Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

Should papers mentioning 'yin' and 'yang' be retracted, too?

Posted by audreyqyfu on 07 Mar 2016 at 03:49 GMT

As I tweeted, "Speaking of lost in translation, words 'yin' and 'yang' to Chinese scientists is just like #HandofGod to western scientists". Reading the discussion here reminds me of the shock, revulsion and disbelief when I first learned about the gene called 'Yin Yang 1', not unlike how many people feel in this thread about ID. To most Chinese scientists, unfortunately, the words 'yin' and 'yang' are synonyms of 'fraud' and 'anti-science'; if you ever use those two words in a scientific talk in China, people will question your sanity. Sadly, these two words keep popping up in all kinds of English journals. And every time I see them, I feel the same shock, revulsion and disbelief. Every time I have to remind myself that these people are from a different culture, and that they probably just thought the words being 'exotic' and even 'fancy'. However, I have to admit that I personally have been avoiding reading or citing papers that use these two words.

For this paper here, whereas I also think that words like the 'Creator' should never appear in a scientific journal, and that it is applaudable for PLOS ONE to take quick notice, it seems unfair for the journal and many discussants here to ignore the cultural difference and to think that the interpretation based on the western culture is the only interpretation.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Should papers mentioning 'yin' and 'yang' be retracted, too?

Boötes replied to audreyqyfu on 07 Mar 2016 at 16:00 GMT

The name YY1 refers to the repressing and activating feature of this protein and the characteristic symmetry of its components. However, the main error of the discussed paper is that it presents in its abstract something which is by no means a conclusion from the investigations.

No competing interests declared.