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Patrick Clifford

  • Commented on Question Submission 14 (Last One)
    I agree that biological scientists are investigating the generation of phenotypic traits at the molecular level. But I do not believe they are trying to reduce classical genetics to molecular genetics. The scientists are looking for more accurate and coherent...
  • Commented on Question Submission 14 (Last One)
    Waters' discussion of theoretical reduction and the layer-cake anti-reduction is provocative. It seems to me that Waters' demand for shifting towards a practice-centered interpretation of knowledge would be a natural result of evaluating reductive theories with Love's three aspects of...
  • Commented on Question Submission 13
    This clarification would help me as well. I feel marginally confident in my understanding of the "secret hope or end". Does it point to the tendency of reductionism to funnel the sciences into physics? And that, in many cases, the...
  • Commented on Question Submission 13
    "A context-dependent translation is an incomplete translation." We discussed how much of the terminology used in Mendelian and molecular genetics is context-dependent. Wimsatt argues that translation of such terminology from one level to another is incomplete, and thus undesirable. I...
  • Commented on Question Submission 12
    I think your question is quite pertinent, although a full answer would require a very broad and detailed account of reductionism. The benefits I perceive from reduction are frequently marginal. They can create a layered appearance of the sciences which...
  • Commented on Question Submission 12
    On page 38 Hull stats, "If Mendelian genetics is to be reduced to molecular genetics, then better reduction functions will have to be formulated. However, the formulation of such reduction functions turns out to be a good deal more formidable...
  • Commented on Question Submission 10
    On page 116 Morange states, "the discovery of the double helix was both a motor and a brake on the later developments of molecular biology." This discovery was certainly a motor for future developments but how could it have possibly...
  • Commented on Question Submission 9
    A great question. It stimulated a good discussion in lecture which brought in the layer cake concept; a concept leaving much to be desired. My own thoughts have the sciences arranged in analogous form to neural networks. The cell body...
  • Commented on Question Submission 9
    Morange introduced a new concept to me in the first chapter, evolutionary synthesis. In summary of Morange, it shares much of its inferences with Darwin's theory of evolution, although it rejects the inheritance of acquired characters, and implies that genotype...
  • Commented on Question Submission 8
    I think your question is pertinent. Even though all three maps were investigative tools, in my opinion, the standard map is the most readily comprehensible of the three. As a result, to explain what classical geneticists where achieving, historians and...
  • Commented on Question Submission 8
    In section 3.3a Waters has a footnote stating that "scientists can employ an inference to best explanation within the context of an established body of knowledge." My question is why or how does 'inference to the best explanation' not apply...
  • Commented on Question Submission 7
    Water's certainly cast a tremendous amount of doubt on the capabilities of the current paradigm for understanding classical genetics. "Historical and philosophical accounts that presume classical genetics was structured by an overarching theory of preformationism or of gene transmission fail...
  • Commented on Question Submission 6
    I asked a related question to Troy's the other week. After thinking about it and now his I thoroughly believe that the inherent flaws reductionist theories tend to have act like navigational tools to the sciences. Scaffolding is a great...
  • Commented on Question Submission 5
    The opening quote from Maynard Smith to Griesemer's "The Units of Evolutionary Transition" states that "any attempt to formalize an evolutionary problem mathematically obliges one to make, explicitly or implicitly, assumptions about what are the units of selection..." Has the...
  • Commented on Question Submission 4
    I just read roha0014...hope my post still helped someone besides me. :)...
  • Commented on Question Submission 4
    A compelling question Wesley. I was troubled by the same concept. I only have thoughts on the subject and no certainty, but is it possible that coupling of specific traits is merely coincidental regarding which traits are coupled? The ordering...
  • Commented on Question Submission 4
    The shift from Natural Theology towards Methodological Individualism (the idea that understanding is a conglomeration of the decisions and actions of individuals), which Wimsatt touched on in lecture, left pronounced changes on the modalities of inquires into the processes of...
  • Commented on Question Submission 2
    In response to your first question; I think that the immediate objective of evolution (immediate menaing any period of time between environmental reorganizations) is precisely what you describe. A species reproduces as a means of generating enough variation to get...
  • Commented on Question Submission 3
    "Reductive explanations are driven by referential identities or localizations - not by theoretical similarities...identities and localizations are powerful hypothesis generators for an articulatory reductionist." -Wimsatt My philosophical experience I believe is lacking. I certainly felt beyond my depth reading...
  • Commented on Question Submission 1
    An exceptionally provocative extension of craw0119's post. The sciences seem to be blurring the distinction between matter and energy (entities and forces). Light is both a particle and a wave. We have the brain and the mind. And there are...
  • Commented on Question Submission 1
    I am wondering what concepts espoused by Darwin in his manuscript, "The Origins of Species..." are today taken for granted. Such as the succession of genes through the offspring of the most fruitful individuals gradually spreading through a gene pool...
  • Commented on Trial Run
    Evolution is no game...its a matter of life and death.......
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