Biochemists generally have much more chemistry than biology as their focus.
Although most assume that the systems they study evolved, many are quite
ignorant about evolution. Jokes about the ignorance of actual organisms on
the part of molecular biologists are fairly popular. Biochemistry is still
in the process of discovering complexity. As of yet, very few have tried
to explain complex systems, so lack of explanations in the literature
doesn't say much about whether explanation is possible.
One day a shepherd was leading his flock across a road. A motorist
that had been waiting to pass got out of the car and said to the shepherd
"If I guess how many sheep are in your flock, can I have one?"
The shepherd replied "You can try, but there are so many that you
don't have a chance of getting it right."
The motorist simply said "2,328."
The astonished shepherd admitted that was the correct number, and told
the motorist to pick the sheep he wanted. As the motorist walked away with
his prize, the shepherd stopped him and said "I bet I can guess your
"OK", said the motorist, "but it's a rather unusual one."
The shepherd looked him straight in the eye and said "Molecular
The motorist's jaw dropped as he confirmed that the shepherd was
correct. As he started to walk away in amazement, the shepherd called out
"Now can I have my dog back?"
Department of Geology
CB 3315 Mitchell Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3315
"He had discovered an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus"-E. A. Poe, The