s Common Wisdom

The history of science is replete with successes achieved through repudiation of the common wisdom. In the following, I offer some unconventional and speculative challenges to how we think about some large problems in contemporary biology. Most are not new thoughts, but to my knowledge they have not been refuted. I know they are mostly wrong; but I am not sure all are. They will surely be addressed, and most solved, during the next century. If I could foretell exactly how, I would be wasting

Joshua Lederberg
Jul 10, 1988

The history of science is replete with successes achieved through repudiation of the common wisdom. In the following, I offer some unconventional and speculative challenges to how we think about some large problems in contemporary biology. Most are not new thoughts, but to my knowledge they have not been refuted. I know they are mostly wrong; but I am not sure all are. They will surely be addressed, and most solved, during the next century. If I could foretell exactly how, I would be wasting no time getting to work on them in the laboratory.

Eobiology. Conventional theory makes the origin of life a photochemical process of the early atmosphere of our own Earth. But the cosmic condensation necessarily involves preeminently light elements, including hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The aggregation of stars and planets is already exercise in organic chemistry. Many large molecules have now been observed in space....

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