Genome size + Cambrian Explosion = Nonsense squared.

I really am thinking about writing a Sokal-style paper for a physics journal to see if they’ll accept it.

The Cambrian explosion triggered by critical turning point in genome size evolution
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Li DJ, Zhang S

The Cambrian explosion is a grand challenge to science today and involves multidisciplinary study. This event is generally believed as a result of genetic innovations, environmental factors and ecological interactions, even though there are many conflicts on nature and timing of metazoan origins. The crux of the matter is that an entire roadmap of the evolution is missing to discern the biological complexity transition and to evaluate the critical role of the Cambrian explosion in the overall evolutionary context. Here we calculate the time of the Cambrian explosion by a “C-value clock”; our result quite fits the fossil records. We clarify that the intrinsic reason of genome evolution determined the Cambrian explosion. A general formula for evaluating genome size of different species has been found, by which the genome size evolution can be illustrated. The Cambrian explosion, as a major transition of biological complexity, essentially corresponds to a critical turning point in genome size evolution.

5 comments to Genome size + Cambrian Explosion = Nonsense squared.

  • Alex Ishkin

    I don’t really get their stuff (though I tried seriously). Do these guys suppose that once upon a time in Cambrian eukaryotes suddenly have begun to enlarge their genomes and this event caused modern metazoan taxa to appear? Do they ever know about Ediakaran biota (Cambrian explosion was at least not the first ‘explosion’ of metazoan diversity)?
    Moreover, their functions for genome size appear to be based on the data with such level of variability, that I don’t believe they are credible.


  • What part of  ‘anal breakthrough‘ do these people not understand? Sheesh…
    (in all seriousness, the “Anal Breakthrough Hypothesis” makes way more sense than most of the competing stuff out there, which definitely begs some Sokalising.)
    Also, why to the physicists seem to insist to live in this delusion that they are a few orders of magnitude smarter than ‘those dumb biologists who can’t even solve a third order PDE’, and therefore always have something worthwhile to say about biology. Being a biologist with engineer parents leaves one quite worn out by that shit. Grrr. And most of them are utterly hopeless when faced with real biology, in all its messy, irrational, non-mathematical, statistically insane glory.


  • Since when was BBRC a Physics journal?
    BBRC is kind of like PlosOne, but before there was a PlosOne.


  • The other jim

    My theory is that they are unsuccessful  physicists.  They are able to hold their positions by delving into that messy biology stuff  (that their peers do not understand), thus they look like they are still “successfully” publishing.


  • The cause of Cambrian Explosion is Cognition (Nervous Systems) plus Sexual Selection. See here for more details:


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