I have a New Years Resolution for 2018, inspired by a recent blog comment.
Yesterday, a reader of this blog indicated that he was not interested in reading Evolution 2.0. Then he posted six very long blog comments that contained 20, maybe 40 questions.
I responded: “Most of your questions are answered in Evolution 2.0.
“Read it. Invest the money and the time. If you won’t, I won’t engage with you.
“Ten years ago I engaged with all comers, regardless. I did respond to any halfway civil person with any halfway reasonable question.
“I replied to tens of thousands of emails – literally any reasonable person who replied to me from an email list of 275,000 people.
“And then, for the last 5+ years, to people on this blog. I have answered nearly every imaginable question from every kind of person you can imagine, from teenagers to molecular biologists, from flaming atheists to Hasidic Jews.
“I have also invested eight years writing a book and organizing a prize, which are endorsed by some of the most eminent evolutionary scientists in the world from Oxford, Harvard, MIT, UCLA, King’s College, including editors of three peer-reviewed biology journals.
“I don’t have time to re-state here what I have already said here and elsewhere. If you desire my time and attention, if you wish to learn, and if your questions are sincere, you will be willing to invest the money and the time to read what I have written.
“You can also find the answers to most of your questions on this site in the articles and comments.
“Your questions must demonstrate familiarity. Do your homework. Skin in the game.
“I am extremely busy; I am a highly sought after person, being one of the highest paid business consultants in the country. I have made notable contributions to four professions: process control engineering (wrote an Ethernet book), online advertising, business strategy, and evolutionary biology. Including the largest Origin of Life prize in history.
“Numerous investors have committed millions of dollars to the Evolution 2.0 Prize. The science and logic behind the prize have been carefully refined since 2005. Almost all of that history is on this blog for all to see, which has over 10,000 comments.
“The opportunity cost to write Evolution 2.0 was great. I could have made far more money doing something else. This is not about book royalties. It’s about informed conversation. Any serious person anywhere in the world who wants to know something can lay their hands on a book and read it.
“From this point forward I will generously engage only those who generously engage with my work and demonstrate their knowledge through informed conversation. I have earned the right to say that.
“Put some skin in the game. Evolution 2.0 is well worth your time. Read the book from cover to cover (including the appendices) and then come back with your questions. I will similarly engage with people who have read books from the following list:
Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity by Denis Noble
COSMOSAPIENS by John Hands
Evolution: A View from the 21st Century by James Shapiro
Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life by Hubert Yockey
Purpose and Desire by J. Scott Turner
Acquiring Genomes by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan
Symbiogenesis: A New Theory of Evolution by Boris Kozo-Polyanski, Lynn Margulis and Victor Fet
The Music of Life by Denis Noble
“…All authored by eminent scientists from top institutions who have published volumes of peer reviewed work.”
That is my New Years Resolution for 2018 and it applies to everyone.
P.S.: Somebody’s going to complain, “Awwww, you just want to sell books.”
Answer: I want people to read books. Mine or others, either way. Source one from your local library if you are tight on funds. Or buy it. I don’t care. But you have to pick up the book and read it.
It’s time to elevate the conversation.