Scientist retracts erroneous paper

When Homer Jacobson, who’s a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, discovered that creationists were citing his 1955 paper expressing doubts about the likelihood of lightning causing creation of amino acids for their anti-science purposes, he said, “Ouch.”

According to Cornelia Dean’s New York Times story, “’55 ‘Origin of Life’ Paper Is Retracted,” Professor Jacobson was concerned about his paper being used in attacks on science. When he reread it, he discovered errors that led him to take the unusual step of retracting it from the journal in which he had originally published it. The paper was entitled, “Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life” and it appeared in the American Scientist (the journal of Sigma Xi, a scientific honor society) in 1955.

Good go, professor. Thank you!

You can read Ms. Dean’s coverage here. The news blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education covered the story, as well; link to the blog entry at the Chronicle.

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Filed under Atheism, News, Science, Skepticism

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