Re: Telomeres, mutation rates and "breakthroughs"

From: phil osborn (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 22:58:33 MDT

>From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>
>Subject: Re: Telomeres, mutation rates and "breakthroughs"
>Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 06:59:18 -0700 (PDT)>

>On Sat, 6 May 2000, phil osborn wrote:
>Koestler wrote about the DNA code being taped over - as with a piano with
>certain keys taped over - such that only certain potentialities are
>expressed. As cells age, however, they tend to drift back toward a more
>general expression - to become less differentiated, as the "tape" comes
>loose at random points, until they conclude that somehow they are not
>fulfilling their mission - or the demented version of it that now is the
>controlling goal.

This is Cutler's dysdifferentiation theory (which seems to have been
circa 1985). It sounds like Koestler is recycling it (do you have a ref.
Actually, Koestler came up with a rather detailed and coherent theory on
this, as best I recall, either in the '60's or '70's - almost certainly not
later. I read his "The Act of Creation," from the '60's, and "Janus," -
'70's? - and "The Ghost in The Machine" - '70's - as well as some of his
earlier socio/psychological/political/philosophical work, such as "Darkness
at Noon," but it was a long time ago...

I think that one problem that Koestler may have had was/is shared by
Buckminster Fuller, Garret Hardin, Tim Leary, Robert Pirsig, and, of course,
Ayn Rand. He exposed sacred cows, and he had coherent, well-thought-out
answers. He was a system builder who never assumed that some discipline was
outside his ken and must be deferred to the "experts." He was able to draw
information simultaneously from multiple disciplines and find the common

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