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’55 ‘Origin of Life’ Paper Is Retracted (because it was cited by proponents of Intelligent Design)
NY Times ^ | October 25, 2007 | CORNELIA DEAN

Posted on 10/25/2007 6:44:46 PM PDT by neverdem

In January 1955, Homer Jacobson, a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, published a paper called “Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life” in American Scientist, the journal of Sigma Xi, the scientific honor society.

In it, Dr. Jacobson speculated on the chemical qualities of earth in Hadean time, billions of years ago when the planet was beginning to cool down to the point where, as Dr. Jacobson put it, “one could imagine a few hardy compounds could survive.”...

Nobody paid much attention to the paper at the time, he said in a telephone interview from his home in Tarrytown, N.Y. But today it is winning Dr. Jacobson acclaim that he does not want — from creationists who cite it as proof that life could not have emerged on earth without divine intervention.

So after 52 years, he has retracted it.

The retraction came about when, on a whim, Dr. Jacobson ran a search for his name on Google. At age 84 and after 20 years of retirement, “I wanted to see, what have I done in all these many years?” he said. “It was vanity. What can I tell you?”

He found many entries relating to his work on compounds called polymers; on information theory, a branch of mathematics involving statistics and probability; and other subjects. But others were for creationist sites that have taken up his 1955 paper as scientific support for their views.

Darwinismrefuted.com, for example, says Dr. Jacobson’s paper “undermines the scenario that life could have come about by accident.” Another creationist site, Evolution-facts.org, says his findings mean that “within a few minutes, all the various parts of the living organism had to make themselves out of sloshing water,” an impossible feat without a supernatural hand.

“Ouch,” Dr. Jacobson said. “It was hideous.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antiscience; belongsinreligion; creationism; darwin; evolution; faith; fearedtruth; intelligentdesign; naturalselection; origins; religion; science
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Librado Romero/The New York Times
Homer Jacobson, unhappy that creationists had cited his work.
1 posted on 10/25/2007 6:44:48 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I guess thats science right? I mean you don’t agree with what the data points to so you hide the data.


2 posted on 10/25/2007 6:47:45 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: neverdem
Homer Jacobson, unhappy that creationists had cited his work.

Imagine how God feels when scientists cite his work and don't even give Him credit!

3 posted on 10/25/2007 6:55:58 PM PDT by DaveyB (Ignorance is part of the human condition - atheism makes it permanent!)
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To: neverdem
Either you BELIEVE we came accidentaly/spontaneously from nothing, or we were created.

Either way, they are both beliefs! Beliefs require faith.

Evolutionism is a religion. You have to believe/have faith in an unproveable theory.

4 posted on 10/25/2007 6:58:52 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Hey Jessie, how much melanin do you have to have to form a socially acceptable lynch mob?)
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To: neverdem

Intelligent Design makes Chistians look stupid.


5 posted on 10/25/2007 7:02:25 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: driftdiver
I guess thats science right? I mean you don’t agree with what the data points to so you hide the data.

No, science corrects it's mistakes.

Dogma and belief can't do that.

6 posted on 10/25/2007 7:03:36 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: neverdem
I didn't have him, but he does look familiar. I was there at Brooklyn College a little over 20 years ago.

You wouldn't find too many conservatives there then (or now even).

7 posted on 10/25/2007 7:13:17 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you're feeling bad -- Bush's fault)
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To: Coyoteman

>>>I guess thats science right? I mean you don’t agree with
>>>what the data points to so you hide the data.

>>No, science corrects it’s mistakes.

>>Dogma and belief can’t do that.

This “scientist” never doubted the veracity of his paper since 1955, and because it’s cited as evidence FOR creationism, it’s retracted in the name of “science correcting it’s mistakes”

“Dogma” is the notion of us evolving from goo.
“Dogma” is the notion that a finite being (you) is 100% certain that God does not exist.
“Belief” is the proposition that complex organisms that make a F-22 Raptor look like Legos could have assembled from “primordial soup”

It takes more “belief” to be an atheist/evolutionist, frankly.


