Re: Song of Myself

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat Aug 25 2001 - 16:04:55 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Song of Myself
    Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 11:04:55 -0400
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    >From: <>
    >Subject: Re: Song of Myself
    >Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 01:26:57 -0500
    >On 24 Aug 2001, at 11:15, Dace wrote:
    > > > I have to say this persistant misuse of a radio analogy, presumably
    > > stemming
    > > > from Sheldrake himself, is remarkable. How best to argue that
    > > > biological processes are mechanistic... oh well, let's use a
    > > > mechanical analogy by citing radio!
    > >
    > > It's a purely logical point. If it's true in *some* cases that an
    > > object (such as a tuner) appears to contain another object (such as a
    > > song) while in reality merely relaying it from a distant source of
    > > origin, then it cannot be logically maintained that in *all* cases the
    > > appearance of containment necessitates containment. The point is that
    > > the arising of the organism from an egg cannot constitute proof that
    > > the organism was in any way "preformed" within that egg. It's only
    > > the spell of the preformationism meme that prevents us from
    > > acknowledging this.
    > >
    >This error of Dace's does not require the radio analogy to assist it;
    >It has been made (hundreds of years) before. Descartes believed
    >that the soul was transmitted or channeled into the body via the
    >pineal gland; he based this mistake upon the fact that there is only
    >one pineal gland in the head, but two of most everything else, and
    >he considered the soul to be singular.
    > >
    > > > In order for radios to pick up anything more than the hum of big
    > > > bang, and other natural producers of radio waves is if someone
    > > > somewhere is deliberately transmitting signals that have
    > > > specifically been encoded into radio transmissions at particular
    > > > wavelengths. So if this analogy is a better way to think of MR,
    > > > then who or what is sending the signals, and
    > > how,
    > > > that organisms are supposedly using to construct themselves?
    > >
    > > Radio waves involve frequency, not form. When you go up the dial,
    > > instead of receiving higher complexity, all you get is higher
    > > frequency. Morphic resonance is as natural as electromagnetic
    > > resonance. The form is transmitted without any need for a primal
    > > transmitter.
    > >
    >This is really obtuse, considering that there are so many
    >parameters for form, such as size, external shape, internal pattern,
    >material composition, etc., but only a simple higher or lower
    >frequency. His morphic resonance is, like god, an uncaused
    >cause, which does not answer questions so much as ignores them
    >and substitutes a take-it-or-leave-it in spite of evidence
    >fundamentalistic dogmatism in its place. It is, at its heart, a
    >religious belief system, not a scientific theory.
    > >
    > > > This doesn't get rid of the designer problem at all,
    > >
    > > In Sheldrake, there's no design, only the resonance with previous,
    > > similar forms. The organism need not contain within it a preformed
    > > version of itself, be it homunculus, blueprint, code, program, or
    > > whatever guise the preformationism meme acquires in its struggle for
    > > survival.
    > >
    >That would sorta make genes redundant, superfluous and
    >unnecessary, but when you remove them from a zygote, it doesn't
    >develop worth a damn.
    Coupling this with what you said in another post about empty zygotes not
    developing at all in absence of genetic material, you might wanna be a
    little careful how far you step out into this line of attack.


    There is the concept of the "midblastula transition" which Scott Gilbert
    covers in his text _Developmental Biology_ (1997. Sinauer Associates, Inc.
    Publishers. Sunderland, Massachusetts). As Gilbert says in the context of
    *Xenopus* embryonic development on page 488 before this "midblastula
    transition" that: "the nucleus is essentially inactive" and that
    "development proceeds on the materials stored in the oocyte cytoplasm."

    This isn't an absolute contradiction of what it seems your hinting at, but
    it does show that there's more to be considered than the genes in the
    zygotic nucleus when it comes to embryonic development, though things may
    vary when compared across species.

    For those interested in developmental biology the site is
    quite informative.

    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

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