RE: virus: 2+2 (Or, One cannot both Replicate and Reproduce)

Gifford, Nate F (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 14:59:09 -0400

Brett Lane Robertson writes
>Newer theories of reproduction take into account such things as the
>permeability of the egg membrane (which suggests that the genes are not
>stable but instead are still being influenced by the environment--through
Nate G writes:
This would indicate that eggs select <to a certain extent .... how much?>
the sperm that may fertilize them ... but bottom line the egg and sperm
still both carry haploid representations of the parental DNA.

>Other things which I have learned since my high school
>biology class are: Genes may encode certain preferred patterns into
>virus-like formats by which they organize their own
Nate G writes:
I suspect this occurs during mitosis so that again these encodings choose
from the patterns available from the parental pool of DNA.

>And that certain biological forms do not evolve by reproductive
Nate G writes:
Evolution is the name we give to the expression of the process of natural

>they merely reach a stage of ineffectiveness and then become exitnct as a
>new form takes over (implying that this new form is not orchestrated by
>genetics...that genetics is inefficient).
Nate G writes:

Genetics is the ability to pass a working strategy to the next generation
... with enough mutability to allow for species changes as the environment
changes. If a given species is so specialized that it can't adapt to an
environmental change ... well thats extinction. In what sense is genetics
inefficient? From my point of view extinction is an example of genetics
being too efficient ....
>This last point suggests that "numbers" fail to capture a platonic "form"
>because they are mere shells of that form (like chance fails to suggest
>kind of development but suggests merely a chaotic state ['chance'] which
>be used--like numbers--to represent the final form but which cannot claim
>have produced the form nor to move it forward into any new form...rather
>chance averages things to zero-sum so that chance--or chaos--can
Nate G writes:

I don't think that chance averages things to a zero-sum .... in fact I
think you're mixing mathematical metaphors there. Chance says that things
congregate around a mean ... and the width of deviation from the mean
determines how likely any randomly chosen member of a distribution will be
different from the mean.

Please note that not all games are zero-sum.... If you are playing a game
and the outcome is not zero-sum, well then if you're not on the winning
side you're screwed, and if you are on the winning side you'll do whatever
you can to keep the other players in the game.
>>On the other hand, the process of math shows that although we are
>with an infinite set (there are an infinite number of pieces which can
>to the sum "X") only certain combinations work (1+2=3, but 1+1 does not,
> fact, an infinite number of parts can add to "3", but only in
>specific combinations):
Nate G writes:

I think we're dealing with an infinity of infinite sets here. Only one out
of that infinity of sets is the set for "3". The set of "3" contains
infinite members. If I were a math major I might be able to tell you one
more thing about this relationship .... but since I'm not I can't.

>This does not suggest that "reality and the platonic ideal currently only
intersect under the most artificial and >simple conditions..." but that
they intersect under only the most natural and
>specific conditions.
Nate G writes:

I was specifically thinking of the guy in James Gleick's Chaos book who got
an analog computer to exactly predict when a drop of water was going to
fall into a beaker ... but only at night when traffic on the nearby highway
didn't screw up the experiment. Perhaps you could give me examples of how
functions map onto reality in a natural and specific way? I guess the
other thing I was thinking about was doing my high school physics labs
before class using appropriate fudge factors to duplicate experimental
error. The B students were the ones who tried to do the experiments
directly with the half assed equipment or the ones who tried to make their
results exactly match what the book said.

> prime examples of a process minus the contrived symbolic
representations (as "math" the essence, not >"mathematics" the academic I'm sure if I ascribed to the academic
>discipline--if I "take more math"--then I will begin to see how simple
products can be made complicated and fail >to see how simple processes
imply platonic forms.
Nate G writes:

I content that if I were the one taking more math than what I would have is
more notations for describing the platonic ideal. I'll refer you to the
various Richard Feynman biographies <I have made it a point NOT to read
Gleick's Genius by the way...> that talk about how Feynman's biggest talent
was to give a problem a notation. Mathematics really has very little to do
with numbers per se .... and a lot to do with notations for expressing
properties of numbers. My point would be that chaos theory is important
because it can predict how much things will differ from expectations based
on their fractal dimension ... that is how accurate a weather will be for 1
day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, 1 century ... But it won't predict HOW the
difference will occur. The closest analogy I can think of is in Gravity's
Rainbow where they can say the bombs are falling with a perfect Poisson
distribution ... but they can't say where they'll fall next.