You can use the word evolution in everything you say and do. The challenge
is to relate the evolutionary theorIES to the practical sciences and I am
sure that there is none! Moorad
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: Challenge
> Moorad writes:
> >There is only one Noble prize in physics that has anything to do
> >with the Big Bang-- Penzias and Wilson 1978--and that was an
> >accidental discovery not influenced by theoretical work on the early
> >universe. Of course, our interpretation of the radiation being the
> >remnant of the Big Band may change in the future. My challenge to
> >those who know the field of physiology or medicine, etc. is the
> >following: What Nobel Prize granted in such fields was the result of
> >applications of evolutionary theory? I enclose the press release of
> >this year's prize in physiology or medicine. Moorad
> I'd say evolutionary _theorIES_ rather than theory.
> Hmmm... Are Nobels generally awarded for applications of a theory
> or elucidation of the theory itself and/or mechanisms which lead
> to the theory? I think it's generally the latter. This is particularly
> true for the award in physiology and medicine where Nobels for
> research tend to lag the initial discovery until long after
> applications are found and the impact of the work is generally
> appreciated. The most recent example is Hartwell, Hunt & Nurse;
> they got the award about 20 years after the fact.
> Note that most Nobels given in relation to organismal biology come
> under the area of physiology and medicine, not biology in general.
> Consequentially, most are related to the elucidation of fundamental
> biochemical mechanisms of organisms. That's why I wouldn't expect
> to ever see an award for work in paleontology.
> Similarly, most of the work cited relates to studies of evolution
> in terms of discovering mechanisms underlying evolution.
> Starting from the earliest - Particularly pertinent would be:
> 1933: Thomas Hunt Morgan's work on fly genomics. His research had
> major impact on evolutionary studies and the "Modern synthesis"
> in which genetic research was merged with the study of evolution.
> During that period, Morgan was thoroughly aware of the relationship
> of his work to theories of evolutionary mechanisms.
> 1946: Hermann Muller's work on Xrays and mutation.
> Other, earlier work on the nature of DNA and related biochemical
> discoveries included: Lederberg, Beadle & Tatum (1958 - Genetic
> and mechanisms); Watson, Crick & Wilkins (1962 - Structure of DNA);
> Jacob, Lwoff & Monod (1965 - Genetic control mechanisms), Rous
> (1966 - Tumor transforming viruses), Khorana, Holley & Nirenberg
> (1968 - Genetic code); Delbruck, Luria & Hershey (1969 way too late,
> IMHO - Replication & genetics of viruses). All of these have provided
> the early foundations for studies of evolutionary genetics and if
> one reads their biographies or collections of papers, one will see
> that most were aware of the relationships of their work to evolutionary
> mechanisms and development.
> Perhaps missing from the list of Nobels is Sewall Wright for his
> work on inheritance and evolutionary genetics, which never seemed to
> clearly fall into the category of "physiology and medicine". The same
> could be said for many others.
> Outside of the "physiology and medicine" award:
> Interestingly, Nobel awards in economics often find application in
> evolutionary biology. The study of markets and game theories, which
> all involve components of selection, have influenced and have been
> influenced by evolutionary biology, particularly behavioral
> Note also that there are no Nobel prizes in mathematics. This would
> tend to bias against recognition of the areas of neural networks
> and applications of genetic algorithms. Such work has received
> internationally recognized awards; just never a Nobel (not directly,
> at least).
> Overall, I think it's a tad early to expect Nobels from _applications_
> of evolutionary theories. For example, the application of evolutionary
> mechanisms to drug design and research is less than a decade old. DNA
> computers have been demonstrated but probably won't make it as a
> mature technology. Genetic algorithms have found many applications in
> engineering but it's still relatively new and not a likely subject for a
> Tim Ikeda (email@example.com)
> mail2web - Check your email from the web at
> http://mail2web.com/ .
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