Thursday, October 14, 2004

Inspiration Can Be a Funny Thing.

I picked up the latest issue of Scientific American and found the article The Hidden Genetic Program of Complex Organisms by John S. Mattick. If a system ever deserved the label "complex" molecular biology is it. Much of the article lost me in the myriad of positive and negative feedback loops. What really struck me however was the author's opening paragraph:

Assumptions can be dangerous, especially in science. They usually start as the most plausible or comfortable interpretation of the available facts. But when their truth cannot be immediately tested and their flaws are not obvious, assumptions often graduate to articles of faith, and new observations are forced to fit them. Eventually, if the volume of troublesome information becomes unsustainable, the orthodoxy must collapse.

I would expand the context of this statement from science out to politics. It seems to fit today's mood entirely too well.

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