Corentin Louis Kervran

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"Biological transmutation" redirects here. For Lamarck's theory on the evolution of species, see Transmutation of species.

Corentin Louis Kervran (1901 - 2 February 1983) was a French scientist. Kervran was born in Quimper, Finistère (Brittany), and received a degree as an engineer in 1925. In WWII he was part of the French Resistance.[1][2]

Kervran proposed that nuclear transmutation occurs in living organisms, which he called "biological transmutation".[3] Such transmutations are not possible according to the known laws of physics, chemistry and biology. Proponents of biological transmutations fall outside the mainstream and are not part of the scientific discourse.[4][5]

Biological transmutation[edit]

In the 1960s, Louis Kervran claimed to have conducted experiments and studies demonstrating violations of the law of conservation of mass by biological systems, specifically during the formation of egg shells. As a result, he claimed that organisms can transmute potassium into calcium by nuclear fusion:

+ 1

Since biological systems do not contain mechanisms to produce the speed, temperature and pressure necessary for such reactions, even for extremely short periods of time, this contradicts basic physical laws.[4]

Kervran said that his work was supported by prior studies and by reports of industrial accidents involving carbon monoxide.[6][7] Kervran said that enzymes can facilitate biological transmutations using the weak nuclear force, by what he called "neutral currents."[8] His response to criticism was to claim that physical laws do not apply to biological reactions, which contradicts the mainstream understanding that physical laws apply for all scales and conditions.[4] Kervran's theories seem to be based on the philosophy of yin and yang.[4] In 1978, philosopher George Ohsawa, the founder of the macrobiotic diet, said that he had himself managed to transmute carbon into iron, with oxygen being the yin and carbon being the yang.[4]

The alleged transmutations resemble cold fusion.[4] There is currently no accepted theoretical model which would allow cold fusion to occur.

In 1993, Kervran was awarded a parodic Ig Nobel prize due to his "improbable research" in biological transmutation. The award description called him an "ardent admirer of alchemy."[9]


In French:

  • Transmutations Biologiques: Métabolismes Aberrants de l'Azote, le Potassium et le Magnésium (1962) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A. (2nd ed. 1963, 3rd ed. 1965)
  • Transmutations naturelles non radioactives ; une propriete nouvelle de la matiere Paris : Librairie Maloine, (1963) OCLC 21388057
  • Transmutations à la faible énergie : synthèse et développements (1964) Paris : Maloine OCLC 35460556
  • A la découverte des transmutations biologiques : une explication des phénomènes biologiques aberrants (1966) Paris : Le Courrier du livre OCLC 30562980
  • Preuves Relatives à l'Existence des Transmutations Biologiques (1968) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.
  • Transmutations biologiques en agronomie (1970) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.
  • Preuves en géologie et physique de transmutations à faible énergie (1973) Paris : Maloine ISBN 2-224-00053-7 OCLC 914685
  • Preuves en biologie de transmutations à faible énergie (1975) Paris, Maloine, S.A. ISBN 2-224-00178-9 OCLC 1603879, (2nd edition, 1995).
  • Transmutations Biologique et Physique Moderne (1982) Paris : Librairie Maloine S.A.

English translations:

  • Biological Transmutations C. Louis Kervran, translation and adaptation by Michel Abehsera, 1989, 1998 (first published in 1972) ISBN 0-916508-47-1 OCLC 301517796 (extract of three of Kervran's books)
  • Biological transmutations, revised and edited by Herbert & Elizabeth Rosenauer, London, Crosby Lockwood 1972 (reprinted by Beekman, New York, in 1998 under ISBN 0-8464-0195-9)
  • Biological Transmutation. Natural Alchemy. Louis Kervran and George Ohsawa, George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, Oroville, California, USA 1971 (reprinted 1975, 1976) 48 pages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "C. Louis Kervran and Biological Transmutations". Dec 2014. Retrieved Feb 2015. 
  3. ^ Tompkins, Peter; Christopher Bird (1989-03-08). The Secret Life of Plants. Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0-06-091587-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Tibor Müller, Harmund Müller (2003), Modelling in natural sciences: design, validation, and case studies (illustrated ed.), Springer, pp. 24–29, ISBN 3-540-00153-0 
  5. ^ Robert Sheaffer (September–October 1998), "Uncritical Publicity for Supposed 'Independent UFO Investigation' Demonstrates Media Gullibility", Skeptical Inquirer 22.5, [The Journal of Scientific Exploration has the intention] to publish supposedly scientific papers on '[list of paranormal and pseudoscientific topics], apparent chemical or biological transmutation (alchemy), etc.' Despite the impressive jargon and in some cases the impressive academic degrees of the authors, these papers have been absolutely unconvincing to mainstream scientific journals and organizations, and, far from pointing the way to further research, they have been quite deliberately ignored. 
  6. ^ Louis C. Kervran Preuves en Biologie de Transmutations à Faible Énergie, Paris 1975, Maloine, ISBN 2-224-00178-9.
  7. ^ Kervran, C. Louis (1962). Transmutations Biologique. Paris: Librairie Maloine S.A. pp. 36–40 (see Fig. 10). 
  8. ^ Louis Kervran, "Biological evidence of low energy transmutations", Maloine, 1975 (See "Final Note" by Costa de Beauregard)
  9. ^ Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, Improbable Research 

Further reading[edit]

  • Corentin Louis Kervran: "Hors-d'œuvre", an autobiographical note in Preuves en Biologie de Transmutations a Faible Energie Paris: Maloine S.A., 1975