Stephen Jay Gould and Samuel George Morton: A Personal Commentary



In The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould argued that the craniological research by 19th century anatomist Samuel George Morton was skewed by Morton’s unconscious racial bias. Gould identified errors in Morton’s work and claimed they all indicated racial bias. In 1986, I re-evaluated Morton’s research and re-measured a sample of skulls from Morton’s collection. I found no clear pattern of racial bias, a finding which was confirmed by Jason Lewis in 2011. Recently, some critics have proposed that Gould’s research was skewed by his unconscious ideological bias. I have found numerous previously unreported errors in the work of both Morton and Gould. These mistakes indicate poor scholarship, and not unconscious bias. In my opinion, the historic record does not support claims that Morton’s research was flawed by unconscious racial bias, nor that Gould’s work was flawed by unconscious ideological bias. It appears that, at most, both men suffered from common confirmation bias. Over the next few weeks, I will post a series of blogs that I hope will spur some discussion and comments. If you have any additional information about Gould, Morton, or the Morton skulls, let me know.


The role that racial bias plays in scientific research was a favorite topic of the late Harvard paleontologist and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). In his critically acclaimed best-selling 1981 book, The Mismeasure of Man, Gould claimed that Samuel George Morton (1799-1851), a famous 19th century Philadelphia anatomist,[i] was driven by his unconscious racist bias to skew the results of his research into how the size of skulls varied between human races.[ii] During the 1840s and 50s, Morton measured a collection of human skulls from throughout the world. Through this study, he concluded that white Europeans had skulls whose internal volume was larger than all other ethnic groups, while black Africans were the smallest.[iii] Gould refuted this conclusion, but did so using arguments that struck some as being unscientific or unfair “presentism” in which past historical figures are judged by current standards.[iv] Thus to some of Gould’s critics, The Mismeasure of Man was itself a prime example of unconscious bias, supposedly driven by Gould’s own left-wing ideology.[v] And so, the charges of racist bias and left-wing bias have flown back and forth.

In 2011, Rutgers University anthropologist Jason Lewis published a paper detailing errors in Gould’s evaluation of Morton research. Lewis also re-measured the Morton skulls and found Morton’s measuring technique was accurate. Lewis was subsequently charged with ulterior motives.[vi] An editorial in Nature magazine stated that, “Lewis and his colleagues have their own motivations” and “an interest in seeing the valuable but underestimated skull collection freed from the stain of bias.”[vii] Anthropologist Jonathan Marks labeled the paper as “paranoid positivist rhetoric mixed with slovenly-argued bombast” whose authors sought to inflate the value of their “exceedingly parochial work.”[viii] Back in 1986, I also re-measured the Morton skulls and came to a conclusion much like that of Lewis.[ix] However, charges of bias have never been directed at me, only charges of incompetence, as I will detail below. And so I hold a unique position in this debate. I am an amateur historian with negligible academic standing as either an anthropologist or a biologist. And yet I am also one of a very few people who has an in-depth familiarity with both Morton’s writings and the skulls themselves.

Gould’s most widely-read discussion of Morton was presented in his 1981 book, The Mismeasure of Man, and its expanded 1996 edition. Gould’s evaluation was based on a paper he published in Science in 1978 entitled “Morton’s Ranking of Races by Cranial Capacity: Unconscious Manipulation of Data May Be the Scientific Norm.”[x] In this paper, Gould proposed that Morton had initially subconsciously mis-measured the skulls in his collection so as to make it appear that the skulls of whites were larger than those of other races.[xi] Gould also repeated this version of Morton’s narrative at his popular classes, his public lectures, and in a edition of NOVA entitled Stephen Jay Gould: This View of Life.[xii] In time, Morton came to be viewed as the quintessential example of an unconsciously-biased scientist. Sometimes, he still is even by scholars familiar with the overwhelming evidence to the contrary as presented by Lewis.[xiii] Gould’s misrepresentation of Morton’s research was first noted by Harvard Medical School’s Bernard Davis in 1983, and yet neither his nor Lewis’s paper have made a broad impact on the scholarly community or society at large.[xiv] More discussion of this topic is therefore warranted.

By his own admission, Gould only spent “several weeks reanalyzing Morton’s data.”[xv] The implication is that he did the work quickly, and did not conduct an in-depth review of the historic record relating to Morton. Gould’s original 1978 paper only made reference to ten documents dating to the 19th century,[xvi] and at no point did Gould ever measure, or even view, the skulls in the Morton collection.[xvii] These skulls, in addition to being human remains, are also authentic and informative elements of the historic record, as significant as any of Morton’s books, letters, or data sets. And yet they were never examined as part of Gould’s research. Former student and friend of Gould, Donald Prothero discovered a similar instance where Gould rushed a paleontological paper without checking his sources, and as a result it included incorrect data. Prothero attributed this oversight to Gould’s extreme work load.[xviii] 

In 1986, I measured the internal volume of 200 skulls belonging to the Morton Collection of Human Crania housed at the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.[xix] At the time, I was a senior at Macalester College in Minnesota, researching my honors thesis.[xx] These skulls, and about 800 others, were originally collected between 1830 and 1852 by Morton.[xxi] I undertook this research to verify Gould’s assertion that Morton’s research was a “patchwork of assumption and finagling, controlled, probably unconsciously, by his conventional a priori ranking.”[xxii] All available evidence indicates that I was the only person in the 20th century to conduct direct research on the skulls relating to Morton’s evaluation of them.


I re-measured the Morton skulls in 1986 as part of my undergraduate thesis, which was limited in scope and conducted without the rigor of graduate research. Nonetheless, I determined that my measurements more or less matched Morton’s, and so I described his overall results to be “reasonably accurate.”[xxiii] In 2011, Lewis and his team (which included senior anthropology professors from Princeton, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania) concurred that, “The data on cranial capacity gathered by Morton are generally reliable.”[xxiv] In 2012, I entered my 1986 data into a modern computer spreadsheet, and through that double check found eight errors in which I simply did a bad job of measuring the skulls. Lewis also found flaws in my 1988 paper (published two years after my initial research) the most blatant of which were seven errors in one table.[xxv] These seven errors did not exist in Table 3 of my 1986 thesis. It is now clear to me that when I reformatted the table for publication in 1988, I flipped some of the numbers.[xxvi] I am dyslexic enough that I cannot tell time on a circular clock, and so am prone to mistakes of this kind. Nonetheless, my admittedly amateur investigation – Lewis characterized my 1988 paper as “uninformative”[xxvii] – was still thorough enough to confirm that although Morton was a racist, he correctly measured the skulls in his collection. It is indeed possible to be a racist and correctly measure a skull.

In recent years, the nature and level of Morton’s racism has been discussed in a way that has led to some confusion. In 1986, I assumed Morton was a racist, largely following the evidence presented by William Stanton in his book The Leopard’s Spots, and the overall disparaging comments Morton made about a wide variety of ethnic groups.[xxviii] Gould’s 1978 paper also drew heavily on Stanton’s book.[xxix] In 2010, Rutgers University historian Ann Fabian also portrayed Morton as a racist who believed that “superior races had bigger skulls.” [xxx] Her overall evaluation of Morton was criticized by David DeGusta, although he agreed that Morton was indeed a racist. In response to her claim that “Morton and his colleagues… wanted Caucasian heads like theirs to be the largest,” DeGusta noted that Morton, who disparaged the Irish, was the son of a man who was born in Ireland. Thus DeGusta concluded that Morton “did not hesitate to denigrate his own kind.”[xxxi]  However, Morton came from an ethnically English family who colonized Ireland during the reign of William of Orange.[xxxii] A letter sent to Morton in 1823 from a family friend or relative of Morton’s father refers to Ireland as to “our little barbarous island,” whose “islanders are going on just as usual,” by committing robberies and burning houses.[xxxiii] In 1839, Morton proposed that the English, Welsh, and Scots had Germanic “Jutland” origins, but the Celtic Irish did not. He added that that “the most unsophisticated Celts are those of southwest Ireland, whose wild look and manner, mud cabins, and funeral howlings recall the memory of a barbarous age.”[xxxiv] Clonmel, Ireland, where Morton lived during breaks from his four years at the University of Edinburgh, is in southwest Ireland.[xxxv]

