Science advances: whose funeral are you waiting for?

January 24, 2014 | James Kohl

WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?

Excerpt: Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas. Few truly new ideas are developed without abandoning old ones first. As theoretical physicist Max Planck (1858-1947) noted, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” In other words, science advances by a series of funerals. Why wait that long?

Ideas change, and the times we live in change. Perhaps the biggest change today is the rate of change. What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?

My comment: “In 1927, J.B.S. Haldane reasoned that the probability of fixation of new beneficial alleles is twice their fitness effect. This result, later generalized by M. Kimura, has since become the cornerstone of modern population genetics. There is no experimental test of Haldane’s insight…” The model organism, C. elegans was used to show that Haldane’s reasoning was faulty. No experimental test ever suggested that beneficial alleles are fixed in the DNA of any organized genome of any species. That means that Haldane had a wrong unscientific idea that should never have been accepted and should have long-since been retired.

In nematodes, ecological variation and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction contribute to species differences in morphology and behavior via  cysteine-to-alanine substitutions and the rewiring of their primitive nervous systems (Bumbarger et al., 2013Wilson et al., 2011).

Whose funeral are you waiting for? Why not simply accept the established scientific fact that mutation-initiated natural selection is an unscientific idea?

Comments

comments

James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones.