From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 27 Oct 2005 - 13:30:33 GMT
--- Robin Faichney <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Wednesday, October 26, 2005, 8:06:27 AM, Dace wrote:
> > From a material standpoint nothing mediates the
> mutual attraction or
> > repulsion of objects as a result of either gravity
> or magnetism. This is
> > why the field is postulated, in order to account
> for the undeniable reality
> > of such long-range effects. No field of physics
> has ever been detected.
> > Rather, it is *deduced.* The strength of a field
> must be calculated on the
> > basis of abstract equations, not read off from a
> meter that directly
> > measures it.
> I recently used something called a "field strength
> meter" to measure
> microwave radiation around my house. (I live within
> 120m of a mast
> with several arrays.) Regarding magnetism, I have a
> very handy device
> called a compass. Let me know when you have such
> things for your fields.
IMO "fields" in developmental biology ("morphogenetic fields") are nothing more than spatial regions progressively subdivided over developmental time. They are a way of looking at the modular nature of development and can evolve over evolutionary time. They are NOT set against genes, but merely serve as a means of putting genes (via their products) in context. The word "field" is an analogy carried over from electromagnetism.
Since Dace ignores modern biology he feels he can poke
fun at biologists for their collective ignorance of
developmental processes thus making it necessary, in
his mind, to invoke paranormal factors (morphic
resonance) or long abandoned ideas (neo-Lamarckian
organic memory). He ignores pioneers like Mendel,
Morgan, Sturtevant, Watson and Crick, probably because
they are too mechanistic, materialistic and/or
reductionistic for him. I wonder if he's ever done a
Punnett square or a mapping problem as undergraduate
biology majors painfully learn to do in genetics
classes or taken a developmental biology class in the
past 5 years or so.
He should read and critique Sean Carroll's cutting
edge book on evo-devo _Endless Forms Most Beautiful_.
In that book he can see where the field on evo-devo is
moving. I doubt they will need morphic resonance or
neo-Lamarckian organic memory when they have toolkit
genes (eg- the Hox clusters) and genetic switches.
His tactics (ie- setting up strawmen that he can
easily knock down) are similar to those employed by
creationists (aka "intelligenet design" proponents).
They take a very distorted form of a biological
argument, knock it over and invoke their favored ideas
as a substitute. This may convince the undereducated
in biology, but not anyone serious about the relevant
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