Morphogenic Fields

From: Reed Konsler (
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 14:22:47 GMT

  • Next message: Reed Konsler: "Biologists and Wishful Thinking"

    "Okay. And what determines the "homologous pathways of development?" Genes or fields? Whatever answers researchers come up with cannot help but be provisional. Every answer merely moves the question back a step. Ultimately, the information is either particulate or holistic. Ontogenesis is either bottom-up or top-down. Since biochemists are no closer than they were forty years ago to providing a detailed picture of how genes build bodies, there's no reason not to explore other possibilities. Indeed, this is the general trend of contemporary biology."

    First: "...are no closer..."? I'm not going to argue with you about your opinion, but there are conferences full of molecular biologists that have the impression that they know more than they did forty years ago.

    Second: When I was an undergraduate at University of Michigan and a chemistry grad student at Harvard, many of my collaborators were in the Biology department. If you look online, the Bio faculty at both universities are skewed dramatically in favor of biochemistry and genetics. Both schools had problems enrolling students in organismic biology and finding faculty to teach those courses. High school biology classes teach some ecology, a lot of cell biology, biochemistry, evolution and genetics and no organismic bio or comparative anatomy. AP Bio exams tend to short the ecology part.

    Anyway, it is my experience that "contemporary biology" is shifting, as a general trend, further in the direction of the "bottom-up" biochemical approach. Perhaps that is a bad thing. I suppose you could argue that all these scientists are being mislead by successful applications, million dollar research grants, and professional prestige.

    [shrug] There is a reason not to explore other possibilities. The money, the power, and the glory is in biotechnology, not morphic resonance. Until that shifts, the paradigm won't.



    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 14:35:01 GMT