Re: Evolution goes quantum

From: Stirling Westrup (
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 15:44:00 MST

Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> On Sun, 6 Feb 2000, Damien Broderick wrote:

> [Snip the rest because it really goes off the deep end!!!]
> I'll just point out for the education of all that the
> molecules that cause most DNA mutations (hydrogen peroxide, the
> superoxide ion, singlet oxygen, perhaps in association with
> Fe/Cu ions, and certain larger toxins (e.g. aflotoxin)) are
> all "atoms" or "molecules" (and *not* fundamental particles
> like electrons or protons). Atoms or molecules are *large*
> compared to quantum effects (spin states, electron energy
> states, etc.) and cannot be affected by quantum scale
> activities unless you do something like cool the atoms
> almost to absolute zero generating things like a Bose-Einstein
> condensate. At the level of the cell, the motion and location
> of atoms & molecules is driven by Brownian motion, e.g. heat,
> *not* quantum effects.

> Gobbeldygook, blech, phooey!

As a friend of mine so succinctly put it. There seems to be a meme in certain
circles that says "I don't really understand how X works, but I think I'm
pretty smart. Therefore, it must involve quantum mechanics, which no one

We see this meme working in just about every field of scientific endeavour
except quantum mechanics.

 Stirling Westrup  |  Use of the Internet by this poster       |  is not to be construed as a tacit
                   |  endorsement of Western Technological
                   |  Civilization or its appurtenances.

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