Hoaxes, myths and prejudice in science: example of Pierre Trémaux

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The literature review is an integral part of research. The story of Pierre Trémaux (1818–1895) illustrates how factors, such as hoaxes, fabrications, untrue stories, myths and prejudice, which have nothing to do in science, difficulties in comprehending and accepting new scientific paradigms and also slow and geographically limited dissemination of scientific findings, which results in not being familiar with scientific findings and discoveries elsewhere in the world, are harmful for the ecology of scientific communication. Trémaux and his work are known only based on the correspondence between Karl Marx, who thought that Trémaux’s book was excellent, and Friedrich Engels, who was of the opinion that the book was bad. Trémaux is not included in any standard history of biology although, with his work, he anticipated some theories that others presented as theirs. This primarily refers to theories of punctuated equilibrium, phylogenetic tree, speciation and, consequently, the impact on race theories. From the methodological aspect, the main result of this presentation is the assumption that race theories are a sophisticated ideological means to justify hegemony, imperialism and colonialism, nationalism and discrimination of groups and individuals and other forms of unjust world order between nations, races and individuals in the past, at present and in the future, in the sense that some nations, races and individuals are better than others instead of contributing to the explanation of the differences between them without any judgement.

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https://doi.org/10.3359/oz1924007
3. 12. 2019
1924007
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