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OT: Plant cell biology


Linda, I have a very skewed sense of humor...if that isn't obvious from
"Hello?"

The statement about "reproductive vectors" was half in fun, actually, poking
gentle fun at the mechanistic interpretation of biological phenomena without
regard to transcendent values and appropriate language--such as occurs with
Aesthetics.

It is impossible to give a positivistic underpinning to the word "beautiful"
or its synonyms except in terms of observable responses (in a probability
matrix) to the presence of a certain phenomenon....such as my going and
getting the tweezers, tags and weather-proof pen and doing what I do with
irises.  "I like it" is impossible to pin, but the majority of our language
works on the level of statements akin to "beautiful" or "I like it," not the
scientifically precise one.

Strict, useful, scientific work *has* to have language grounded in observation
through precise definitions.  Most of the floundering we (as a culture) have
been through in "Science" has been the result of weak definitions, weak
formulations.  Once the language of "Positivism," which is strictly
mechanistic, was put into service, we made rapid progress---which does not
rule out intuition, the playful mind or the adventurous one either.  It just
requires those folks to put--or to work with those who <can> put their
insights to the test using the kind of language to which I refer.

Logic and the symbols of the discipline are prerequisites to formation of
theory.  Dramatic insights come through intuitive leaps--which <then> have to
be restated and tested in the language of Science.

Robert--you reminded me of something I did know in the one case (the transfer
of energy)--and provided a key unlocking something else I didn't understand.
You have been very, very helpful.

I hope my posts, when I get on a roll, don't run folks off.  I do get rather
excited about all this material.  I have wanted to know for forty years what I
am now just learning.  Finally, Biological science has caught up with my
questions!

Back in the early sixties I told the head of our local Biology department at
my undergrad alma mater I wanted to trace--or see traced--the sequence of
events all the way from the DNA codes, which were just then filtering down to
our level, to the living organism.  He just laughed.

"Neil," he said, "you were born about five hundred years too soon."

<Nicht wahr!>  It has taken a mere forty, and the process rolls forward at an
ever accelerating pace.  If Dr. Stanford could only see us now.....

Neil Mogensen  z  7  western NC mountains.

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