The confusion over Morton’s assumed Irish heritage, and the fact that he did not make the sort of bold, outlandish racists statements like others of his era did, can make it appear that Morton was not a racist. However, when looking at his life as a whole, I have to conclude that Morton was a racist, or at least more racist than not, since racism is often a matter of degrees. Morton was a colleague with the unabashedly racist Dr. Josiah Nott, who gave lectures about the inequality of races he called “niggerology.”[xxxvi] When Nott published a book suggesting that Negroes were a separate species, it was Morton who proactively initiated their long friendship by sending Nott a letter of praise.[xxxvii] All this evidence indicates that Morton was a racist, with both anti-Irish and anti-African views, as was common in his time. He was not a loud obnoxious racist, but rather a quiet one, which was consistent with his nature.

Although my 1988 paper was published in Current Anthropology, it went largely unnoticed. Columbia University science historian Philip Kitcher addressed it only in passing, saying (with his italics):

Gould’s interpretation of Samuel George Morton’s cranial data have been questioned by John S. Michael, who, as an undergraduate student at Macalester College, re-measured the skulls as part of an honors project (Michael, 1988). It is not entirely evident that one should prefer the measurements of an undergraduate to those of a professional paleontologist whose own specialist work included some very meticulous measurements of fossil snails.[xxxviii]

Clearly, Kitcher assumed Gould had measured the skulls, as did historian Bruce Dain who wrote that Gould, “repeated Morton’s experiments on skulls from Morton’s extant collection and found that the “black” skulls were not smaller than the “white” ones.”[xxxix] Prothero wrote that that Gould “did not do most of the actual measurements in “The Mismeasure of Man.””[xl] In fact, Gould did no measurements at all, nor were any done by anyone as part of his research. In 2003, Gould gave an interview about Morton in which he said, “it’s not that easy to measure the volume of a skull,” which indicates Gould unfamiliarity with what is a very simple process.[xli]

My initial involvement with the skulls did not last long. Instead of getting a master’s degree, I became an environmental land planner. As a result, I rarely discussed my paper. My original notes sat in a filing cabinet for 26 years. As far as I knew, my research had been completely forgotten. But unbeknownst to me, it was discussed in at least 16 publications, such as Race and Human Evolution by University of Michigan anthropologists Milford Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari.[xlii] Berkeley anthropologist C. Loren Brace praised my work in Race is a Four Letter Word, and it was mentioned in a footnote within the highly controversial The Bell Curve.[xliii]

Because my findings refuted the writings of Gould, a left-leaning anti-racist Jew, I was celebrated in hate-filled white supremacist web pages, such as and My work was grossly misquoted in a series of papers by J. Philippe Rushton, a proponent of eugenics from University of Western Ontario.[xliv] In 2002, he served as the president of the Pioneer Fund, which the Southern Law Poverty Center designated as a “White Nationalist” group because it continues to fund the study of “breeding superior human beings that was discredited by various Nazi atrocities.”[xlv] I have written this paper in part to document my strong displeasure that my work was used to promote eugenics or racist ideology, which I in no way support.

My quarter-century absence from the world of Morton and Gould came to an end in June of 2011 when I read an article in the New York Times entitled, “Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim.”[xlvi] It described how six anthropologists, led by Jason Lewis, now with Rutgers University, had re-measured a sample of the Morton collection. They found that their measurements were reasonably close to Morton’s.[xlvii] Although Lewis correctly faulted errors in my 1988 paper, his conclusion was essentially the same as mine, which I had also expressed  two years before in my 1986 undergraduate thesis. According to the article in the Times, Kitcher even declared that I had been “vindicated.” 

