Centriole? Huh?



Sir, please you may want to read what I wrote again:


(John Harshman) #23

I read it. So what you were really trying to say is that you think the balance between evolutionary biology and other parts of biology is currently just a little bit too far in the direction of evolutionary biology? It doesn’t come across that way at all. And for the record, evolution gets a small proportion of the funding in biology as it is. Maybe you think that small proportion is still too large? Or what?


Sir, please, can you quote the text where I mentioned “evolutionary biology“?


(John Harshman) #25

I hope you aren’t another of those folks hung up on exact wording. The same thing can be said in many ways. If “how the observed biological systems came to be” isn’t evolutionary biology, I don’t understand simple English, or perhaps I don’t understand what evolutionary biology is. If I’m having this much trouble understanding what you said, maybe you should restate what you mean.


But they must be accurately correct.

Words have contextual meaning.

(John Harshman) #27

I don’t know what point you intend here. You seem to be getting more and more obscure as this goes on.


Please don’t digress. Stick to the topic.

(Herculean Skeptic) #29

I really like this!! The only thing that I would say is that one should not say that “all the analogies fail,” because that is committing one of the fallacies, which I cannot remember. Probably the fallacy of forgetfulness… At any rate, I do really appreciate what you’ve said here.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #30

@John_Harshman, @pawas is not talking about evolutionary biology specifically, but about the large public debate on origins. That, he thinks, is distracting from a lot of amazing in things in biology, including evolutionary biology. I agree.

(John Harshman) #31

Are you quite sure? If that’s what he’s saying, it’s not at all what I see. And he seems determined not to explain what he means. What is evolutionary biology if not “how the observed biological systems came to be”? And isn’t this web site concerned with how things came to be rather than how they work?

(John Harshman) #32

All analogies must fail at some point, or they would be identities. “My love is like a red, red rose” would become “A rose is a rose is a rose.”

(Herculean Skeptic) #33

Right you are, John. All analogies will eventually, given enough scrutiny, fail. I retract my criticism @swamidass


So, just for consideration… what if an analogy is also a synonym? Would it then fail? Or could it never be an analogy to start?

(John Harshman) #34

That. Analogies, by definition, are comparisons of things that are not the same thing.


Maybe all of the above?

(John Harshman) #36

Could you be a little less passive-aggressive? If I suggest I don’t understand you, the proper response is not just to agree with me but to explain.

(Herculean Skeptic) #37

Help me with this so that I can get it out of my mind, please…

If analogies are comparisons of things which are not the same thing (I do not dispute this)…

And, all analogies must fail. And the point where they fail is the point at which the analogy breaks down due to thing A not being in at least one aspect like thing B…

Then it seems to me that the analogy does not fail as an analogy, but rather, as you pointed out earlier, as an identity. If an analogy “failed” because the analog was not the same as what it was being compared to, and the two are not supposed to be the same, then it seems as though it becomes paradoxical. Thoughts??


In this case the text you don’t understand is self-explanatory. Additional explanations are not necessary.

Maybe you should read it again until you understand it well?

Also Professor Swamidass himself explained it to you. You may want to read what he wrote again.

Take your time. No rush. Just try to understand what you read.

Remember that words have contextual meaning.



Let’s stop this irrelevant discussion which is a digression from the current topic: centriole and related biological structures.
If you don’t understand some text, just read it again until the penny drops.
Here’s a productive suggestion: you may want to review the list of papers in post # 12 and comment on some of them.

(John Harshman) #41

I assure you it isn’t, and they are.

Thanks you for confirming that he was correct in his interpretation.

Smug condescension is counterproductive. It also reduces my interest in talking to you.

(John Harshman) #42

The point is that all analogies fail at some point. An analogy claims that X is like Y. For an analogy to work, there must be mapping of relevant characteristics. It fails when pushed beyond the relevant characteristics into irrelevant characteristics that aren’t the same. Good analogies succeed in some important way but must fail in some other way. As long as we avoid relying on the ways the analogy fails, no problem.

To pick an example, a creationist says the bacterial flagellum is (or is like, whatever) a motor. And it is (or is like, depending). And he goes on to conclude that because motors require motor-makers, the bacterial flagellum requires God. And there the analogy fails. But up to that point, it was just fine.