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Scientist banned for doubting Darwin has presented challenge to our definition of life

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Further to “Mimivirus discoverer doubts Darwin, banned from publication in France,”here’s an article, also in Science (2 March 2012), by Catherine Mary, about the significance of his work,
“Didier Raoult Profile: Giant Viruses Revive Old Questions About Viral Origins”:

Where did viruses come from? And are they alive? University of Aix-Marseille microbiologist Didier Raoult’s 2004 discovery of Mimivirus—and several other giant viruses identified since then—has brought those questions, debated for a century, back to the scientific fore. The genetic makeup of Mimivirus, which includes many genes encoding the enzymes that repair DNA, correct errors occurring during its replication, produce mRNA transcripts from genes, and translate those mRNAs into proteins, has challenged the view that viruses are not alive.

Darwinism is not only an error, it is a costly error. We need these challenges, and we don’t need Darwinism.

7 Replies to “Scientist banned for doubting Darwin has presented challenge to our definition of life

  1. 1
    Collin says:

    So these Mimiviruses correct errors in their own DNA or the DNA of the organisms they inhabit? I thought that viruses did not have DNA, only RNA.

  2. 2
    CLAVDIVS says:

    When and why was Didier Raoult banned from publishing?

    He’s had plenty of articles published, including earlier and later than 2006, and in 2006.

    Cheers

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    And he was temporarily banned from publishing in a dozen leading microbiology journals in 2006.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....33.summary

    Though it doesn’t give the specific reason why he was temporarily banned,,,, the inference is that it has something to do with this sentence that immediately preceded that sentence:

    ‘Raoult last year published a popular science book that flat-out declares that Darwin’s theory of evolution is wrong.’

    Behind a paywall if you want the rest of the story!

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Daniel King says:

    I’ve read the article in Science Magazine. Raoult was temporarily banned from publishing in several journals in 20016 because of alleged misrepresentation of data in a paper he co-authored that was submitted to one of those journals.

    Raoult’s defense was that he should not have been punished for an error committed by another member of his team.

  6. 6
    Daniel King says:

    Sorry, the year was 2006, not 2016!

  7. 7
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Thanks for the info Daniel.

    That means, then, that the OP may be seen as doubly misleading:

    1. Raoult was not banned from publishing because he doubted Darwin, but for completely unrelated reasons.

    2. Raoult does not doubt modern evolutionary science derived from the original work of Darwin. In an article in The Lancet he stated:

    As for any biologist, most of my scientific work is based on the Darwinian theory of evolution. The Mendelian revolution, the discovery of the genetic code, the massive genomic sequencing have largely confirmed many aspects of the theory. The dramatic similarity between genomes of human beings and apes, predicted by the theory, is indeed very convincing evidence.

    On the other hand, science evolves and scientific theories have to change according to new observations and concepts. It would be unscientific to consider any single word of Darwin as definitively true and to study this like the Bible. By definition, if a theory is totally valid and uncontradicted after a long time, it is probably not a scientific theory. Many genomic data have not been predicted by Darwinian theory. The role of environment on the modulation of gene expression, the result of the conflict of genes inherited from mother and father in the phenotype of human beings, genome reduction associated with specialisation, and the selfish DNA theory promote the idea that species are finally bags of genes grouped for a moment, to be conveniently duplicated together. Other exceptions to Darwinian theory are genetic manipulation by human beings (directed versus natural evolution), and selection of genes rather than species (for antibiotic resistance, some genes allow a resistance jump from one species to another). Moreover, demonstration that Mendelian theory is incomplete (it excludes lateral gene-transfer) and that natural selection cannot explain all evolution (neutral evolution) makes this theory scientific as it continues to live and evolve. These exceptions to the general rule are showing that we are not speaking of a faith but of a scientific theory that will change to interpret new data.

    — Raoult, D., “Creationism — remember the principle of falsifiability” The Lancet, Volume 372, Issue 9656, pp. 2095-2096, 20 December 2008

    Cheers

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