The biggest myth ever told by biologists

Why are human chromosomes depicted as single linear strands of DNA in every textbook and practically every scientific article ever printed?

I know I’m going out on a limb by calling out practically every DNA scientist that lives or ever did live but that’s exactly what I’m doing here. My statement is simple but profound: 

Where is the evidence that every chromosome in our cells is composed of a single linear molecule of DNA? Where is the evidence for this in the cells of any other creature? Where is it? Show me, call me out, enlighten me. I’ll be waiting.

 I know what to expect if any answers are forthcoming: Such chromosomal DNAs are linear because they have telomeres which are used to allow them to replicate. 

Really? Ok. Show me physical evidence of this. You don’t even have to unwrap an entire chromosome for me, just unwrap a few megabases without breaking the entire chromosome in the process. Can’t do that? Ok, how about less than a megabase? Can’t do that either? Hmm…we have a problem here, Houston. 

Sounds kind of like somebody put the cart before the horse. The assumption that such DNA must be linear required coming up with the telomere model to explain how they replicate. This is circular logic at its best because it proves absolutely nothing. 

Where is the physical evidence that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that chromosomal DNA is completely linear from one end to the other? Short answer: there isn’t any. Ok, so is there any physical evidence to the contrary? You betcha! Evidence is scattered in copious quantities all throughout this blog indicating that our chromosomes are composed of circular elements of DNA arranged in a complex hierarchical array. 

This isn’t some indirect theory; it’s an obvious fact that stares you right in the face.

Scientists have been busy ignoring this for well over 30 years now, happily going about the business of worshipping, protecting, and coddling the linear DNA model like it was some kind of heathen god. You do not question the god, lest you be expelled from the cult. For this, science should be embarrassed if not completely ashamed of itself.

Is This Model Wrong?


About frankabernathy

I am a retired cell biologist and alumnus of Ohio State University. I became interested in chromosomes as far back as the 1960's when I wrote a term paper on the effects of radiomimetic drugs on chromosomes. I was fascinated at how they could break apart and reform new structures so easily. I became further involved in the early 1970's after taking a cytogenetics course at the University of Arkansas. I took that knowledge with me to Ohio State in 1980 where I eventually worked on my research and completed my Ph.D. dissertation, "Studies on Eukaryotic DNA Superstructure". My studies and later research suggested that the DNA within the eukaryotic chromosome is not the simple, linear molecular thread so widely suggested in all the classic textbooks published today. Instead, it may be the culmination of a geologically rapid set of endosymbiotic events where microorganisms plug into each other to create something greater than themselves. Feel free to contact me at
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