|Born||2 February 1955 (age 66)|
|Fields||Physiology and evolution of bacteria, plants and animals; History and philosophy of biology|
Ulrich Kutschera (born 2 February 1955) is a professor of biology who works as an Academic Advisor at I-Cultiver, Inc. in San Francisco and as a Visiting Scientist in Stanford/Palo Alto, California, USA. He is the founder and head of "AK Evolutionbiologie", an association of evolutionary biologists in Germany. Kutschera is critical of creationism and intelligent design.
Education and career
Kutschera completed his undergraduate studies (biology/chemistry; theory of music) at the University of Freiburg, Germany, receiving a MS in zoology and evolutionary biology. In 1985, he received a doctorate degree (PhD) in plant physiology. His thesis (summa cum laude) was awarded the Pfizer Research Award (Germany) in 1986.
Between 1985 and 1988, Kutschera was the recipient of a Humboldt-fellowship (Feodor Lynen Program). He carried out his post-doctoral work at Stanford University (Department of Biology; Carnegie Institution for Science) and at Michigan State University (MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory). Kutschera was then employed at the University of Bonn as a research associate and thereafter as a lecturer. He began his professional career in 1993 at the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry (University of Kassel) as Full Professor and Head of a Department. In 2007, he joined the Research Groups of Z.-Y. Wang/W.R.Briggs in Stanford, California (USA), as a Visiting Scientist (experimental analysis of hormone action in plants, etc.). The cooperation with Winslow R. Briggs (1928 - 2019) and co-workers on sunflower movements, etc., yielded a number of high-profile publications. Since March 2021, Kutschera is the Manager of "Project W.R. Briggs/ Stanford-019" at I-Cultiver, Inc. (continuation of research projects initiated by Stanford-Prof .Winslow R. Briggs, in cooperation with Rajnish Khanna).
Kutschera is an elected member of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). In 2002, he became head of the Arbeitskreis (AK) Evolutionsbiologie (workgroup evolutionary biology) at the Verband Deutscher Biologen (vdbiol) (association of German biologists), and from 2004 to 2007 was vice president. In 2013, Kutschera was elected corresponding member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA), and, since 2015, he is a Scientific Advisor for the Agriculture-Food-Health Res. Comp. I-Cultiver Inc. based in San Francisco, California, USA, and the Systems Biology Group in Palo Alto, California, USA.
Kutschera has studied the mechanism of phytohormone-mediated cell expansion (epidermal growth-control theory of stem elongation; protein secretion hypothesis of auxin action; epiphytic methylobacteria as phytosymbionts in living-fossil plants). His contributions to the taxonomy and molecular phylogeny of aquatic annelids (and methylobacteria) includes, for example, the discovery/description of the Golden Gate leech; he also revised the systematics of medicinal leeches and published a theory on the evolution of parental care in the Hirudinea.
Kutschera has written about evolution and creationism from historical and philosophical perspectives and the modern theory of biological evolution as an expanded synthesis, as well as the Synade-model of macroevolution. In 2008, Kutschera described the strict separation of scientific facts and theories from religious dogma in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species (1859) as Darwin's philosophical imperative.
Evolution versus intelligent design
In 2003, Kutschera said,
- "Anti-evolutionism in German-speaking countries has already infiltrated some academic circles."
In 2007, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in San Francisco, US, when speaking about the spread of creationism in Europe, Kutschera said,
- "The more one argues against this creationist propaganda...the less you can convince people who are not scientists...[we should] no longer talk about Darwinism, but use the term Evolutionary Biology, which is a scientific discipline, like Physiology."
- "The topic of evolution in Germany is in the hands of a small but powerful religious sect. But they are full of creationist nonsense."
Ulrich Kutschera ranks among those academics in Germany who are restricted by student organizations to lecture at state-sponsored universities in this country, due to his “politically incorrect” views on gender and related issues. In an Interview published in German, based on his book "The Gender-Paradox (2016)", Kutschera criticized John Money (1921-2006) and his concepts of Gender-role etc. (english version of this text, see here). As detailed in a Hessenschau-Report of March 2, 2021, these statements sparked a controversy in German media, In a recent article entitled “Protecting Academic Freedom”, Dieter Schönecker wrote that “It is an intellectual catastrophe when contentious people like Ulrich Kutschera, Martin van Creveld, Jörg Baberowski or Rainer Wendt are no longer allowed to speak at a German university without the moral police from the ‘imperium paternale’ (Kant’s term for paternal government) being sent out on patrol.”
