Re: Me against the meme

From: Dace (
Date: Wed 09 Nov 2005 - 22:37:10 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "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
    > every day. Your God-of-the-gaps argument relies on claiming that the bits
    > pieces are of trivial size compared to the whole, so you have a large gap
    > 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.

    Your bits and pieces will never add up to a coherent whole. You can't explain, starting from molecules, how order is maintained over time at the level of organelles and cells. What ought to happen to the cell at any given moment is precisely what does happen when it dies-- disintegration. Why doesn't it all disintegrate? What's holding it all together? This is where life comes in, not as a vital force but the simply the self-existence of the whole. It's the whole that lives, not the bits and pieces. It's the living whole that organizes the bits, not the other way around.

    Reductionistic biology cannot explain life. It can only explain what life would be like if it were actually machinery. In the effort to explain life, as opposed to mechanisms masquerading as life, we have no choice but to posit two things: field and memory. We must have holistic coordination of disparate activities, and we must have memory to guide the field. You have yet to offer any reason as to why a memory-based morphogenetic field is impossible. Since the memory/field hypothesis is the only hypothesis that can explain the basic features of life, including our own experience of being alive, the burden is on you to explain why it's impossible.

    Your fundamental confusion is to believe that the dominant theory is the default theory. It is not. The default theory is the one that takes life on its own terms, not the one that substitutes life with machinery and explains that instead. That the mass of researchers subscribes to the artificial theory rather than the natural one only goes to show the power of the machine-meme over modern consciousness.

    You must explain why there cannot be a memory-based morphogenetic field. What principles of existence are violated by such a field?

    > >You can't explain how
    > >the order of a cell follows from the order of its components. You've
    > >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
    > >of a cell are not ordered.
    > But they are. Hans Krebs, among others, knew by the 1930s that this was
    > case.

    I'm referring to the ultimate, molecular components of the cell, not intermediate components.

    > >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

    Your use of the word "spooky" demonstrates that your mind is already made up. This is no different than the reaction Faraday received when he proposed the concept of electromagnetic fields. He was written off as a crank. No one believed him until Maxwell proved it mathematically. Since Goodwin, we have the mathematics of morphogenetic fields as well. The difference is that Maxwell's math points to essentially timeless principles, while Goodwin's math can only show what has come about through historical contingency. There are no universal laws governing the forms of organisms. Unlike electromagnetic fields, morphogenetic fields evolve. The other difference is that electromagnetism is based on charge, whereas morphogenesis is based on form. But fundamentally they're the same. There's no reason to call one "spooky" but not the other. Niether can be directly detected but are inferred based on what we can observe.

    > >This doesn't contradict my statement. The mechanical function of genes,
    > >rather than setting up the mechanical construction of organs, merely
    > >a trait possessed by them, such as left-right polarity.
    > No, in this case the empirical evidence is well against you. The polarity
    > are expressed long before any organs start to form. Polarity is prior to
    > organogenesis, so there are no organs to "possess" any traits.

    Naturally left-right polarity is established prior to the emergence of the organ. Point being that genes can account for a superficial trait but not its fundamental organization.

    > > > Many thousands of scientists who have done cell culture over the last
    > > > will tell you that resistance to compunds added to flasks does not
    > > > 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
    > 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'll see if I can pass on your comments to Hill. If he responds, I'll let you know.


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