Epistemological rupture? Release about paper claiming to explain origin of life disappears
Yesterday on Twitter, Sarah Kavassalis pointed me in the direction of a paper that seemed to befuddle her. Published last month in the journal Life by Case Western’s Erik D. Andrulis, “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life” purports to solve “the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe.”
The paper is 105 pages, which includes a whopping 800 references. It depends heavily on the gyre:
In the theory proposed herein, I use the heterodox yet simple gyre—a spiral, vortex, whorl, or similar circular pattern—as a core model for understanding life. Because many elements of the gyre model (gyromodel) are alien, I introduce neologisms and important terms in bold italics to identify them; a theoretical lexicon is presented in Table 1. The central idea of this theory is that all physical reality, stretching from the so-called inanimate into the animate realm and from micro- to meso- to macrocosmic scales, can be interpreted and modeled as manifestations of a single geometric entity, the gyre.
…this catholic theory provides an innovative and elegant solution to the origin, evolution, and nature of life in the cosmos. I humbly proffer my theory as a viable system for knowing life.
Our humble author also includes paragraphs like this, which led some on Twitter to wonder if the paper was for real:
The philosopher Bachelard claimed that scientific history is replete with unconsciously constructed or immanent “epistemological obstacles,” that are eventually broken through and shed during “epistemological rupture .” I conclude that my theoretical work elicits a Bachelardian rupture of intradisciplinary noöspheres and interdisciplinary boundaries. Kuhn proposed a related concept of “paradigm shift” to explain the process surrounding worldview conversion during a scientific revolution . Whether the advent of this theory elicits a Kuhnian gestalt switch is debatable, though such an iconoclastic event has been foretold [798-800].
Case Western put out a press release about the study yesterday, but the one on their site was either taken down or suffered a technical problem sometime today. I’ve asked the press office, and Andrulis, what happened to it, and will update with anything I learn.