Creating a Myth

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: April 25, 2011

As noted in this article, I help to market pheromone-enhanced fragrance products at The editor of the following article does not mention that Doty markets smell tests and smell testing equipment at
Penn Medicine: The Great Pheromone Myth (full text)
Excerpt: “James V. Kohl, an independent laboratory scientist who has published widely on pheromones, has mounted a kind of online campaign against Doty’s book.” (my emphasis added).
The editor of Penn Medicine knows my publication history, which includes a book, book chapter, and award-winning articles in research journals. Does he know that Dr. Richard Doty made no mention of me, or my published works in The Great Pheromone Myth? This fact may help me to clarify that I’m not campaigning against his book.  I use it as an example of a well-written publication that completely misrepresents what is currently known about pheromones. Some people, perhaps even Doty himself,  think that his book is controversial. Instead, it is simply wrong.
No other scientist has ever inferred anything like what Doty says has been inferred: “…that a plurality of mammalian behaviors and endocrine responses is uniquely determined in an invariant way by single or small sets of chemical stimuli. . . ” Any such inference is foolish.  Given the known similarities in mammalian physiology and behavior, it is like saying that the infinite number of possible endocrine responses and mammalian behaviors, which are associated with food choice are also uniquely determined either by one chemical, or by small sets of chemicals in food odors.
Experience with odors determines the behavior that is associated with them, whether the odors are food odors or social odors. Pheromones are social odors, Dick.

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