Within a few weeks, web blogs and magazines like Nature and Discover began suggesting that it was Gould whose research was skewed by his well-known liberal bias.[xlviii] Gould had long been an outspoken advocate for racial equality and social justice. In The Mismeasure of Man, he consciously set out to “debunk” the errors of legendary scientists whose research he viewed as being skewed by their racist preconceptions.[xlix] Throughout his career, Gould’s critics had accused him of infusing his scientific writings with exaggerations and leftist ideology. But after the Lewis study came out in 2011, they began charging him with a more extreme form of bias that verged on outright fraud.[l] However, no one has yet gone on the record with details of Gould’s questionable actions. For the sake of transparency I will note that I have been told about a number of Gould’s questionable actions by his contemporaries, but only off the record. I suggest it might help with the resolution of the Morton-Gould affair if more members of the academic community would be willing to share such information.

A few months after Lewis’s paper was published, I met with Janet Monge of the University of Pennsylvania, the long-time curator of the Morton collection, who was a co-author of Lewis’ paper. She had supervised my research back in 1986, but we had not been in contact since then. For ten years, she and Lewis had tried to locate a copy of my measurements of the skulls, but I had the only copy. In 2011, I gave a copy to them. I also began reading through my photocopies of Morton’s original publications, as well as on-line publications written by Gould, Morton, and other antiquated racial theorists. Within a year, I had found flaws in Morton’s works that no one had documented before. I also found flaws in my own paper, including the measurements that I had simply botched.[li] And then I started finding a significant number of errors in Gould’s publications, some of which I will report below.

[i] Morton held leadership positions at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia from 1827 to 1852 and was its president during the last three years of his life, as noted in L. Rizzo and E. Rosenzweig, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia President’s Office and Administration Records, 1874-2003 ANSP.2010.051 (Philadelphia: September 20, 2010), p. 12, and Samuel Morton, A Memoir of William Maclure, Esq., Late President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, (Philadelphia, T.K. and P G. Collins, 1841), p. i.

[ii] Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1981) and Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man: The Definitive Refutation of the Argument of the Bell Curve, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1996) whose cover notes that it won the1981 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1983 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association.

[iii] In this set of blogs, I will use both modern and outdated historical terms to describe human variation and ethnic groups.

[iv] Jane Buikstra, Introduction to the 2009 Reprint Edition of Crania Americana, (Davenport IA: Gustav’s Library, 2009), pp. xxix, and Della Cook, “The Old Physical Anthropology and the New World” in J. Buikstra and L. Beck, eds., Bioarcheology: The Contextual Analysis of Human Remains, (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006), 40.

[v] Steve Blinkhorn, “What Skullduggery?” Nature, 1982, 926: 506; Bernard Davis, “Neo-Lysenkoism, IQ, and the Press,” National Affairs, 1983, 73: 56; and C. Loring Brace, “Race” is a Four Letter Word: The Genesis of the Concept, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 89. A thorough review of Gould critics is noted in Michael Shermer, This view of science,” Social Studies of Science 32:4 (2002), p. 491. A comprehensive appreciation of Gould that also mentions his critic’s views can be found in Warren Allmon, “The Structure of Gould,” in Stephen J. Gould: Reflections on his View on Life, Allmon, Kelly, and Ross, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 3-68. Criticisms of Gould’s evolutionary theories are in Adam Wilkins, “Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002): A Critical Appreciation,” BioEssays, and  David P. Barash, “Grappling with the ghost of Gould: A review of The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould,” in Human Nature Review, (July 9, 2002),

[vi] Jason Lewis, David DeGusta, Mark Meyer, Janet Monge, Alan Mann, and Ralph Halloway. “The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias,” PLoS Biol. 9(6), 2011.

[vii] Editorial, “Mismeasure for Mismeasure,” Nature, 474 (June 23): 419.

[viii] Jonathan Marks Web blog, “Plotz biology” Anthropomics: A blog about evolution, anthropology, and science, inspired by the three Georges: Gaylord Simpson, Carlin, and S. Kaufman, (June 17, 2011)., accessed 2013.

[ix] John S. Michael, “A New Look at Morton’s Craniological Research,” Current Anthropology, 1988, 29 (2): 350.

