The NCSE has posted a rant against The Privileged Planet by William H Jefferys from University of Texas at Austin. Fortunately, I don’t have to waste time responding to this anti-intellectual diatribe because physicist David Heddle has already responded with a detailed rebuttal, noting that of all The Privileged Planet reviews out there’s he’s never seen “one as comprehensively bad and unthinking as William H Jefferys’s.”
If you’re wondering who is Heddle to be trash talking a “scientist” from a state University, well first he has his very own Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. And hey, he has actually put it to work conducting postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And, oh yeah, he was an Associate Professor of Physics at Christopher Newport University, an Adjunct Professor at Daniel Webster College, and a staff member at The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia. So, he’s one of those “ID scientists” who isn’t really supposed to exist.
(If that isn’t good enough for you, his website notes that he owns a labrador retriever. Enough said.)
Heddle tears Jefferys’ “arguments” limb from limb, and even seems to enjoy having to have read this drivel. In the end Heddle concludes:
“Jefferys presents no actual arguments against the hypothesis presented in The Privileged Planet. In particular, Gonzalez and Richards present ways to falsify their theory, viz.
— To find a distant environment that was hostile to life and yet a better place than earth for making scientific observations.
–Find complex life where they claim you won’t find it—say on a gas giant, or near a x-ray emitting star in the galactic center, or on a planet without a dark night, etc.
–Find complex life on a planet that does not have a large moon (that produces good solar eclipses.)
–Find non-Carbon based life
Jefferys should address these points and make evolution’s or cosmology’s prediction for each of them.”