Paulmohr’s Weblog

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<a href=””>This genetic research at slashdot</a> is an interesting thing which showed up after I wrote this.
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In dealing with a system of information it can be viewed in various scales. Physics that leads to chemistry to neuropathology to disease to social behavior to genetic trend to culture.
This is an example of how sciences interact and where the interdisciplinary study gives a better picture of what may really be going on. I don’t consider this to be ‘real science’ in the sense of strict test and measure, but the speculation to find the areas that need to be studied to establish a good causal link.
Prion disease is a good example of a system that ranges across sciences and how multiple skills in several areas is required to understand the problem as a whole. The molecular stability and conformation of a molecule can be a ‘chaotic attractor’ in a physical system at a certain temperature and environment. This leads to a catalytic chemical state where the improperly conformed molecule ‘breeds’ itself in the population of mirror molecules. This in turn leads to neurological changes in the brain. This then presents itself as symptoms in behavior. Ultimately this fact is a risk factor to carnivorous creatures that cannot differentiate the concept of predatory behavior within their own species. If the frequency of appearance of a ‘prion mirror catalyst’ was common, the advancement of a cannibalistic species would continually be ‘reset’ by death of a line until a separate associated effect was realized and paired. A sociological taboo can also evolve in a system which is evolving outside the constraints of DNA. So a species which developed a generational taboo is possible as one solution. I don’t claim in any case to be the absolute source of any conclusions as I simply keep models and allow the data to flow between models and if the evidence matches the prediction of the model, I assume that it may have validity. If I modify the model in a test, and then perform that same experiment in reality, and the results of that confirm a ‘prediction’ then I find the model more likable. I never assume that I have the complete perfect system as I feel that is surely impossible. I do see that there is a valuable lesson to be seen in how the smallest changes can have great consequence or more often no effect at all. (What is safe to play with and what is dangerous). In this case I would not consider altering a cultural taboo on cannibalism to see if the species as a whole would die. It seems that the entire structure of existence could be predicated upon many factors that may arise as nonsensical but may be a key to a hidden protection against the chaos of the universe. I doubt that many would be a proponent of cannibalism, however from a ‘pure scientific’ standpoint it might be argued that it was a simple ‘religious taboo’. I have had several cases where I see that religion in it’s many forms ‘could’ have some ‘genetic like’ role in the evolution of humanity in the same way as absolute cultural taboos. I think tat religion is fraught with inconsistencies and abuse, however, there may be something to be learned in the understanding of how it interacts with the social evolution of people. I fear there may be a ‘mental antibiotic’ hidden in the rather odd collection of religious and even baseless beliefs. Sometimes nature selects for the strangest reasons, but it is never kidding about death as a consequence of failure to listen to her.


April 24, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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