Sat, Jul 07, 2012 - Page 9 News List

Science needs to evolve past Darwin’s theory

By Didier Raoult

However, the current classification of the domains of life is based on the ribosome — the production apparatus of proteins — which does not exist in these viruses. Without ribosomes, traditionalists say, viruses cannot be considered biological entities comparable to other microbes. Yet that is pure dogma because these viruses are akin to the other microbes.

Darwin’s theory is further used to support the belief that ancient humans — Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, and Denisova — did not mix. Based on Darwin’s assumptions, most anthropologists claim that modern humans were simply descended from Cro-Magnons, who had exterminated their less-fit adversaries. Given this supposition, a single name (Homo sapiens) is used for both modern humans and the preferred ancestor, Cro-Magnon. However, we now know that modern humans are chimeras of these three ancient humans.

This understanding also refutes the legend of “Mitochondrial Eve,” the woman from whom all humans supposedly descend on their mother’s side. Research on the human leukocyte antigen genes, which are involved in the human immune response, shows that such a common ancestor could not have existed; this group of genes derives from those of all three known ancient humans.

Genetic research, in particular, must be free to find new models to explain and enhance twenty-first-century scientific discovery. Today, Darwin’s theory of evolution is more of a hindrance than a help, because it has become a quasi-theological creed that is preventing the benefits of improved research from being fully realized.

Didier Raoult is director of the Research Unit in Infectious and Tropical Emergent Diseases, collaborating with the National Center for the Scientific Research, Research for the Development Institute and the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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