Re: Me against the meme

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Tue 08 Nov 2005 - 10:32:43 GMT

  • Next message: Derek Gatherer: "Re: Me against the meme"

    And on the cell culture evidence; let's have a quick look at the cold fusion issue... Theories exist only till they are disproved and every standard control in every experiment, as Derek says, counts as a refutation of this anomolous result. I have seen far worse -- the other day I saw a guy talking about cycles of infection for a common food contaminant, and how the different strains of the bacteria appeared to be 'jumping' between the cages of groups of chickens, but the design he described was more full of holes than a sponge! No testing of the likeliood of transfer by keepers etc etc. Just a 'hey this is weird' characterisation and a load of bullshit computer modelling that tried to cash in on the complexity thing; and this guy is
    (apparently) a reputable scientist with a pretigious post at the institute we share a campus with! God help us (lol).

    To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes; when you have eliminated the impossible (or daft), what remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Occam through Conan Doyle's eyes (who was himself then fooled by two little girls' pictures of fairies as he had insufficient mental awareness of the potential to be misled by the new technology of photography). The world is often puzzling, but never turns out to be weird. Which is a pity, but undeniable. Even the quantum stuff will turn out to be mundane, just wait.

    Derek Gatherer wrote:
    > 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
    >> century
    >> > will tell you that resistance to compunds added to flasks does not
    >> spring
    >> into
    >> > the other flasks. I personally have done many hundreds of similar
    >> experiments
    >> > (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?
    > ===============================================================
    > 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 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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue 08 Nov 2005 - 10:52:49 GMT