The contributions of geodrilology inadmissible in science, why?

Marcel Bouché
Ancien directeur de recherche (INRA)
Geodrilologist for 60 years
Creator of the Fundamental Scientific Steps (Démarche Scientifique Fondamentale) allowing true ecology and the environmental science.

This presentation presents only a brief catalog of some major contributions, from researchers who have worked on earthworms, which have never been seriously taken into account in human knowledge.

1) In 1922, Wilfrid Michaelsen (1), relying on totally independent data relating to the known worldwide distribution of earthworms, validated the theory of continental drift proposed by the geographer Alfred Wegener in 1912 which aggregated them in particular into a single continent: Pangea.

2) In 1928, Alois Stöckli presented a well-documented agronomy thesis on the influence of earthworms on soil fertility (2). It will never be taken into account in agronomy. Worse, to avoid consideration of earthworms in particular, pesticide tests, misleadingly called ecotoxicological, are applied to earthworms (3)!

3) In 1981, I was invited to extend to the world level the paleobiogeographic interpretation of earthworms that I had presented at the scale of France. Geologists having then, with plate tectonics, recognized continental drift and therefore Pangea (4), I noted that the Pangea they reconstituted does not coincide with the earthworm biogeography of the Megascolecoidea superfamily (5). I then predicted that Southeast Asia is part of Gondwana and not Laurasia as presented by these geologists! Then other geologists validated this prediction, but it was inadmissible because it was ignored (6).

4) In 1988, Gérard Ferrière presented in his thesis (7), thanks to a double marking of earthworms reintroduced into the functioning of a centuries-old permanent grassland in order to directly quantify within the grassland soil, the nitrogen transferred from the soil towards the earthworms, then towards the walls of the earthworm galleries where the roots of the plants absorb 560 kg N/ha/year. This reveals that the accepted nitrogen cycle, which is only theoretical, is in reality erroneous or at least very incomplete.

 5) Measurements carried out directly in this same grassland made it possible to measure for the first time the soil ingested with its dead organic matter, then digested and defecated by earthworms. By taking into account biomass and seasonal variations in the activity of earthworms, I was able to estimate that in this meadow about 300 T/ha/year of soil are ingested by earthworms, including 2,350 kg/ha/year of nitrogen (8). This biological work creates a structured soil having in particular a surface of visible, aerating and draining galleries totaling 5 ha of gallery surface per surface hectare. This observation, relating to an agroecosystem operating all year round with the photosynthetic energy captured by 25 to 27 plant species, is to be compared to cereal farming operating with imported energy, that needed for machinery (ploughing, spreadings, etc.), and for nitrogen fertilizers (~ 250 N kg/ha/year) and this with soils left bare for long periods, and therefore deprived of plant energy capture, then having only one species capturing energy: the plant cultivated, the “weeds” having been eliminated by herbicides.

6) For the record I, thanks to our colleague Sam James (USA), made the prediction that the first human settlement of the Americas was not made by the Bering Strait, but via Polynesia, because an earthworm , Polypheretima elongata, a true tracer, marked this migration accompanying human transport from the Philippines to the Americas (8).

 Why are these contributions inadmissible?

It's very simple, but... inadmissible! Quite simply, the sciences of matter (physics, chemistry, biology and combinations) have never integrated to be able to receive these contributions in an environmental science endowed with a self-critical method... which nevertheless exists!

Worse, they have been subdivided into multiple disciplines which, in isolation, have each developed their own methods of self-criticism, in particular through their juries and their technological successes. By not adopting the Fundamental Scientific Steps (FSS or Démarche Scientifique Fondamentale in 3, 9), they have not established a discipline dedicated to our environment which alone, by using the FSS, allows the establishment of refutability in the science of environment. This criticism is applicable to all the exact sciences.

Worse, the progress made possible by the technosciences initiated a belief in science: scientism. This scientism, which blinds like any belief, has masked the absence of the FSS applicable to the sciences of matter, and consequently those sciences cannot be unified. Thus Ecology, whose original definition of 1866 (10) establishes an inclusive science (gesammte Wissenchaft), in which one is to take into account simultaneously all the characteristics of the environments of organisms, could not be implemented.

These above contributions are therefore inadmissible without the FSS method which makes it possible to implement the rigorous computer management of all our concrete initial data before interpretation,  and which then makes it possible to carry out their interpretations, in a form that is always refutable (criticizable) because the interpretations are described in terms of accurate and accessible definitions and grouded on concrete initial data. The absence of this common method explains the inadmissibility of scientific achievements n° 3 to 6 described above, not those of n° 1 and 2, computers did not exist then.

Consequently, the refutability, permitted and imposed by the FSS, being the demarcation between exact science and scientism, its non-implementation by the technosciences explains the inadmissibilities described above. They are only a sample of the current denial of refutable integration of eco-environmental knowledge, which has generated the current environmental crisis (3). Meditate!

 Michaelsen, W., 1922 – Die Verbreitung der Oligochäten im Lichte der Wegener’shen Theorie der Kontinentverschiebung und anderen Fragen zur Stammesgeschichte und Verbreitung diese Tiergruppe. Verhandl. Naturwiss. Ver. Hamburg, 29, 45-79.
Stöckli, A., 1928 - Studien über den Einfluss des Regenwurmes auf die Beschaffenheit des Bodens. Lanwirtschaft Jahrb. Schweiz. 42, 1-121.
Bouché, M.B., à paraitre – Introduction à la méthode scientifique en environnement.
Smith, A. G., & J. C. Briden, 1978 -Mesozoic and paleozoic paleocontinental maps. Cambridge univ. Press, Earth science series, 1-63.
Bouché, M.B., 1983 – The establishment of earthworm communities. In Satchell « Earthworm ecology from Darwin to vermiculture ». Chamann & Hall, London, 431-448.
Lin, Jin-Lu, & all., 1985 - Preliminary phanerozoic polar wander paths for the North and South China blocks. Nature, 313, 444-449.
Ferrière, G., 1988 – Mouvements naturels des éléments dans une prairie : quantifications des échanges d’azote entre lombriciens, sol et plantes. Thèse de doctorat d’état es science. Univ. Lyon-I, 1-148.
Bouché, M.B., 2014 – Des vers de terre et des hommes, Actes Sud, Arles, 1-321.
Bouché, M.B., 2016 – Ecologie et Environnement, Actes Sud, Arles, 1-155.
Haeckel, E., 1866 – Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. I - Allgemeine Anatomie der Organismen oder Wissenschaft von den entwitckelten organischen Formen, 1-463. II - Allgemeine Entwitckelungsgeschiste der Organismen oder Wissenschaft von den ensthenden organischen Formen, 1-574, G. Reiner, Berlin.


Earthworms in music and theater for environmental education

Patrick Lavelle
Sorbonne Université

Earthworm fascinating biological features and spectacular effects on plants and soils  can be an inexhaustible source of inspiration for proverbs, poems, children tales and songs.While spanish speakers use tosay “feliz como una lombriz” (happy like a worm), french speakers would say “un comme un ver” (naked like a worm), and english, “Early bird catches the worm”, who knows why?

We present extracts of our Environmental Education program ”Cantándole al Planeta” delivered in Colombian colleges and environmental festivals with some scientific inputs from the exotic (but boring) french scientist Patrick who tries to explain why a worm should be happy, commentaries of planet Earth, a plump woman in her fifties, so proud to have invented earthworms and other millions of species and Ana, the charismatic Colombian “profe” who knows how to tell that to children. The music band Los Hijos de Gaia participates with their internationally (in ISEE meetings) known song Lombricita perdida.