I am sharing the latest peer review of my paper. It should help people understand the simple fact that while peer review does promote progress within a paradigm, it also prevents revolutionary progress or paradigm shift.
JEZ-B 2007 Impact Factor is 3.578.
Average time to first decision 41 days
Dear Prof. Huang:
I am sorry to inform you that your manuscript, Inverse relationship between genetic diversity and epigenetic complexity, has not been found acceptable for publication in JEZ Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. I have enclosed the comments of the Associate Editor upon which this decision was based. I must emphasize that this decision is final.
You may also view the comments by loggin onto the JEZ Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution submission site: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jezb-wiley .
Thank you for allowing us to consider your manuscript.
There is a policy in place for the disposing of files from rejected manuscripts 180 days after the rejection decision, and that any appeal to the reject decision will not be considered after that time.
Prof. Gunter Wagner
JEZ Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Associate Editor Comments:
Dear Dr. Huang,
I have now had a chance to read your manuscript and I regret that I am not recommending publication in JEZ-B. While the ideas presented are very intriguing, several key elements lack rigorous definitions and, as written, are inconsistent with observations from across the tree of life. For example, the view of phylogenetic diversity is more consistent with the Scala Natura than current understanding of the tree of life and the nature of biological diversity on Earth. Similarly, the treatment of the term complexity is simplistic at times. For example, limb number is certainly one measure of complexity (e.g. snakes vs. other reptiles) but, if "complex organisms are here defined as those that have complex epigenetic programs" then organisms like ciliates, which rely on epigenetic mechanisms to scan the last generation's somatic genome in forming the next generation's somatic genome, may also be worth considering. As written, the manuscript reads as if humans are the pinnacle of both the tree of life and complexity. Further, the treatment of genetic distance is also simplistic at times, particularly given what we know about patterns and processes driving molecular evolution across genomes.
I do hope that this quick turn around enables you to find a more appropriate journal for your interested manuscript without any unnecessary delay.
My response below:
Dear Dr Katz,
Thank you for reading my paper and offer your opinions. I explain here why these opinions may have merit from your point of view, which is the current Darwinian view, but have zero value from the point of view of genuine science, which is to explain facts with whatever theory that works the best.
You say: “several key elements lack rigorous definitions and, as written, are inconsistent with observations from across the tree of life. “
The key elements of the hypothesis are genetic diversity and epigenetic complexity. Both are clearly defined in my paper. The proof of this is that the hypothesis works in what counts, which is to explain all facts. The hypothesis explains all relevant observations known in evolution, as clearly presented in the paper. There is no inconsistency. Your specific examples of inconsistency are not about facts but about philosophical views.
You say: “the view of phylogenetic diversity is more consistent with the Scala Natura than current understanding of the tree of life and the nature of biological diversity on Earth.” Indeed my view is inconsistent with the “current understanding”, but that is precisely the merit of my view. Think about it, if it is consistent, it would have no chance of being true, since the “current understanding” is clearly false or incomplete or contradicted by countless facts, a claim made in my paper which you did not object in your review.
You next example about ciliates is based on misrepresenting my definition of epigenetic complexity. That definition is based on the number of epigenetic molecules and number of cell types. Ciliate is not a complex organism based on my definition, which is fully consistent with reality.
Your third example is about whether humans are the pinnacle of both the tree of life and complexity. Can you find a single observation that could invalidate this intuitively obvious notion? The scientific way of considering this issue is to come up with two opposite theories, one does not grant this notion and the other does, and see which one explains facts better. When this is done as in my paper, the MGD hypothesis handily beats all existing theories, a claim made in my paper which you also did not object in your review.
Your final example: “the treatment of genetic distance is also simplistic at times, particularly given what we know about patterns and processes driving molecular evolution across genomes.” What you know is much less than what you should know and is largely incorrect. Proof: What you know does not explain all the facts or has numerous contradictions. What I know may be simple but it does explain all the facts. And that is what a true theory should be, using simple concepts or axioms to explain a complex array of facts.
To summarize, I am very pleased with the fact that you cannot come up with a single observation that would falsify the MGD hypothesis, exactly as I predicted or as I claimed in the paper. (Don’t feel bad, you are hardly alone in this regard.) You did not object to my outrageous statement in the paper that the MGD explains all relevant facts and has yet to meet a factual contradiction. You also did not object to my outrageous claim that the MGD is a better theory than all existing ones based on the best and only criterion that counts, which is to explain all facts and is contradicted by none.
The above clearly shows that you have said nothing negative about the key claims of the paper. Thus, the paper would be publishable in any journal by any standard of science or reason. Given this, it is very easy to understand your negative view about the paper: yours is a religious view not science or reason. You and your cohort of Darwin followers have nothing personal to gain and everything to lose if you promote the MGD hypothesis. When there is a conflict between truth and personal interest, personal interest takes priority. That is just human nature and I would not fault you for that. I may act similarly if I were you. I am promoting the MGD because there is no conflict between truth and personal interest in my case. Of course, I may lose my job and grants but that kind of sacrifice is nothing compared to the reward of immortality and intellectual satisfaction by associating one’s name with truth.
Religion is a story that is incoherent in logic and facts but is still believed by its followers. This sentence would remain true if one substitutes the word ‘religion’ with ‘Darwinism or the existing evolution theory’. After more than two years of trying to publish in journals controlled or peer reviewed by the followers of the Darwinian religion who worship a dice-tossing God, it just reaffirms the obvious truth that reason and religion are incompatible and antagonistic.
Therefore, the only realistic way of publishing the MGD is a book. If Darwin changed history by publishing a book, it may well take another book to reset history.