Re: Biologists and Wishful Thinking

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2003 - 16:09:08 GMT

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    >From: "Reed Konsler" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Biologists and Wishful Thinking
    >Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 10:29:39 -0400
    >Here's an illuminating excerpt from the August 2001 issue of Scientific
    >American ("Cybernetic Cells," by W. Wayt Gibbs):
    >"[M]ost biologists still use computers as little more than receptacles for
    >the surge of data gushing from their robotic sequencers and gene chip
    >analyzers. The 'models' they publish in their journal articles are sketchy
    >caricatures based on the best theory they have: the central dogma that a
    >gene in DNA is converted to an RNA that is translated to a protein that
    >performs a particular biochemical function."
    >That would tend to confirm that most biologists are "bottom-up."
    >"We're witnessing a grand-scale Kuhnian revolution in biology,"
    >avers Bernhard O. Palsson, head of the genetic circuits research
    >group at UC San Diego.
    >"We are so going to get laid by those chicks" avers Sean,
    >self-proclaimed 'ladies man' of the Druid pub in Inman Square.
    A buzzphrase like "grand-scale Kuhnian revolution" is usually enough for me to run, not walk, toward the nearest exit and establish a cordon sanitaire. Even if a concept has merit, parading it as a "Kuhnian revolution" tends to raise the red flags.

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