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Philosophical Leanings

FRANCIS MILLER MILLERFK95%CS25 at cadetmail.usafa.af.mil
Tue Apr 18 19:45:11 EST 1995


In article <m0s189U-0004PVC at uctmail.uct.ac.za> ED at molbiol.uct.ac.za ("Ed Rybicki") writes:

>> From:          bap at med.pitt.edu (Bruce Phillips)
>> Subject:       Philosophical Leanings

>>      A virologist visiting my institution recently suggested that man is
>> simply a vehicle by which DNA can replicate on the moon (and other planets?).
>> It's fun to anthropomorphize, but carrying it too far in describing the earth,
>> its creatures, and its molecules can lead to ludicrous conclusions.

>I use a photograph of a T4 phage model made by one of our students - in 
>metallic-gold finish - as an illustration of the function of a virus 
>capsid - and I introduce it initially as the Lunar Excursion Module 
>from the Apollo series....  The analogy hits home hard given that 
>initial confusion, in that they suddenly realise that the capsid is 
>doing what the lander did - protecting nucleic acids.

>Ain't no philosophy to it; life is simply the phenomenon accompanying 
>the propensity of nucleic acids to make more of themselves.

> ______________________________________________________
> |     Ed Rybicki, PhD      |  ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za   |
> |    Dept Microbiology     | University of Cape Town |
> | Private Bag, Rondebosch  |   7700, South Africa    |
> |   fax: x27-21-650 4023   | phone: x27-21-650-3265  |
> ------WWW URL: http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology------
>   
>   "And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
>      From the profit he's made on your dreams..."

Anyone interested in exploring the philosophical viewpoint of mankind merely 
being a slave for nucleic acids' self-proliferation might want to check out 
the book:  "The Selfish Gene"  by Richard Dawkins.   It is quite interesting 
reading.

Francis Miller



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