From: Derek Gatherer (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 25 Oct 2005 - 09:56:51 GMT
At 22:03 24/10/2005, Dace wrote:
> > seen the same thing. I did cell culture for nearly 2 years, and I never
> > anything like that.
>You can't see what you're not looking for. In fact, you literally can't see
>influence passed between physically separated cultures for the simple reason
>that it's not visible.
No, the reason why nobody can see signals passed between separate
flasks of cells is that it simply doesn't happen. But then
considering you believe that long deceased dinosaurs are still
signalling to us from the Jurassic, I suppose for you it is a
perfectly reasonable proposition.
>As cell biologist Stephen Rothman points out, if you provide evidence that
>reductionism can't provide a coherent explanation (e.g. in the case of
>protein movement) reductionists simply dismiss the evidence as flawed. In
>this way their beliefs become unfalsifiable. What this demonstrates is that
>many scientists are ruled by the reductionistic meme more than the
Rothman is a reductionist - he says so in his book. What he is
opposed to is "strong micro-reductionism", as am I and as is almost
every biologist I know (see Cohen and Stewart's "Collapse of
Chaos"). This is the same kind of anti-science tactic used by the
creationists - identify a healthy disagreement within science and
attempt to twist it to claim that science is crumbling.
>Reductionism rests on the common sense notion of contact mechanics between
>visible components. This is not a scientific concept but a deeply
>ingrained, widely distributed habit of thought, i.e. a highly successful
Reductionism is about cause and effect, that's all. The Victorians
thought brains were probably like very sophisticated steam engines;
today we liken them to computers. The mechanical analogies are
always going to be rubbish, but that doesn't mean that effects have no causes.
>The reductionistic hypothesis is more complex and
>unwieldy insofar as it assumes that genes possess all the information
>required to build an organism and that they possesses the magical power to
>compute precisely how they must combine to bring about this stupendously
No, enough Hoyle's fallacy! You keep going on about this even though
I keep correcting you. How improbable is it that one person will win
a series of say, 10, coin tosses in a row? See Dennett's "Darwin's
Dangerous Idea" for the answer (given the correct circumstances, it's
100% certain). Try Dawkins "The Blind Watchmaker" while you're at
it. It's only improbable if you have to start from scratch, and
organisms never have to start from scratch.
>And how does [Aspergillus] remember its billion year ancestral
>history? Is the
>knowledge divided into bits of information stored in its genes?
It doesn't have to "remember". There is no "memory" requiring to be
recalled. Does a motor car have memory of its ancestry from the Ford
Model T? The second question is a non-question because it's about
something that doesn't exist.
>the correct sequence of combinations in the timing of penicillin production
>is transcalculational, how can all that information fit?
No, I told you before, that simply is not true. It's not
transcalculational at all. If biosynthetic processes were
transcalculational, biochemistry in vitro would be impossible, as how
could a poor human chemist possibly do such things in his/her
head? Louis Pasteur demonstrated in about 1858 if I recall
correctly, that there is no reason why biochemical pathways cannot be
reconstructed in the test tube. He started with alcohol synthesis
using enzymes purified from yeast, which the vitalists of the time
claimed could only be done in yeast - they believed that one could
not possibly reduce the infinite complexity of such a thing to a
simple interaction between one enzyme and one substrate. Come on
Ted, get up to date with the 1860s! Don't you know that Abraham
Lincoln is president now?
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