scinquisitor (scinquisitor) wrote,

Nature о мидихлорианах

Короткая заметка. Журнал Nature написал про нашу с коллегами статью про Мидихлорианы (опубликована в журнале Biology Direct). Очень неожиданно, но приятно:

Могут ли микробы вызывать пристрастие к религиозным ритуалам? Мидихлорианы: гипотеза биомемов
Сама статья:
Перевод на русский:

Для коллег со знанием английского языка мой технический комментарий к статье (не опубликован). Просто, чтоб был:

There are certain details I would like to emphasize on. Not as much about our article (it answers for itself) as in defense of the open peer-review system, which is related to the context in which our article is discussed.

1. Open peer-review in Biology Direct does allow the reviewers to reject a manuscript. As far as I understand the rules, even a single reviewer may apply a “Veto”. Our article was accepted only after we made substantial revisions.

2. It is a hypothesis that is published in a special section called "hypothesis", not along with other research articles. The standards of proof for hypothesis research articles are obviously different. "Novel data" is not encouraged when presenting hypothesis.

3. We wanted to publish in Biology Direct because It has a "hypothesis section" not because of it's peer-review system (although retrospectively I think that it's great that the reviews we received are available online).

4. The reviews are published along with our article and I encourage everyone to read these reviews in their full version, as they bring many ideas to the table. I especially enjoyed the title of the article that Prof. Graur cited and the context of the citation. I do not see how the reviews by Prof. Graur or Dr. Knight are negative. If two reviews are not negative, I fail to see any problem with the article being published under any peer-review processes. I also don't see how the open peer-review process could affect the oppinion of the reviewers.

5. We agree that it is quite possible that our hypothesis won’t pass rigorous testing and we write so in the article as to not mislead anyone with false hope. We still believe the hypothesis is worth considering.

6. I believe it is important to maintain a certain sense of humor when discussing an article with the word Midichlorians in the title.

7. Nature maintains its reputation as one of the best and most interesting research journals that I am certain we all love despite that (to my knowledge unlike in the case of Biology Direct) several articles that passed Natures anonymous peer-review contained methodological flaws and even data manipulation and were later retracted. In some cases errors were pointed out in the open comments on the journals online pages. Yet, I emphasize: Nature is still one of the best journals there is.

8. Highlighting our response to one of the reviewers: “We would also like to notice that our hypothesis isn’t inherently much more outrageous than published ideas that certain behavioral phenotypes including but not limited to cognition, mood, sleep, personality, eating behavior, and even a variety of neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as suicidal self-directed violence and suicide rates, can be affected by microbes. What makes our hypothesis perceived as more outrageous is that religion is indeed a taboo subject in human society”.

9. I am concerned however, if we have correctly used the term Midichlorians, in the sense envisioned by George Lucas - a discussion brought up by some serious Star Wars dedicated fans on one of the online forums. To those Star Wars fans who see our interpretation of Midichlorians as flawed I sincerely apologize.

10. I am grateful to Nature for covering this story and I would be happy to answer any questions related to our manuscript.

Alexander Panchin, PhD.
Tags: мидихлорианы, наука, религия

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