[x] Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (1981), p. 56.

[xi] Stephen Jay Gould, “Morton’s Ranking of Races by Cranial Capacity: Unconscious Manipulation of Data May Be a Scientific Norm,” Science, 1981, 200 (4341): 503-509.

[xii], (accessed 2012)

[xiii] Michael Yudell, “A short history of the race concept,” S. Krimsky and K. Sloan eds., Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture, (New York: Columba University Press), p. 17

[xiv] Bernard Davis, “Neo-lysenkoism, IQ, and the Press,” pp. 41-59

[xv] Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, (1996), p.86.

[xvi] Gould, “Morton’s Ranking of Races,” p. 509.

[xvii] Stephen Jay Gould, Letter to John S. Michael, Cambridge, MA, October 12, 1988, and Janet Monge, personal communication, 2013. Monge is the curator of the Morton Collection of Human Crania, who informed me that Gould never visited the skeletal collections at the Penn Museum where they have been stored since the early 1960s. Prior to that, they were stored at the Academy of Natural Sciences, which has no record of Gould viewing the skulls. Also Lewis (2011) wrote, “Gould did not measure nor personally examine the skulls in the Morton Collection—his argument was based on analyzing Morton’s measurements.”

[xviii] Donald Prothero, “Happy Birthday Stephen Jay Gould,” Skeptikblog, September 21, 2011., accessed 2012.

[xix] John S. Michael, “A New Look at Morton’s Craniological Research.” I measured 201 skulls, but the data for one are now lost. I suspect a sheet of my original notes slipped out during the ensuing 26 years.

[xx] John S. Michael, An Analysis of Samuel G. Morton’s Catalogue of the Skulls of Man and the Inferior Animals, Third ed., Based on a Re-measurement of a Random Sample of the Morton Collection of Human Crania, Unpublished Honors Thesis for the Department of Geology, Macalester College, May 1, 1986.

[xxi] Samuel G. Morton, Catalog of Skulls of Man and the Inferior Animals, (Philadelphia: Merrihew and Thompson, 1849), p. iii.

[xxii] Gould, “Morton’s Ranking of Races,” 504.

[xxiii] Michael, “A New Look at Morton’s Craniological Research,” 354.

[xxiv] Lewis, et al. “The Mismeasure of Science.”

[xxv] David DeGusta and Jason Lewis, “An Evaluation of Michael’s Analysis of Morton and Gould,” (Unpublished Paper, Undated circa 2011), pp. 1-2. I also made two additional errors on Table 4 of my 1988 paper which DeGusta and Lewis missed. The “Mexican Recalculation Sample” size is listed as 27 when it should be 26, and the “Mexican Recalculation Sample” mean should be 83.

[xxvi] The correct values are on page 16 of Michael, An Analysis of Samuel G. Morton’s Catalogue. In 1986, my research was documented in a 62 page undergraduate thesis. I then edited it down into a six page paper that was not reviewed by my thesis advisor, and so the errors in the1988 Current Anthropology paper are mine alone.

[xxvii] Lewis, et al. “The Mismeasure of Science.”

[xxviii] William Stanton, The Leopard’s Spots: Scientific Attitudes toward Race in America, 1815-1859, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 24-89.

[xxix] Gould, “Morton’s Ranking of Races,” pp. 503-509. Also, Gould’s dedication in The Mismeasure of Man (1981) which reads, “To the memory of Grammy and Papa Joe, who came, struggled, and prospered, Mr. Goddard notwithstanding,” appears to be a variation on the heading for the final chapter of The Leopard’s Spots which reads, “Notwithstanding Mrs. Grundy,” p. 192.

[xxx] Ann Fabian, The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2010), p. 16.

[xxxi] David DeGusta, “An Evaluation of Fabian’s characterization of Morton in the Skull Collectors,”, (Undated, circa 2010), p. 3.

[xxxii] John Jordan, Colonial Families of Philadelphia, Vol. 2, (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911), pp. 1715-1717.

