Re: Life in the Lab -- Fox and the Nobel Prize
Sat, 8 May 1999 02:27:24 EDT

In a message dated 5/7/99 8:14:46 AM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

> Thanks, Kevin, but what I wanted was articles claiming the proteinoid
> microspheres were alive. Non of the cited references make such a claim.

More games. Art, you said that for a scientific claim to be valid, it had to
be "published in Nature and Science and in the top peer-reviewed journals in
the country, and only after the experiments had successfully been repeated by
others." I then pointed out that Fox had been published in _Science_ and
_Nature_ as well as other top peer-reviewed journals, and that his work had
been replicated by others. Your only response was "References, Please."
Obviously, you wanted me to provide references that showed that Fox had been
published in _Science_, _Nature_ and other top peer-reviewed journals, plus
references showing who has replicated his results, since you made no
qualifying statements and you made your request directly after my claim. So
I gave the _Science_ and _Nature_ references I knew of, then provided a list
of other journals he had published in, plus a list of scientists who had
reproduced his results. From that you could then find your own references.

Obviously you did not expect me to comply, because now you are back-peddling
and trying to to claim that what you really wanted were articles that claimed
that protocells were alive. It's in fact obvious that you wanted something
else, but let's say you are right and that I misunderstood you. I have
already given you such a reference: it is Fox's symposium posted at that
website, and from which I posted a text version several days ago. In my
upcoming essay I will provide references that formed the experimental basis
for Fox's claim, but in fact you have ignored that symposium as if it didn't
even exist. Why? Is it because you cannot dispute Fox's evidence, so you
would rather pretend it doesn't exist? Are you afraid that if you read it
you may just be convinced that Fox is right? Are you afraid that if you
discuss it you may encourage others to read it and thus discover just how
wrong you are about all this? You have in fact ignored me everytime I have
provided references, even when you demanded them as you did now. Will you do
the same when I post my essay? It seems somewhat hypocritical of you to
demand references, then refuse to respond to them by ignoring them.

If, on the other hand, you wish to read the symposium, then explain how Fox
is mistaken, I would be happy to discuss it with you.

Kevin L. O'Brien