Happy Paul Nelson Day!


Today we celebrate Paul Nelson Day in honor of the six year anniversary of his theory of “ontogenetic depth“. Methods of celebration vary – PZ has in the past suggested that we should make it a point to ask people “How do you know that?” today, and the ones who actually can explain themselves competently will be complimented by being told that they’re no Paul Nelson. I have suggested that you can invent a new concept (such as “ontogenetic depth”) and promise to explain it later.

Well it appears that Paul is finally going to spill the beans. Yesterday he posted this on the DI’s Evolution News & Views whineatorium. Maybe a follow-up will appear today. Who knows? Six years on and Paul hasn’t seen fit to have his earth-shaking idea published. And that should tell you something about the intellectual viability of ID.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a happy Paul Nelson Day!

Update (4/10): On April 6th we got a promise. On the 7th we got a “prequel” in which Nelson admitted that the initial concept was dead in the water and promised to tell us what PZ got right or wrong. And since … nothing. Advice to Paul: just tell us what the damned concept of “ontogenetic depth” involves and quit prevaricating. It’s beginning to look like an earlier incarnation.

Update (4/30): Still nothing.


11 thoughts on “Happy Paul Nelson Day!

  1. I’m going to celebrate Paul Nelson Day by taking my wife out to dinner.


  2. I propose that ontogenetic depth can be accurately measured via a proxy method I term “alcohological depth”, which is defined as the number of beer I have to consume before “ontogenetic depth” sounds like a good idea that makes a lot of sense.

    I’ll get back to you tomorrow …

  3. About a week ago, Larry Moran had a post entitled “Paul Nelson is Confused” in which Larry called Paul a YEC who believes the earth is <10,000 years old. The subsequent exchange with Paul in the comments is not to be missed and we still don't know how old he thinks the earth actually is.

  4. @ Michael Fugate

    2 years ago Nelson was on the Panda’s Thumb and someone suggested that he might be an Omphalos creationist (taking his alternate natural history on faith, and aware that the evidence would not support it) as opposed to a “true” YEC. So I asked Nelson for a simple yes or no. He took the time to reply to other comments posted after mine, but “missed” mine.

    But don’t let that discourage anyone from asking. Or to ask why he hasn’t challenged Michael Behe on common descent.

  5. Only an average ontogenetic depth can be obtained as one individual varies one from another, and species one from another.

  6. Paul should focus on Ontogenetic Density, instead, because Paul is out of his depth but is certainly dense.

    You’d think that in six years Paul could have spun a nice fictional story like Davison did with “Proscribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Mike Gene with the “matrix” and “frontloading,” Uncle Walt and the “hydrospheres,” Jonny Wells and the “tiny turbines,” or Meyer finds a “signature, or Behe hears a “Vpu.”


    Come on, Paul, at least provide us with some entertainment!

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