At Nautilus: Although it seems like evolutionary determinism, there’s some weight to the idea that cells are constrained to a certain evolutionary path, no matter the environment they appear in.
Physics was “hiding its deepest mysteries” thousands of years ago too before anyone uncovered laws for how it works. There are still mysteries in physics, of course, but they are now more basic. The laws are now known. Let’s hope the same proves true for biology.
At Quanta: Many researchers believe the selection to be random: Those right-handed genetic strands just happened to pop up first, or in slightly greater numbers. But for more than a century, some have pondered whether biology’s innate handedness has deeper roots.
We really do not know anything like what we should know about viruses before we just shut down our economies in a panic and so forth.
It would be nice to continue a civilized discussion of what fine-tuning means and implies in biology. Would incorporating an expectation of fine-tuning into biology hypotheses lead to quicker advances sooner? How will we test this—assuming that the village Darwin mob doesn’t storm the place, demanding that we shut down the discussion?
Jerry may well be brought down by this. Increasingly, “wokeness” rather than correct factual description, will confer academic esteem in science—thanks principally due to the progressivism (that Jerry has always supported) taking hold.
… in which we encounter the remarkable phenomenon of microchimerism (“These cells find their way into mother’s tissue and start acting like the tissue in which they find themselves. This process is known as feto-maternal microchimerism”)
There’s lots going on in Britain that isn’t covered by Times Higher. Look at this item, flagged by a kind reader, from IAI: Philosophy for Our Times.
In 2012, Italian theoretical biologist Marcello Barbieri resigned as editor of the journal Biosemiotics because he felt that research in this area had become unscientific.
Don’t miss this opportunity to enlighten yourself, courtesy Rollin’ France.
From the Abstract: The successful realization of quantum optics with this polypeptide as a prototypical biomolecule paves the way for quantum-assisted molecule metrology and in particular the optical spectroscopy of a large class of biologically relevant molecules.
Quantum mechanics can solve mysteries but only if they are mysteries of certain sort. The temptation is to try to shoehorn a mystery – they mentioned human consciousness – into that mold in order that quantum theory might solve it. But we haven’t yet established the role of quantum processes in much more basic biology so they might want to wait on that fuzzier stuff.
Dear readers, It has been far too long since my last post, occasioned by the fact that I have entirely too many irons in the fire. I hope you will forgive this brief “drive-by” post, with a request for some help and information. One of the common refrains that comes up regarding the fossil record, Read More…
Talbott: Every organism is an entity in which certain ideas and intentions are manifest — observably expressed and realized. We have to be willing to say, as everyone does say, “This cell is preparing to divide.” We would never say (as I mentioned earlier), “This planet is preparing to make another circuit of the sun.”
British physicist John Polkinghorne thinks that biologists see a more disorderly universe: I think two effects produce this hostility. One is that biologists see a much more perplexing, disorderly, and painful view of reality than is presented by the austere and beautiful order of fundamental physics. . . . There is, however, a second effect Read More…