their coding sequences from primordial DNA with the split exon-intron structure of genes, must have been the primitive unicellular eukaryotic organisms."

Even if we ignore the fact that the available evidence supports the introns- late hypothesis the above statements contain a fundamental flaw in logic. There is no reason to suppose that the primitive ancestor was a eukaryote even if its genes had introns. We could just as easily say that the primitive ancestor was a prokaryote-like organism with intron-containing genes. Senapathy seems to be defining eukaryotes by the presence of introns in their genes. Many (most?) eukaryotic genes do not have introns. Prokaryotic genomes also contain genes with introns.

The papers were published more than seven years ago. Since then we have learned much more about molecular evolution and the structure of genes. We recognize that Senapathy's ideas are not supported by the available data (not to mention his strange view of evolution).

I do not question Senapathy's data, it just doesn't seem very significant. Mostly it's his interpretation of the data that I object to. In fairness, his basic premise - that introns were present in primitive genes - was much more popular in the 80's so very few scientists would have questioned his assumptions. With hindsight they look pretty silly. Senapathy postulates that primitive genes were very short (about 200 codons) and that splicing arose in order to remove regions of the mRNA that contain stop codons so that the translation machinery could produce longer polypeptides. His explanation requires a number of implicit assumptions about the organization of genes and transcription that I don't have time to go into. The assumptions seem far-fetched but since they are unstated I have no way of judging whether Senapathy even recognizes them. Furthermore, Senapathy argues that a complex mechanism for splicing arose largely for the purpose of evolving new and longer genes that may or may not have been useful. This requires an individual organism to be under selective pressure to evolve splicing in anticipation of future benefit to the species. There is no known way for this to happen. Such speculations are common among those who have a poor understanding of evolution.


From Joachim Dagg: All Organisms have apomorphic and plesiomorphic characters. Plesiomorphic characters are older than apomorphic ones. So everyone who understood hennigian phylogenetics has to expect some eukaryotic genes, which are older than other prokaryotic genes. And if the selective restrictions are higher on eukaryotes then on prokaryotes, one even has to expect more plesiomorphic genes in euks. And it's of course the most probable (plesiomorphic) explanation, to say the results are due to having sampled apomorphic prokaryotic genes and plesiomorphic eukaryotic genes. How many genes did Dr. Senapathy sample (one, two, many of each taxon)?

One more example, of what mistakes the great literature is leading us to. It's rubbish talk about modern, higher-developed organisms (with H. Sapiens being of course on top) and the primitive organisms (with the prokaryotes being so far down below, us humans can't p... that deep) is wrong!


From Glenn A. Friedrich: I ... perused the cited papers. (Which, in the normal course of scientific endeavor, are by no means 'new' -- having been published in 1986 and 1988.) In fact, I could not find any statement in those papers that "eukaryotic genes actually preceded prokaryotic genes". (Nor is it clear to me what Bob Morris means by this statement.) What is presented is an hypothesis that the signal sequences for the modern splicing machinery found in (most) eukaryotes may have evolved from a need to remove stop codons. This being the case, the obvious targets for the evolving splicing machinery would be the stop codons themselves. Dr. Senapathy bolstered this hypothesis by showing that remnants of stop codons (taa, tag and tga) are indeed found in many extant intron sequences at the positions used by the splicing machinery. (He did a survey of the Genbank database of sequences).

This strikes me as firmly grounded in the 'prevailing view' of molecular biology and evolutionary theory. Dr. Senapathy invokes natural selection in his model to account for the need of an organism to generate a usable, long coding sequence from 'random' bits of DNA. The hypothesis is really fascinating and probably has shed some light on the long standing debate over whether intron-containing genes existed before the intron-less genes of prokaryotes. That is, the lack of introns in modern prokaryotes could be a more recently evolved adaptation.

The usual method of publishing in PNAS is to submit your manuscript to a member of the Academy. That person then takes it upon himself to decide how and by whom the manuscript is reviewed before communicating it to the Proceedings for publication. (There is no 'panel of referees'.) But, we have no need to evoke argument from authority in this discussion. (Dolts or no dolts, we are capable of judging the publication ourselves, no?)


From Keith Robison: PNAS ... is an ultimately bizarre journal where cutting-edge research coexists with backwater results and fringe stuff. Reviewers are frequently suggested by the author, and reviewing is uneven, to say the best.

If one uses Senapathy's reasoning and definitions, one can produce a hypothesis about molecular sequence diversity which can be easily falsified by existing data.

Senapathy utterly ignores all the cytological evidence for the relatedness of species (remember, this guy is claiming that the taxon "mammalia" is a collection of many lines which independently sprung from the primordial ooze!). Furthermore, the book as a whole is ultimately incoherent -- after spending many pages proving that regulatory pathways are carved in biological stone and cannot evolve, he then describes how they evolve. All-in-all, the description of gross flaws in Senapathy's book is rate-limited by your reading speed (the book is self-published, meaning no editor was around to hack the text down and clip out all the fat). They are much too easy to find.

Senapathy's book is utterly awful (I have actually READ significant chunks of it), but it probably did deserve a proper bashing in sci.bio.evolution just so it didn't look like it was being censored.


From Keith Robison: Most of the book is uncritical self-congratulation mixed in with uninformed distortions of evolutionary science. We've seen already, particularly in the "Point mutations can't drive evolution" proof, the quality of the logic being employed. Again, if you think there are substantive points made by Senapathy please post them so that they can be discussed.


From Patrick O'Neil: Senapathy is deluded ... He is nothing more than a cloaked creationist. Please quit quoting from his book, chapter and verse, as if you are a Baptist preacher quoting Scripture in answer to all questions.

JM: I'm sorry about quoting from his book, but it is obvious that very few people here have made an attempt to read it, and you clearly have not because of that creationist remark. I see no reason for this discussion to degenerate into the stuff of talk.origins. When you contribute, please do so without so much emotion, and there is certainly no need to call people names. You didn't call me a creationist, but being compared to a Baptist preacher is offensive enough.

To everybody: Please realize that words in this medium can easily be misunderstood. Offhand remarks that might be all right if made in person with a smile on your face don't work here, and using highly emotional adjectives or derogatory terms against people you know nothing about can easily break a discussion down into a lot of name-calling and useless drivel. We are faceless individuals here, but we are real people with various backgrounds, credentials, ages, points of view, and so on -- and we all deserve respect. One of the reasons moderated groups were formed was to keep discussions on point, but another was to discourage the flaming and name-calling that so pervades the Usenet community these days.


From Josh Hayes, s.b.e. moderator: I have to agree with Jeff. If you can't be polite, don't participate in a thread -- if it makes you so apoplectic that you can't handle it, don't try. I too think Senapathy's thesis is hopelessly wrong, but my blood pressure doesn't go up thinking about it. Be NICE, or I'll start dinging articles for tone, and I don't want to have to do that. As most of you have figured out by now, my usual approach is to accept nearly any article at all and allow the readership to sort out the wheat from the chaff. But I will not allow this forum to degenerate into flameage. You Have Been Warned.

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