8 posted on 10/25/2007 7:14:44 PM PDT by ROTB (Front Runner=rich guy who doesn't hate evil and strives to offend no one, AND WILL SELL YOU OUT.)
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To: Coyoteman

>>>I guess thats science right? I mean you don’t agree with
>>>what the data points to so you hide the data.

>>No, science corrects it’s mistakes.

>>Dogma and belief can’t do that.

In the good old days, when scientists believed the bible, they used to *cure diseases*. Nowadays, they just help you live with it.


9 posted on 10/25/2007 7:15:41 PM PDT by ROTB (Front Runner=rich guy who doesn't hate evil and strives to offend no one, AND WILL SELL YOU OUT.)
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To: billorites
Intelligent Design makes Chistians look stupid.

What does retracting a paper because others quote it make a scientist look like?

10 posted on 10/25/2007 7:16:49 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Coyoteman

Exactly why evolution can’t be considered science. Evidence running counter to your dogma being pointed out? Why, just sweep it under the rug! “It never existed, you silly creationist wacko!”


11 posted on 10/25/2007 7:19:01 PM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (Now more popular than Congress!* *According to a new RasMESSen Poll.)
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To: Coyoteman

The better reason to retract a peer-reviewed, published paper would be that you found a flaw in your own argument, or some other defect in the paper (e.g. new evidence that contradicted old assumptions).

The worst reason to retract a peer-reviewed, published paper would be that you didn’t like the ideological implications that were inferred by honest work.


12 posted on 10/25/2007 7:20:08 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: jwalsh07
"What does retracting a paper because others quote it make a scientist look like?"

It makes him look foolish, in my opinion.

If he's bothered or dismayed by being quoted by the Intelligent Design crowd then better to just ignore them.

But instead, he lends them credibility by this lame gesture, 52 years later, that gets written up in the New York Times.

13 posted on 10/25/2007 7:25:38 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: Coyoteman

“No, science corrects it’s mistakes.”

So what was his mistake? That he published data that pointed to something he didn’t believe in?

“Dogma and belief can’t do that.”

Totally agree, this is a perfect example that dogma forces people to close their eyes to reality. So much so that they will retract data; not because its wrong but because it doesn’t support their belief.


14 posted on 10/25/2007 7:25:53 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: billorites

I have no arguments with your answer.


15 posted on 10/25/2007 7:27:11 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Coyoteman
No, science corrects it's mistakes. Dogma and belief can't do that.

When your belief structure in science is right or wrong based on what is built on it, it is dogma to remove it. The thesis should stand on its own feet, and not care what others build with it.

Modern science is dogma, science a hundred years ago was far more scientific. They built their findings into where they did not know. Now they build only where it fits what they "know". One cannot find new ground if one is only going to look where one knows.

But then, flat earthers have controlled science for a long time and called round earthers heritics. They still do. True scientists all know the earth is billions of years old, despite the evidence that debunks it. All those intelegent designers are just thinking out of the nice safe box and are heritics.

16 posted on 10/25/2007 7:28:17 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: editor-surveyor

You might be interested in this one.


17 posted on 10/25/2007 7:28:59 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Southack

“The worst reason to retract a peer-reviewed, published paper would be that you didn’t like the ideological implications that were inferred by honest work.”

I wonder if any science papers get yanked because some whacked-out skinhead web site uses them as proof of race supremacy?


18 posted on 10/25/2007 7:29:24 PM PDT by geopyg (Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: billorites

Only if you don’t understand it!


19 posted on 10/25/2007 7:32:04 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Coyoteman
No, science corrects it's mistakes.

Dogma and belief can't do that.

Ohhhhh. Hit a nerve with this one, to judge by the replies!

