The clinical irrelevance of modern neurology and the Nobel Prize

grokelly at delphi.com grokelly at delphi.com
Mon Feb 13 02:00:56 EST 1995


	I am making available what I hope is the finally revised 
version of a paper which discusses the inadequacies of the ionic 
channel school's account of nerve impulse propagation as presented 
by Bertil Hille, John Eccles, John Koester et alii.  This paper is a 
partly revised paper of the same name ("Biology, Bioelectricity, and 
the Nervous System") that was available on the Internet last year.  It 
has been revised to deal with the criticisms of it received at that 
time.  The reader is encouraged to bring to the attention of the 
author any problems, question, or comments which may arise.  The 
paper points out that the favored definitions for electricity (the net 
movement or flow of electrical charge, or, pace Hille, 'charges of 
opposite sign are separated or can move independently') are based on 
19th century treatments of electricity as a fluid, but still fail to 
account for a phenomenon noticed in the early 19th century with 
regard to electricity, that of induced magnetic fields.  The paper 
discusses how flimsy definitions of electricity are relied upon by 
the ionic channel school in order to allow for the possibility of 
proton or molecular electricity, ion currents, and to allow for the 
use of Nernst's 19th century, thermodynamic equations which 
express in volts the difference in order/entropy between two 
concentrations of a single ion.
	The paper points out that in Hille's 'classical biophysics' 
"Membrane biophysicists seek to explain these rules of cellular 
response in terms of physical chemistry and electricity."  But the 
'biophysical method' "...is austere on the chemical side, however, as 
it cares less about the chemistry of the structures involved than 
about the dynamic and equilibrium properties they exhibit."  The 
paper points out how the preferred version of the measured 
electrodynamics of the cell membrane, awarded a Nobel prize in 
1963, thoroughly confuses electrochemistry with electricity, and 
thereby, in its incompleteness and befuddlement, fails to exploit the 
use of DC stimulation to simulate strong CNS, peripheral-synaptic 
functioning and thereby remedy many of the chronic and degenerative 
disorders that have their origins in this circumstance (i.e., the 
weakening of CNS triggered, post-synaptic anabolism).  These 
disorders range from emphysema, muscular weakness, heart disease, 
diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, myopia, to disorders arising from 
weakened or perturbed immune functioning, i.e., auto-immune 
diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus.
	The paper presents one possible 'epiphenomenalist' (Hille's 
term) explanation for the readings gained by the ionic channel 
neuroscientist.  This explanation stresses electrochemistry rather 
than electricity however as the motive force of nerve impulse 
propagation, and contends that biophysics should be every bit as up 
to date with physics as chemistry is.
	The theoretical explanation presented is embedded in a 
discussion of the claims of Ernst Mayr that biology is scientific, and 
how certain ideas of Mayr's with regard to the non-existence of 
systemic changes are not at all 'scientific' in Mayr's definition of 
the term.  The paper points out how Mayr's definition of science, 
however incorrect and irrelevant it is, is not even measured up to by 
his own pronouncements upon the pace of genetic change and the 
fossil record which smack more of 'religion' as he defines it.
	The paper is 55 pages in length and available on request in the 
standard e-mail format which, unfortunately, eliminates italics, 
superscripts, underlining, font size changes, etc. as if a manual 
typewriter were its source.  It is also available in binhexed form by 
special request, preserving these embellishments.  Respond to 
IN%"grokelly at delphi.com"  



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