Philip Skell is a retired chemist who seems to think he has something interesting to say about evolution (see here for mentions of him over at the Panda’s Thumb). He flaunts his membership of the National Academy of Sciences – as does the Discovery Institute – as if it gives him special privilege to comment authoritatively on evolution. As I noted back in 2006:
Skell does not speak for the NAS and his admission as a member of same was because of his chemical work, not because of his insight into evolution. As a scientist, his views are a little more relevent than those of Kurt Vonnegut and Orson Scott Card … but only just.
Skell recently emailed me with a reprint of a book review he published in Politics and the Life Sciences asking me for commentary. The piece was a shrill screed masquerading as a review of the NAS’s Science, Evolution. And Creationism, itself a statement against the kind of anti-evolutionism that Skell espouses. In the “review,” Skell repeated a claim that he has been making for years now; that evolution is of no practical use and of no use to experimental biology (he has repeated this claim over at Forbes Magazine ). As I had encountered Skell’s generic brand of anti-evolutionism before, I ignored the email but now see that Jeff Shallit similarly received a copy. You can read about Shallit’s encounter here.