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Contexts of Discovery.

Started by Kai, January 30, 2009, 03:33:10 AM

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Kai

Some writings on science and philosophy, and people who make discoveries.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~bio125/09.Root-Bernstein1989.pdf How scientists really think.

http://www.duke.edu/~trout/w20/scudder.html Learning to See. Scudder really groks taxonomy at the most base level.

And, excerpts from A Feeling for the Organism, a book by EF Keller about Barbara McClintock, the Nobel Prize winning geneticist and mystic that worked with corn.

Quote"Her answer is simple. Over and over again, she tells us one must have the time to look, the patience to "hear what the material has to say to you," the openness to "let it come to you." Above all, one must have "a feeling for the organism""

QuoteOne must understand "how it grows, understand its parts, understand when something is going wrong with it. [An organism] isn't just a piece of plastic, it's something that is constantly being affected by the environment, constantly showing attributes or disabilities in its growth. You have to be aware of all of that...You need to know those plants well enough so that if anything changes,..

Quote"you can look at the plant and right away you know what this damage you see is from--something that scraped across it or something that bit it or something the wind did." You need to have a feeling for every individual plant

Quote"No two plants are exactly alike. They're all different, and as a consequence, you have to know that difference." "I start with seedling, and I don't want to leave it. I don't feel I really know the story if I don't watch the plant all the way along. So I know every plant in the field. I know them intimately, and I find it a great pleasure to know them."

Quote"I have learned so much about the corn plant that when I see things, I can interpret them right away"

Quote"what we label scientific truth is lots of fun. You get lots of correlations but you don't get the truth...Things are much more marvelous than the scientific method allows us to conceive."

Quote"Why do you know? Why were you so sure of something when you couldn't tell anyone else? You weren't sure in a boastful way; you were sure in what I call a completely internal way....What you had to do was put it into their frame. Whereever it came into your frame, you had to work to put it into their frame. So you work with so-called scientific methods to put it into their frame after you know. Well the question is how you know it."

Quote"What is ecstacy? I don't understand ecstasy, but I enjoy it. When I have it. Rare ecstasy."

Quote"Basically, everything is one. There is no way in which you draw a line between things. What we normally do is to make these subdivisions, but they're not real. Our educational system is full of subdivisions that are artificial, that shouldn't be there. I think maybe poets-- although I don't read poetry--have some understanding of this"

Quote"From the point of view of how [the world] worked, we knew how part of it worked....We didn't even inquire, didn't even see how the rest was going on. All these other things were happening and we didn't see it."

Quote"if you really want to understand about a tumor, you've got to be a tumor. Everywhere in science the talk is of winners, patents, pressures, money, no money, the rat race, the lot; things that are so completely alien...that I no longer know whether I can be classified as a modern scientist or as an example of a beast on its way to extinction."

Quote"I can't wait [for the revolution]. Because I think it's going to be marvelous, simply marvelous. We're going to have a completely new realization of the relationship of things to each other."



If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Vene

Quote from: Kai on January 30, 2009, 03:33:10 AM
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~bio125/09.Root-Bernstein1989.pdf How scientists really think.
Damn good find Kai, very interesting.  I think I should save it actually.

Kai

Quote from: Vene on January 30, 2009, 04:29:38 AM
Quote from: Kai on January 30, 2009, 03:33:10 AM
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~bio125/09.Root-Bernstein1989.pdf How scientists really think.
Damn good find Kai, very interesting.  I think I should save it actually.

These three articles have quickly become the MO of my research.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

willem

I have another nice line. It's called 'The Harvard Law'. :)

QuoteThe Harvard Law: Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Kai

Quote from: willem on January 30, 2009, 08:47:54 AM
I have another nice line. It's called 'The Harvard Law'. :)

QuoteThe Harvard Law: Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Moral: You can never control all variables when working with living things.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Vene

Quote from: Kai on January 30, 2009, 11:44:39 PM
Quote from: willem on January 30, 2009, 08:47:54 AM
I have another nice line. It's called 'The Harvard Law'. :)

QuoteThe Harvard Law: Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Moral: You can never control all variables when working with living things.
You can if you kill them and are only after their sweet, sweet enzymes.  But at that point it's chemistry and not biology anymore.  So, um, I guess you're still right.  Dammit.