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Is Carl Woese losing a Kingdom?

Dr. David Faguy dfaguy at mail.arc.nasa.gov
Mon Sep 23 13:06:31 EST 1996


jos van den broek wrote:
> 
> The complete genome of Methanococcus jannaschii reported in Science of 23 August
> is another great achievement of Craig Venter c.s. According to Carl Woese it
> gives an extra proof of the fact that Archaea are closer related to Eukaryotes
> than to Bacteria. But not according to e.g. Margulis and Gupta, who now even
> stronger believe that Eukaryotes originated by a merger of archaebacteria and
> eubacteria. To my humble opinion they are right and Woese - although he's a
> great scientist - is wrong, and about to lose a paradigm... and a Kingdom. Who
> is interested in a non-published article I wrote on this subject? Where can I
> get it published? Please e-mail me (at my home address), and send your comment!
> 
> Jos van den Broek
> josbroek at euronet.nl
<sig. etc. deleted>

   Even if eukaryotes originated by a 'merger' of archaea and bacteria, that doesn't
invalidate the distinctness of the archaea.  Regardless of one's
opinion on whether the archaea are more closely related to eukaryotes or to bacteria
they (archaea) are still very different from either.
I don't know why there is so much animosity to the archaea hypothesis. It seems to me
to be  out of proportion to the data available. The archaea idea doesn't explain all
the data but it is the hypothesis most consistent with the available data. 
	  My problem with Margulis (also a great scientist) is that she appears to change her 
interpretation of new data to fit her therories rather than changing her theories
to fit the data.  For example compare the hypothesis of endosymbiotic origin of eukarotic
flagella (undulipodia) - it has essentially remained the same from 1970 (Origin of
Eukarotic Cells, L. Margulis. Yale Univ. Press.) to 1996 (L. Margulis, PNAS 90:1071).
All the while ignoring the huge amount of data refuting any endosymbiotic origin for
flagella.   

and another thing ... How can the archaea hypothesis be considered a paradigm when there
are still vast numbers of scientists who refuse to consider it?
Regards,
David Faguy



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