Creationists thought they had a magic bullet, but the author retracted his paper and they are left holding the bag!

What a joke! Now, creationists will have to abandon this paper and catch up with 50+ more years of research!

Oh, no! What'll we do now?

Research? But that's hard work! (Let's go the mall instead.)

20 posted on 10/25/2007 7:34:29 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: geopyg

The Bell Curve still stands published, so no.


21 posted on 10/25/2007 7:34:51 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Coyoteman

“Creationists thought they had a magic bullet, but the author retracted his paper and they are left holding the bag!”

Him retracting it doesn’t change anything and there is no bag. Only the one that the evo-religion people have over their heads.

Retracting a paper because its being used to support a belief the author doesn’t support is childish. It points to either his paper was wrong or his belief is wrong. Which one is it?

“Research? But that’s hard work! (Let’s go the mall instead.)”

Yeah its such hard work that it took him 50 plus years to realize what his paper really meant and the shock was too great.


22 posted on 10/25/2007 7:38:04 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver
Retracting a paper because its being used to support a belief the author doesn’t support is childish. It points to either his paper was wrong or his belief is wrong. Which one is it?

Belief is more suited to religion than science. Science works from facts and theories.

Or, as Heinlein wrote,

Belief gets in the way of learning.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973


23 posted on 10/25/2007 7:42:03 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

GOD created evolution,,then Man,,HE also created science,,wonder if HE could really do that..


24 posted on 10/25/2007 7:47:26 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: jwalsh07
What does retracting a paper because others quote it make a scientist look like?

it makes him look like a spineless, politically motivated coward.

Wonder if that's what he is.

25 posted on 10/25/2007 7:47:26 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: rawcatslyentist

“Either way, they are both beliefs! Beliefs require faith.”

Then there is evidence.
You don’t need evidence to hold a belief, but if you have evidence to back it up, you will be more likely to be right.

“Evolutionism is a religion. You have to believe/have faith in an unproveable theory.”

hmmm. Is evolution ‘falsifiable’? ie could it be proven wrong? If so, and if there is evidence taht


26 posted on 10/25/2007 7:47:27 PM PDT by WOSG (I just wish freepers would bash Democrats as much as they bash Republicans)
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To: the invisib1e hand

did I mention a fundamentalist, atheistic zealot?


27 posted on 10/25/2007 7:48:03 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: neverdem

And this bigoted clown wishes to be called a scientist?

He gets the evoluny of the month for October.


28 posted on 10/25/2007 7:48:09 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Nothing to argue with there either.


29 posted on 10/25/2007 7:48:59 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: silentreignofheroes
GOD created evolution,,then Man,,HE also created science,,wonder if HE could really do that..

How about you post on religion, I'll post on science?

30 posted on 10/25/2007 7:49:38 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: geopyg

“I wonder if any science papers get yanked because some whacked-out skinhead web site uses them as proof of race supremacy?”

The science on the racial differences wrt intelligence has already been pretty heavily self-censored.

Just look at what the “Bell Curve” book went through.

I guess the implication of that is a bit disturbing. If someone proved that life on earth was impossible to sponaneously emerge, would it be cast aside as unscientific? OTOH, if a paper cmae out that theorizes how it could emerge thusly, that would surely be a lauded scientific result. There is a bias even before any non-scientist gets involved.


31 posted on 10/25/2007 7:51:32 PM PDT by WOSG (I just wish freepers would bash Democrats as much as they bash Republicans)
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To: Coyoteman
Belief gets in the way of learning.

Did Newton's belief in the Lord and Alchemy get in the way of his learning?

Did Father Lemaitre's belief in the Lord get in the way of his learning?

I could go on but there's no pint. You and Heinlein are both demonstrably wrong.

32 posted on 10/25/2007 7:52:25 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: billorites
Intelligent Design makes Chistians look stupid.

LOL!

