Michael Kisley (kisley at rintintin.Colorado.EDU) wrote:
: I found these posts interesting and enjoyable reading, regardless of their
: adherence or non-adherence to the strict definition of "abstract". Your
: post, Claire, is inflammatory and unnecessarily harsh.
: Michael Kisley
In general, I have to side with Claire (although I wouldn't limit useful
literature contributions to post 1980). Kelly himself was rather inflammatory
in his initial "abstracts," wherein he called neurologists "impotent" and
biology a "flaccid" science. (This guy seems so have some kind of phallic
complex.) I think there are several areas in which neurologists can and do
contribute significantly to the health of their patients, and I can think
of at least a handful of procedures I use to answer biological questions
which are strictly physical, chemical, or mathematic (Kelly's "hard"
sciences -- Whoops! There goes the phallocentrism again). The difference
between biology and physics or chemistry is (often) that biology studies
systems which are more complex (i.e., not all variables can be controlled).
BUT, there are several biolgical research topics (enzyme kinetics, DNA
sequencing, etc.) which are very reductionist and very dependent on the
most stringent definition of the scientific theory.
I, like Claire, would also like to see Kelly shore up his point that
his topic has much relevance to neurodegenerative diseases, where the
loss of function is often the loss of STRUCTURAL organization or integrity.
It's difficult to imagine how bioelectricity could regrow a substantia nigra
or enhance the memory storing ability of a hippocampus riddled with
dystrophic neurons "fixed" by crosslinking of their cytoskeletons.
Steven W. Barger, Ph.D.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging