Re: Me against the meme

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Tue 08 Nov 2005 - 09:06:06 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Me against the meme"

    At 23:14 07/11/2005, Dace wrote:

    >As I've already pointed out, we're not talking about a gap here. We're
    >talking, literally, about the *whole* picture. Even regarding a single
    >cell, you can't explain the whole, only bits and pieces,

    But the bits and pieces get more and more extensive every year, every week, every day. Your God-of-the-gaps argument relies on claiming that the bits and pieces are of trivial size compared to the whole, so you have a large gap to point to and shout "God", or rather
    "field" in your case. Your assessment of the size of that gap is based on an absense of knowledge of modern biology and what it has achieved over the last decades.

    >wherever a
    >mechanical process happens to take place within it. You can't explain how
    >the order of a cell follows from the order of its components. You've never
    >been able to explain this, and you never will. No progress will ever be
    >made toward explaining this for the very simple reason that the components
    >of a cell are not ordered.

    But they are. Hans Krebs, among others, knew by the 1930s that this was the case. I'm continually surprised by your 19th century view of almost everything.

    >If the evidence
    >shows they're right, reductionists assume the evidence is legitimate. If
    >the evidence shows they're wrong, they assume the samples have been
    >contaminated. They feel justified in doing this because they already know
    >they're right in advance of any and all evidence. There *must* be an
    >underlying mechanism accounting for every process in the body. This is no
    >different than a creationist saying there *must* be a transcendent design
    >underlying every process in the body.

    Oh no, the big difference is that scientists can demonstrate mechanism, creationists can't demonstrate God - and you can't demonstrate spooky fields.

    >Nothing has changed in the last three decades. We still have no evidence
    >that any organ in the body can be reduced, piece by piece, to genetic
    >instructions, only that a holistic system can be genetically tweaked to flip
    >on its axis.

    As I said before, I travelled to work today on a train. The train did not just flip my "communting field".

    >This doesn't contradict my statement. The mechanical function of genes,
    >rather than setting up the mechanical construction of organs, merely alters
    >a trait possessed by them, such as left-right polarity.

    No, in this case the empirical evidence is well against you. The polarity genes are expressed long before any organs start to form. Polarity is prior to organogenesis, so there are no organs to
    "possess" any traits.

    >Are electromagnetic fields spooky? Then why developmental fields?

    Because there is a physical basis to electromagnetism, grounded in a couple of centuries of research.

       Also, nobody is
    >claiming that dinosaurs are signalling us. The form of the dinosaur is a
    >living memory that can be tapped into by sufficiently similar organisms in
    >the course of their development.

    Okay, whether or not there is a pushed signal or a pulled influence, it's still one of the nuttiest things I've ever heard.

    [In termites]

    > > By hearing I mean sensistivity to vibration.
    >Of course. As I said, this possibility has already been ruled out.

    The pheromones must be getting though the plate then. (Actually I dispute that the sound hypothesis has been ruled out. Where did you read that?)

    >In what sense is it dodgy? Because it points to a conclusion you disagree
    >with? Scripta Medica is a respected journal that no doubt prints all sorts
    >of stuff you would be perfectly in agreement with. But when it prints
    >something you don't like, you call it "fringe." More loaded language.

    I hadn't heard of that journal at all until you cited it.

    > > Many thousands of scientists who have done cell culture over the last
    > > will tell you that resistance to compunds added to flasks does not spring
    > > the other flasks. I personally have done many hundreds of similar
    > > (in the mid-90s). What Hill proposes is just absurd.
    >How would you know whether or not one culture is influencing a physically
    >separated culture unless you directly tested for it?

    That's what I'm saying. I have. And so have thousands of other scientists doing cell culture experiments. Setting up a negative control flask is a standard part of the procedure. What Hill is seeing is contamination of his negative controls. If this effect was real, other people elsewhere would have seen it by now. I travelled to work by train this morning, so did several hundred other people on the same train. If one person claimed to have made the journey by quantum entanglement, how would you view that claim?

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