Re: _Religion Explained_ by Pascal Boyer

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon 09 Jun 2003 - 03:18:05 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: _Religion Explained_ by Pascal Boyer"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: _Religion Explained_ by Pascal Boyer
    >Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 20:06:49 -0400
    >At 01:57 PM 06/06/03 -0700, Dace wrote:
    >> > From: Keith Henson <>
    >> > Which would you say applies to a person who has internalized the
    >> > meme and knows how to play it?
    >>If you grow up in the USA, baseball is a meme. If you grow up in a
    >>country, it's an idea.
    >People have enough trouble trying to grasp the meme about memes. Making
    >meme or not meme dependant on who hold them and how is just over the top.
    >> > I can't deal with morphic fields, Scientology's space aliens, or
    >> > supernatural spirits. Sorry.
    >>No need to be sorry, you're just a bit confused here. "Morphic field" is
    >>shorthand for "morphogenetic field," a standard explanatory tool in
    >>developmental biology. The field concept is utilized to explain why one
    >>clump of cells becomes, say, an arm, while another clump of cells develops
    >>into a kidney, despite the fact that all the cells have identical DNA.
    >>generally believed that morphogenetic fields will ultimately be explained
    >>according to genes, but don't hold your breath. Many developmental
    >>biologists have given up this quest as a lost cause and are now fully
    >>committed to mathematical explanations of fields. (Morphogenetic fields
    >>be described with the same mathematical precision as electromagnetic or
    >>grativational fields). The problem with this approach is that it seems to
    >>imply that organisms are governed by eternal equations. Of course,
    >>equations do not evolve. Thus Sheldrake proposed that fields are the
    >>product, not of genes or of equations, but of past, similar organisms. As
    >>organisms adapt, fields evolve. Ironically, Sheldrake's view is the most
    >>easily testable and therefore the most scientific of the three
    >>(No one has ever devised a way of testing the hypothesis that organic form
    >>arises from DNA. It's simply assumed by those who believe it.)
    >This is off topic, but may I suggest you do a little research on this
    >subject. Here are a few pointers:
    >Embryonic Development: Putting on the finishing touches
    >... Most selector genes, including Antp and Ubx, are homeobox genes. ...
    >The approximately
    >60 amino acids encoded by the homeobox are called a homeodomain. ...
    > BiologyPages/H/HomeoboxGenes.html - 12k
    >- Cached - Similar pages
    >Homeobox - Wikipedia
    >Homeobox. ... A homeobox is a certain DNA sequence that is part of many
    >genes involved
    >in the regulation of the development (morphogenesis) of animals. ...
    > - 13k - Cached - Similar pages
    >Interactive Fly, Drosophila
    >... muscle segment homeobox: Biological Overview | Evolutionary Homologs |
    >| Developmental Biology | Effects of mutation | References ...
    > interactive-fly/gene/musclesh.htm -
    >16k - Cached - Similar pages
    >UNSW Embryo- Molecular Development- Homeobox
    >UNSW Embryology. Molecular Development- Homeobox. Embryology Home Page.
    >Page. ... LocusID.
    >Symbol. Description. Position. Links. 257. ALX3. aristaless-like homeobox
    >3. ...
    > MolDev/factor/hox.htm - 71k - Cached -
    >Similar pages
    >- Hox (Homeobox) Genes ó Evolution's Saviour? -
    >Hox (Homeobox) Genes Evolutionís Saviour? ... ome evolutionists hailed
    >or hox genes as the saviour of evolution soon after they were discovered.
    > - 11k - Cached - Similar pages
    >It is generally considered that the original pole of the egg is determined
    >by an external factor. Morphogenesis is now thought to rely on chemical
    >gradients, which sequentially (head to tail, front to back) activated hox
    >regulator genes.
    Please don't make the asociation between the developmental biological concept of the morphogenetic field and Sheldrake's morphic mumbo jumbo. Sheldrake hijacked the concept from developmental biology and hyperextended it to cover more than what it was intended, conceptualizing the four dimensional (ie- spatiotemporal) aspects of form generation (morphogenesis). Sheldrake has created way too much confusion on this topic with his psi phenomenal abuse of the term "morphic field" that the knee jerk reaction to someone talking about morphogenetic fields is that they believe in psychic pets (ie- clever Hansian hamsters that know when their owners have just pulled up in the driveway and are about to open the front door and get the box of hamster treats out of the pantry).

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