Publishing a paper on evolution is a dicey proposition, for two reasons.

  1. Religious nutters, who will send you angry emails in a seriously delightful panoply of fonts, colours, italics, and bolding*
  2. Evolutionists, who are, by far, the most siloed, angry group of scientists I have encountered. I know, because I have been a tangential member of this schism-filled, hot headed division of science for some time now. Did you know you can be very very angry about what someone else thinks happened 2-3 billion years ago? You can!**

Of the two, the evolutionists are the ones you need to worry about.

My email inbox has had a few calm and interested people with questions about my methods, decisions around dataset selection, and possible tests to do moving forward. I’ve had some great conversations online around these topics.

My email inbox has also had some Big Important Names email me to express, with unbridled vitriol, their sincere hatred for my paper. Not usually their valid, evidence-based disagreements, mostly just their hatred. I think my favorite so far, from someone I know personally and generally respect was “this trash needs a dagger through the heart”. This, as part of a discussion that evoked the following response from me: “Actually, that is what we say, on page X line Y [insert quote]. We did not say [the thing you are upset about], we said the reverse, carefully and clearly.”

I’m up for a debate. I’m up for a discussion. I’m willing to wade through your acid to get down to the science of it all. But read my f***ing paper first, please.


* all in one email. My favorite also had a unicorn gif.
** I do not recommend it.
*** bare minimum, it is a very short paper


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