33 posted on 10/25/2007 7:54:39 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Coyoteman

It is science..Pure Theory,,you’re right,,don’t fret none.

Just my thought,nothing more.


34 posted on 10/25/2007 7:55:33 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: jwalsh07
I could go on but there's no pint.

Sorry to hear that. Hope things improve over there.

35 posted on 10/25/2007 7:55:37 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Southack

“The worst reason to retract a peer-reviewed, published paper would be that you didn’t like the ideological implications that were inferred by honest work.”

I agree.

If he has an issue with how he is being quoted and used, he could speak out on that and explain how his results are being improperly applied (if they are). But if his work is valid, it was silly of him to issue a retraction.


36 posted on 10/25/2007 7:56:11 PM PDT by WOSG (I just wish freepers would bash Democrats as much as they bash Republicans)
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To: billorites

Darwinism makes atheists look stupid.


37 posted on 10/25/2007 7:56:31 PM PDT by Tribune7 (Dems want to rob from the poor to give to the rich)
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To: Coyoteman

I am duly chastisted for my typo. Now would you like to address your stupid assertion?


38 posted on 10/25/2007 7:57:52 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Coyoteman; driftdiver
"Belief is more suited to religion than science. Science works from facts and theories."

That's the best explanation of why evolutionism and old earthism are not science that you have ever posted. Good boy, you're finally learning.

39 posted on 10/25/2007 7:57:54 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: silentreignofheroes
It is science..Pure Theory,,you’re right,,don’t fret none.

Sorry, no. Science is not pure theory. As Heinlein noted,

Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness.

A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts.

Expanded Universe: The New Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein, 1980, pp. 480-481


40 posted on 10/25/2007 7:58:37 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: jwalsh07

Another typo dum dum. Why give the typo police ammo?


41 posted on 10/25/2007 7:58:44 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: P-Marlowe
"Intelligent Design makes Chistians look stupid."

Ahem, what I meant was it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for me to crack wise without a typo. Biff 19:24.

42 posted on 10/25/2007 8:02:51 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: jwalsh07
Belief gets in the way of learning.

Did Newton's belief in the Lord and Alchemy get in the way of his learning?

Did Father Lemaitre's belief in the Lord get in the way of his learning?

I could go on but there's no pint. You and Heinlein are both demonstrably wrong.

When Newton and Lemaitre did science, using the scientific method, they achieved results that are still used today.

43 posted on 10/25/2007 8:03:09 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

I agree,,,Theory always changes,,

Take care cuz,,


44 posted on 10/25/2007 8:03:36 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: jwalsh07

papers can be withdrawn because ignorant boobs have misintrited it or applied it in an erroneous manner.


45 posted on 10/25/2007 8:05:04 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: silentreignofheroes
I agree,,,Theory always changes,,

Take care cuz,,

Theory changes to become more accurate over time.

That is a strength, not a weakness, in science.

46 posted on 10/25/2007 8:05:43 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: billorites
Ahem, what I meant was it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for me to crack wise without a typo. Biff 19:24.

Gotcha! Biff only has 17 Chapters.

47 posted on 10/25/2007 8:11:41 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: longtermmemmory
papers can be withdrawn because ignorant boobs have misintrited it or applied it in an erroneous manner.

Do you burn them?

48 posted on 10/25/2007 8:15:42 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: WOSG
>"Is evolution ‘falsifiable’? ie could it be proven wrong? If so

You believe what you want to believe

You see you don't have to live like a refugee.

IFs buts chickens and tuts.

Put up or ......... keep the faith.....

49 posted on 10/25/2007 8:15:53 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Hey Jessie, how much melanin do you have to have to form a socially acceptable lynch mob?)
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To: neverdem

LOL! The guy’s got plastic covering his fancy clocks, pics and furniture, to keep the bird shit off. I wonder if he wears boots in the house. LOL!


50 posted on 10/25/2007 8:15:56 PM PDT by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani, gun grabber)
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