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spontaneous generation and panspermia

C. Richard Wrathall GENES at american.edu
Sat Jan 21 09:47:14 EST 1995

In article <badger.790306063 at phylo>
badger at phylo.life.uiuc.edu (Jonathan Badger) writes:
>Unfortunately, Oparin 1) lived in the
>pre-molecular biology age (he did most of his work in the 1920's) and 2)
>was an ardent Marxist and his work tends to suffer from Marxist mysticism
>(the idea of History (with a capital H) marching forward to a glorious future
>is present in a lot of his work)
I am not sure what to make of these comments. Sure, Oparin did most of his work
in the 1920's, but so did Muller, and S. Wright certainly did a lot of work
at that time - are we to discard these because they are so old and out of
date that they have no relavance to the age of Molecular Biology? (By the way,
much of my work involves Recombinant DNA, what ever that includes.)
And as far as the second, are we only to admit staunch free-market believers
into our ranks, such as Speaker GingRICH - I am sure that he would be one of
the first in line to "zero out" funding for a Marxist like Oparin. Of course,
a number of other workers might suffer the same fate - de Chardin - he of the
"ascending arrow of the great biological synthesis" - certainly his writings
must be purged. Even the great Sir Charles (Biology, not Basketball) wrote
"...[evolutionary theory] .... may give [man] hope for a still higher
destiny in the distant future."
Oh, well - I must be mistaken, and this was not what the Jonathan had in mind.
At least I hope so.
                            Dick Wrathall
>More recently, people such as Manfred Eigen and Gunter Wachterhauser have
>provided models more in tune with modern scientific knowledge.

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