Kutschera has published ca. 300 scientific papers, many with co-authors from the US, such as Karl J. Niklas, Winslow R. Briggs, and David A. Weisblat, and 14 books (in German). Since 2010, he is the producer of a series of science videos for biology students, inclusive of the piano background music, see the Album Review of G. Lemco on KZSU-Stanford Radio.
His academic textbook, Evolutionsbiologie(2015) has been translated into Russian and Portuguese. Kutschera's book Tatsache Evolution was a best-seller during the Year of Darwin 2009 (in Germany) and, like his monograph Das Gender-Paradoxon (2016), the subject of controversial reports and discussions. In 2018, he published a critical analysis of the scientific validity of physiognomy, with reference to Darwin′s work on this topic.
In January 2019, Kutschera’s Magnum Opus, the 712-pages textbook Physiologie der Pflanzen. Sensible Gewächse in Aktion was published. In a Book Review, Karl J. Niklas wrote that this volume, which provides a comprehensive summary of our current knowledge on the physiology and biochemistry of plants “… should be of value to general readers interested in the philosophy of science.” A few weeks before the book became available, a religious webzine published an article dealing with “Plant Intelligence”, a topic that was discussed in detail in Kutschera’s textbook. In 2021, Kutschera published a controversial article on "Sex and Covid-19", co-authored with the British writer and biologist Carole Jahme (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_Jahme), University College London.
- "Winslow Briggs' Profile | Stanford Profiles". profiles.stanford.edu.
- Systems Biology Group, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA
- I-Cultiver, Inc. Agriculture-Food-Health, Livermore CA 94550, USA
- "Über uns" Accessed August 10, 2018/.
- Luskin C. "New plant evolution paper misfires while debating the controversy that doesn't exist." Evolution News. 6 March 2008.
- In Memory of Winslow R. Briggs (1928-2019)
- "History of vdbiol" (PDF).
- "Corresponding members" Botanical Society of America.
- Publications: U. Kutschera on NCBI/PubMed
- "researchgate U. Kutschera".
- "Home". www.hirudinea-lamarck1818.com.
- Kutschera, U. (December 1, 2009). "Darwin's Philosophical Imperative and the Furor Theologicus". Evolution: Education and Outreach. 2 (4): 688–694. doi:10.1007/s12052-009-0166-8.
- Numbers R. L. "The Creationists: from scientific creationism to intelligent design." Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2006.
- "Down with Darwinism." Cosmic Log, NBC News 16 February 2007.
- AAAS-meeting 2015 - Creationism in Germany American Association for the Advancement of Science, website.
- Science Communication Program - Interview 2015 by Nala Rogers.
- "Intelligent design debate arrives in Germany." DW.de.
- "German scientists concerned about rise in creationist belief." DW.de.
- Kutschera, U. An evolutionary biologist dissects gender theory
- "MercatorNet: The two faces of physiognomy". MercatorNet.
- Protecting Academic Freedom., Philosophy Now 135, 1-6.
- "Winslow Briggs' Profile | Stanford Profiles". profiles.stanford.edu.
- Kutschera, U.; Langguth, H.; Kuo, D.-H.; Weisblat, D. A.; Shankland, M. (July 4, 2013). "Description of a new leech species from North America, Helobdella austinensis n. sp. (Hirudinea: Glossiphoniidae), with observations on its feeding behaviour". Zoosystematics and Evolution. 89 (2): 239–246. doi:10.1002/zoos.201300010.
- Composers/U. Kutschera, 2 February 2016.
- "Zookeeper Online". zookeeper.stanford.edu.
- Kutschera U. "Evolutionsbiologie", 4th edition, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2015.
- Kutschera U. "Tatsache Evolution", 3rd edition DTV, München 2010 ISBN 978-3-423-24707-8.
- Knoll A. "Tatsache Evolution. Was Darvin nicht wissen konnte." ScienceBlogs 8 May 2009 (German).
- "Niklas, K. J. (2019) Book Review: Historical roots and current status of plant physiology (Abstract)" (PDF).
- "MercatorNet: Are plants intelligent?". MercatorNet.