neurobiological antinomies betray problems with hard sciences

Rifle River jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu
Tue Apr 19 13:05:05 EST 1994

In article <JY2vDmF.gokelly at delphi.com>, GREGORY C.O'KELLY
<gokelly at delphi.com> wrote:

>  In the former case the idea that life is somehow 
> special, an 'emergent' quality of the elements, has been relied upon by the 
> gradual school of genetic evolution championed by Ernst Mayr.   
>  This view of life encounters problems when pressed for a 
> functional model of the nervous system, and can only gage nervous system 
> complexity in terms of relative brain size and weight.

How does a "view" encounter problems?
Are you actually familiar with any functional models and do you understand
> life as something special and mechanical, prevent neuroscience from 
> making connections that are obvious on more fundamental approaches to 
> nervous system functioning.

Please define special.  While you're at it, define mechanical too.

>  The result is the characteristic lack of 
> clinical efficacy of neurological science and the failure of medicine not 
> only to understand the primary causes of degenerative illness and aging, 
> but also to do anything about either.

So, you are claiming that this "view" prevents proper treatment and 
understanding of neurological disorders.  I know of much evidence which 
directly contradicts this claim (refs upon request).

>  Western medicine is focused on acute 
> problems even though they may be brought on by degenerative maladies.

Wait a minute, I thought you just stated that the causes of degenerative
illnesses weren't known.  Yes, it's true.  Examine your previous sentence.

>  In 
> a style of medicine and pharmacology that demands clinical results, it 
> should seem surprizing that archaic neurological and scientific dogmas 
> should be perpetuated when they result in so little therapeutic 
> intervention.

Again, you state your claim: dogma or "view" prevents therapeutic benefits.
> organized medicine in this country, the rise of Osler's "school of 
> therapeutic nihilism"

Are you now claiming that clinical practice denies the existence of
truth?  Please explain therapeutic nihilism.

> Ever since the middle of the last century the idea has been accepted 
> that a nerve or a brain cell can be stimulated by touching an electrode to 
> it.    Areas of control in the brain were 'mapped' using this technique.  
> But this presumption is  incorrect.  In the first place, AC and DC are 
> different in electron behavior.

Please give your references which indicate that electrons were used to
stimulate neurons.  When I stimulate neurons, I use potassium ions (a
very large positively charged species).
> Despite what John Eccles and Charles Sherrington had to say about the 
> issue, you cannot get charge from AC without changing it to DC. 

Please provide a reference for this also. 
> Neuroscientific work has always focused on the examination of voltages, 
> something present in both AC and DC

A voltage is not "present in" current.
> Neuroscience has accepted a definition of depolarization that does not 
> involve the annihilation of electrical charge, but is the result the balance 
> of equal numbers of oppositely charged ions.

First, tell me what you mean by "equal numbers" then explain to me how 
your "quantity" of equal numbers results in the voltage you just mentioned.

>  electricity found no where else in the world, one in which the electricity 
> is molecular rather than electronic.

It is electrochemical and it IS found all over the world.

> 	Such 'animal electricity' is though the result of fluid dynamics and 
> molecular 'depolarization', an 'ionic mechanism'.

This is the closest thing to truth, so far.  However, it appears that you
ridiculing your most plausible statement.

>  Such sciosophy tries to 
> account for biology in terms of the first fundamental force of nature only, 
> gravity (the world of Newtonian 'classical mechanics').

Hello!  What have you been reading?  Or, do you just dream this stuff up?
Please give me a source showing evidence for this claim.  I have numerous
(refs upon request) to contradict this statement.

>  The effects of the 
> second fundamental force, electromagnetism, are not thought particularly 
> pertinent, are not understandable on traditional, theoretical models of the 
> nervous system,

Have you checked the literature?  Check again.

> e.g. that bones heal 
> faster when a DC current flows across the break,

Finally, an actual claim rather than inuendo and ingnorance of facts.
However, I would like you source for this one.

> that childhood leukemia 
> rates are up around power lines,

I would like you source for this one, too.  Please keep in mind that
is not causation.

> 	Many claim that forces on the level of that of the electron and 
> electrical charge have little influence on  life as we know it, though they 
> admit, when pushed, of the use of such things as gel electrophoresis in the 
> study of genes and amino acids.

Yes, I have seen gel electrophoresis used also.  Your point is certainly
by such admissions :-).   Do you understand the charged nature of amino
or genes?  Obviously you are clueless.  Are you not going to discuss the
other two forces for us?

>  They do not want to admit that electrical 
> charge and its movement play any part in the body's functioning however,

Who are they?  I happen to know of several people who will admit that 
electrical charge and its movement play an important part of function,
myself included.
> saying that electrons can have no existence in the body apart from 
> molecules.

If you actually have evidence to the contrary then please present it.

>  The equivalency of mass and energy is not thought of as 
> biologically pertinent, and energy is spoken of as heat which is due to 
> molecular collisions in a world in which only particles and their motion 
> have any substance, and the particles are no smaller than atoms.

Are you arguing that a biological effect (of a molecule) can not truly be
unless the entire subatomic constituents of the atom are first described?  
Have you ever heard of a control?  

>  A 
> strange form of iatrophysics is invoked to explain behavior in terms of 
> consciousness as if this were somehow more than mere physics or 
> biochemistry.

Please give your source.

>  And neuroscience muddles on while clinical neurologists 
> still check for 'reflex arcs' in their diagnoses before saying nothing can be 
> done.

I have seen some dysfunctional or nonexistent reflex arcs.  Do you think
these types of illnesses should be ignored?

> 	Would you care to find out more about these issues?

...find out more?  You haven't told us anything, yet.

I will now take the time to list all of the types of errors you have made.

1)  Errors of fact
2)  Contradiction
3)  Errors of omission
4)  Failure to specify (no sources given)
5)  Wild speculation
6)  Irrelevant conclusion
7)  Failure to follow up (many of your claims could easily be checked out)
8)  Affirming the consequent
9)  Sweeping generalizations
10) Inuendo
11) Fallacy of reduction (I hadn't seen this in years)
12) Appeal to ignorance

Do you actually think that anyone on this list is taking you seriously?  If
you are truly a clueless shithead!

If you are going to claim that current views and dogma are incorrect then 
present evidence which contradicts the current ideas (note: hand-waving
statements about "power lines and leukemia" are not considered good

Not only do you make the claim that current dogma is wrong, but you imply
that clinical neurology would benefit from your new viewpoint.

If you make a claim then back it up with evidence.  Otherwise, take your
cluelessness elsewhere. 

Rifle River                     
jstream at girch1.med.uth.tmc.edu    

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