[xxxiii] G. Fitzgerald, Letter to Samuel George Morton, Clonmel, Ireland, April 13, 1823. At the time of this letter Morton was a 24-year old medical student at Edinburgh University, who during his four years of education there lived with his uncle James Morton, a successful merchant from Clonmel. The letter begins with “My Dear Sam,” suggesting a close relationship.

[xxxiv] Samuel G. Morton, Crania Americana: or a Comparative View of the Skulls of the Various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America, (Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1839), p. 16.

[xxxv] Brace, “Race” is a Four Letter Word,” pp. 88-89.

[xxxvi] Stanton, The Leopard’s Spots, p. 118.

[xxxvii] Reginald Horsman, Josiah Nott of Mobile: Southern Physician and Racial Theorist, (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press,1987), p. 94.

[xxxviii] Phillip Kitcher, “Evolutionary Theory and the Social Uses of Biology. Biology and Philosophy, 2004, 19: 13-14.

[xxxix] Bruce Dain, A Hideous Monster of the Mind: American Race Theory in the Early Republic, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 217.

[xl] Prothero, “Happy Birthday Stephen Jay Gould,” Skeptikblog.

[xli] Quoted in Bakcground Readings, “Interview with Stephen Jay Gould,” edited transcript posted at Race the Power of an Illusion, PBS,, accessed 2013.

[xlii]These include: Conrad Quintyn, The Existence or Non-existence of Race?(Youngstown, NY: Teneo Press, 2010), M. Little and K. Kennedy, eds., Histories of American Physical Anthropology in the Twentieth Century, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010) and Michael Banton, Racial Theories, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

[xliii] Brace, “Race” is a Four Letter Word, pp. 88-89, and R. Herrnstein and C. Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. (New York: The Free Press, 1994), p. 772. I disagree with the conclusions of the Bell Curve. I also question the validity of its sources, most notably the research papers of Philippe Rushton, which are cited 11 times in its index. On page 564 of the Bell Curve, Rushton is called “a serious scholar who has assembled serious data.”

[xliv] Rushton, Philippe, “Race, Brain Size and Intelligence: A Rejoinder to Cain and Vanderwolf,” Personality and Individual Differences, 1990, 11: 785-794; Philippe Rushton, “Mongoloid-Caucasoid Differences in Brain Sizes from Military Samples,” Intelligence, 1991, 15 (3): 351-359; Philippe Rushton, “Brain Size and Cognitive Ability: Correlations with Age, Sex, Social Class, and Race,” Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 1996, 3 (1): 21-36.

[xlv] Brace, “Race” is a Four Letter Word, p. 263, and

[xlvi] Nicholas Wade, “Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim,” New York Times, 2001, (June 13): D4.

[xlvii] Lewis et al., “The Mismeasure of Science”

[xlviii] Editorial, “Mismeasure for Mismeasure,” Nature and William Saletan, “#59: The Mismeasure of Stephen Jay Gould: Looking Deeper into Stephen Jay Gould’s Claims has Revealed He was Guilty of the Same Sins He Decried in Others,” Discover Magazine, 2012 (January 3). For a summary of blog responses see “Coverage of the Morton-Gould Controversy,” Until Darwin,

[xlix] Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (1996), p. 352.

[l] Columbia University anthropologist Ralph Holloway described Gould as a “charlatan,” as quoted in Wade, “Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim,” p. D4.

[li] The remaining 187 cranial capacity measurements I made in 1986 were reasonably consistent with those of Lewis, whose raw data I have acquired and compared to mine. In response to the concerns about my paper noted by DeGusta and Lewis in “An Evaluation of Michael’s Analysis of Morton and Gould,” I found their critique to be valid on most, but not all points. I maintain that the stated scope of my paper was very limited and so I never intended to address a number the issues that they regarded as gaps in my research. They also interpreted the historic record pertaining to Morton’s research in a way that I do not, and they regarded my interpretation to be a shortcoming in my work. I would argue that our differing opinions are equally valid. In summary, I would not characterize my paper as “uninformative” as they did, but rather “less informative than would be ideal.”