from the press

From Scientific

Scientist to creationists: Don’t quote me

Former chemistry professor Homer Jacobson has requested that two passages be retracted from a 1955 paper he wrote on the origins of life after discovering that creationists were using them to support their arguments. The 84-year-old scientist told the New York Times that he made the discovery when, on a whim, he decided to Google himself and quotes from his paper popped up on creationist sites such as and To bolster their case, the sites zeroed in on his statements that amino acids couldn’t form spontaneously without energy—Jacobson says today that he failed to mention that energy sources most surely existed billions of years ago—and that life could arise only under very specific conditions, which he now calls “a dumb mistake.” His retraction request appears in the November / December issue of American Scientist, which published the original paper.

(NYTimes; American Scientist)


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