Re: Fw: Fw: economic irreducible complexity

Pattle Pun (
Sat, 30 Nov 1996 10:37:06 -0600 (CST)

On Fri, 29 Nov 1996, Glenn Morton wrote:
> SA. I do not know whether the misunderstanding of Horgan's position comes
> from you or Walter, but using the June 1995 SA article as some sort of
> evidence of a crack in the complexity theorists is dubious at best.
The misunderstanding comes from me and not from Walter. But what Horgan
quoted from John Maynard Smith, one of the pioneers of mathematical
biology still stands,

> >"Self organization in complex systems which consist of large numbers of
> >coupled chemical together have been demonstrated primarily in computer
> >simulations. Again, the complexity or information that can be produced in
> >an actual system depends on logistically arranging the many chemical
> >reactions which take place in a very complicated way so that the required
> >coupling can occur. While this is not a problem in the computer, it would
> >be a "nightmare" in a real system of 1,000,000 chemical reactions.
> What does Walter think happens in a living cell?
This is exactly "the question". Living cell can organize all complicated
reactions into a concerted whole exactly because of its biological
based on informational transfer and coupled reactions. The question is how
does the first cell get there BEFORE all this informational transfer and
coupled reactions can be regulated within a biological whole. Natural
Selection has NOTHING to offer before there is a self regulating unit as a
living cell which can also respond to the environmental cue, i.e. the lac
operon in E. coli. Self organization does not give selectivity as to the
D-sugars and the L amino acids and the 3'-5'phosphodiester bonds in
nucleci acids. The selectivity is mediated by enzymatic reaction, which
can be also classified as one of those irreducible complexities.

------------------------------------- Dr. Pattle Pun
Professor of Biology
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630)752-5303
FAX: (630)752-5996