Homer Jacobson

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Homer Jacobson is a former chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, New York City.

In the 1950s he illustrated basic self-replication in artificial life with a model train set.[1] A seed "organism" consisting of a "head" and "tail" boxcar could use the simple rules of the system to consistently create new "organisms" identical to itself, so long as there was a random pool of new boxcars to draw from.

In 1955 he published "Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life," in American Scientist. In 2007, he retracted two passages of this work after realizing that errors in his paper were being misread as evidence for creationism.[2]



  1. ^ Jacobson, Homer (1958). "On Models of Reproduction". American Scientist. 46 (3): 255–284. JSTOR 27827154. 
  2. ^ Cornelia Dean (2007-10-25). "'55 'Origin of Life' Paper Is Retracted". New York Times.