Kary Mullis

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If the Nobel disease had a poster boy.
The woo is out there
Icon ufology.svg
Aliens did it...
...and ran away
Not just a river in Egypt
Icon denialism.svg
Alternative facts
♫ We're not listening ♫
Once he turned on the lights and left sacks of groceries on the floor, he lighted his path to the outhouse with a flashlight. On the way, he saw something glowing under a fir tree. Shining the flashlight on this glow, it seemed to be a raccoon with little black eyes. The raccoon spoke, saying, ‘Good evening, doctor,’ and he replied with a hello.
—You read that correctly. We are not kidding.[1]

Kary Banks Mullis (1944–2019)[2] was a Nobel prize-winning biochemist, best known for developing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), unquestionably one of the most important tools in molecular biology.

Unfortunately, he had a number of less-founded views that he publicly expounded upon.

Where's the beef?[edit]

Given that he claimed that his LSD use had a major role in his work on PCR (James Watson, one of the discoverers of DNA, notably made similar claims with respect to his development of DNA as a concept prior to empirically confirming it),[3] it is perhaps unsurprising that he holds a number of bizarre views on subjects outside his specialty, and was noted for endorsing various and sundry conspiracy theories and pseudosciences.

Crank views[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Nobel disease
Being a Nobel laureate is a license to be an expert in lots of things as long as you do your homework.

To name a few:

  • AIDS Denialism: Mullis hung around with noted AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg and believed AIDS is a conspiracy involving the government and scientists.
We have not been able to discover any good reasons why most of the people on earth believe that AIDS is a disease caused by a virus called HIV. There is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true."
—Mullis, in a foreward to Duesberg's book[5]:xiii
  • Alien abduction: Mullis claimed he had had an encounter with an extraterrestrial being, in which he denied the involvement of LSD. More specifically — he reported having close contact with a glowing green raccoon at his cabin in the woods of northern California around midnight one night in 1985. No, really.[1]
  • Aliensdidit: Mullis saw evidence of Urantia Book scientific foreknowledge, writing "Several scientific developments, unexpected in 1955, reported in 2005 in Science and Nature […] were somehow described rather precisely already in the Urantia Book."[6]
  • Astrology[7]
  • Climate change denialism[7]

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bullard, Thomas, "The Myth and Mystery of UFOs", LRB (Review) (UK) 33 (22)
  2. Kary Mullis, eccentric Berkley-educated chemistry Nobelist, dies by Peter Fimrite (Aug. 10, 2019 Updated: Aug. 10, 2019 11:02 p.m.) San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. Mullis on LSD
  4. Kary B. Mullis The Nobel Prize.
  5. Inventing The AIDS Virus by Peter Duesberg (1996) .
  6. Seriously.
  7. 7.0 7.1 NYT: Bright Scientists, Dim Notions