Stuart Pivar is the author of LifeCode: The Theory of Biological Self Organization, and a revised version, LifeCode: From egg to embryo by self-organization. He proposes a new theory of embryonic development: growth from toroidal shapes. PZ Myers, in his review, expressed sympathy for structuralist theories of evolution and development, like D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, with his book On Growth and Form. However, he found SP's theories to be nothing but hand-waving and pretty pictures that ignore actual embryonic development, with absurdities like limb pairs starting off as loops that split. He concluded: "This book is a description of the development and evolution of balloon animals."
SP's response to PZ Myers's negative reviews was to sue him for libel, asking for $15 million. Nearly two weeks later, however, he withdrew his suit.
Two years later, SP published On The Origin Of Form, Evolution by Self-Organization, and PZ concluded that it was more the same. SP sued biochemist Robert Hazen for interfering with his work by demanding the retraction of an endorsement, though as before, he soon withdrew his suit.
A year after that, he published "The origin of the vertebrate skeleton" in an obscure journal, The International Journal of Astrobiology. Yet more of the same. PZ suspects that that journal's editors were not very familiar with biology.
SP has also claimed that several notable scientists have endorsed his books, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Murray Gell-Mann. But NDGT withdrew his endorsement, and MGM denies having endorsed SP's books.
The dates are given to show a timeline of PZ's and SP's interactions.
- 2007-Jul-12 Lifecode – Pharyngula
- 2007-Jul-12 Pseudoscience by press release – Pharyngula - about SP's claims of endorsement of his theories
- 2007-Jul-15 Books must be read – Pharyngula - SP stated that some of PZ's comments “have transcended the barrier separating protected commentary from libel.”
- 2007-Jul-17 Lifecode: From egg to embryo by self-organization – Pharyngula
- 2007-Aug-16 Stuart Pivar v. Seed Media Group, LLC et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings
- 2007-Aug-20 Science After Sunclipse » Blog Archive » Stuart Pivar Sues PZ Myers - links to several other bloggers' comments about this action
- 2007-Aug-20 The Lippard Blog: Libel lawsuit against Science Blogger P.Z. Myers - links to SP's complaint
- 2007-Aug-21 No comment – Pharyngula - about that lawsuit
- 2007-Aug-27 Denyse O’Leary: paranoid projectionist – Pharyngula - noting her on SP's lawsuit
- 2007-Aug-28 The inevitable has occurred – Pharyngula - SP withdrew his lawsuit
- 2007-Aug-29 Pivar Withdraws Lawsuit – Dispatches from the Creation Wars - by Ed Brayton. He stated that SP's complaint was one of the worst that he has ever seen.
- 2007-Aug-30 I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for the guy – Pharyngula - linking to Daily Kos: Is There Anything Doughnuts Can't Do?
- 2007-Sep-06 Last little whimper of the Pivar story – Pharyngula
- 2007-Sep-27 Another review of Pivar’s Lifecode – Pharyngula
- 2007-Dec-04 Octopus development, balloon animal version – Pharyngula
- 2009-Jun-25 The return of Stuart Pivar – Pharyngula
- 2009-Aug-13 Stuart Pivar sues Robert Hazen – Pharyngula
- 2009-Aug-15 But will they come when you do call for them? – Pharyngula - Murray Gell-Mann claims that he never endorsed SP's books
- 2009-Oct-27 Pivar gives up on another suit – Pharyngula - against Robert Hazen
- 2009-Oct-27 Whee! More jousting! – Pharyngula
- 2010-Sep-28 Let’s be nice to bad science now – Pharyngula
- 2010-Sep-28 Stuart Pivar has responded – Pharyngula
- 2010-Sep-28 He’s baaaack — Stuart Pivar hasn’t learned a thing – Pharyngula - about SP's paper "The origin of the vertebrate skeleton"