Stuart Pivar

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Stuart Pivar (1930–) is an American chemist and art collector who has become well known for his unorthodox views about evolution.


Pivar has written that the body form of all organisms are encoded not in DNA but in the patterned structure of a primordial germ plasm the universal predecessor of the egg.[1] He published a book titled LifeCode: The Theory of Biological Self Organization in 2004.

Pivar believes evolution is driven by self-organizationWikipedia and rejects natural selection. He is an advocate of non-Darwinian evolution and discusses his theories in his book Origin of Form: Evolution by Self-Organization (2009). Pivar believes there is an archetype substance which is a self-organized pre-embryonic structure which shapes the form of all living organisms.

Pivar was also a close friend to Stephen Jay Gould but has made controversial statements that Gould himself was a critic of natural selection towards the end of his life.[2]


Pivar has a long history of attempting to sue people who disagree with him. He has been called an "eccentric" and a "loon" by his critics, who have also written that he embraces pseudoscience.[3][4] Evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci wrote that Pivar sent him abusive emails and is known for sending abusive emails to other scientists who disagree with him.[5] Pivar has also attempted to sue scientists who criticised his work in reviews of his book.[6]

On his blog "Pharyngula", developmental biologist PZ Myers reviewed Pivar's book Lifecode and described the book as pseudoscience and called Pivar a "classic crackpot".[7][8] In 2007 Pivar attempted to sue Seed Media, the host of ScienceBlogs; however, the case was withdrawn after ten days.[9]

In 2010 Pivar published a peer-reviewed paper titled Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton in the International Journal of Astrobiology. Paleontologist Mark McMenamin called the discovery "a seismic event in science" as the model of Pivar is based neither on a genetic code nor on natural selection and is a totally new idea in evolutionary biology.[10][11] Simon Mitton, a Cambridge scientist and IJA editor-in-chief, called it "a groundbreaking concept".[12] Other scientists have written however that Pivar's ideas in the paper are pseudoscience and they have criticised the journal for publishing it.[13]

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