Ashes winning fast bowler Harmison, currently out of the England side after being dropped following the first Test in New Zealand earlier this year, was one of several seasoned bowlers overlooked when Ryan Sidebottom became doubtful with a back strain.
Instead the selectors opted to hand a debut to Australia-raised but Grimsby-born Pattinson, 29, a Nottinghamshire colleague of left-arm seamer Sidebottom, who only began his Trent Bridge career at the start of the season.
Harmison's fellow 2005 Ashes-winning quicks Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones also had reason to feel hard done by as did longstanding reserve Chris Tremlett not to mention a crop of promising pace bowlers.
"The amount of money the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) have pushed into young bowlers, taking them to Chennai and the Academy - are we saying the young bowlers aren't good enough?," Harmison told Sky Sports.
"I haven't seen him (Pattinson) bowl - I was asleep when we played them. But good luck to him, he has taken his chance. If he deserves it I'm not sure, but good luck to him."
Pattinson was plucked from obscurity having only played 11 first-class matches in his career and taken 29 wickets in six matches for Nottinghamshire this season.
He did however go some way to answering his critics by taking the only wicket to fall, before bad light and rain stopped play, on the second day at Headingley on Saturday.
Harmison's Durham team-mate Paul Collingwood was dropped from the England side at Yorkshire's headquarters after a run of low scores but Harmison was confident the all-rounder would not be in the Test match wilderness for long.
"The best thing for 'Colly' now is to come down here and score some runs, that's the best way to answer somebody.
"If he scores some runs he is back in the spotlight and the next man back in if the batters are struggling for form."