ability of the organism to organize itself is called here Wisdom of the Body (WOB)
. In order to understand how WOB operates we need a simpler representation
of the organism, and define a unit, called process.
It might be regarded as stream of matter. Or a channel through which
products stream. It is directed in space (and time), and has inputs
(other processes) and an output (another process). The three principles
1. WOB is the set of processes in the body.
2. All processes interact (WOB is fully connected).
3. Processes are self-organizing.
each instance WOB controls processes so as to minimize expenditure of
resources. At each instant WOB configuration is the best under circumstances,
which introduces the fourth principle:
4. WOB (configuration) is optimal.
Principle of Biology
When challenged, WOB reshuffles processes so as to minimize resource expenditure. This configuration is called a solution, which always settles at an equilibrium, or strange attractor (homeostasis, homeorhesis). Since processes interact , it is impossible to study a process in isolation. When studying a process we have to consider also its 'neighbors', which is defined here as process context. Our inability to capture phenomena in their entirety should be regarded as the indeterminacy principle of biology.
The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology
The dogma was formulated by Francis Crick, namely, that information flows from DNA to RNA to protein, but does not flow backward. Actually the dogma applies to experiments done in vitro, which is also the proper context in which it is valid. However, medicine applies it also to the (fully connected) organism, where everything flows only forward, and nothing flows backward. In other words, in the organism concepts like forward and backward are meaningless. 'Flowing backwards' is a linear concept adequate for the narrow context of in vitro experiments. In the non-linear WOB forward flowing molecules (proteins) reach anything, even the DNA.
This reasoning illustrates a common fallacy in biology, called here 'context fallacy'. A theory valid in a narrow context is applied (extrapolated) to a different context, where it violates the connectivity principle. And this context fallacy is iatrogenic since suggesting treatment. Cancer is believed to originate in a defective DNA, and molecular biologists propose to repair it, or even to replace it with a better one.
fable of genetics
"Genetics is the science of inheritance. It attempts to explain the differences and similarities between related organisms and the ways in which characters are passed from parents to their offspring" (2). Actually genetics studies only inheritance by genes, and ignores other forms of inheritance. It is founded on the work of Gregor Mendel, who, in 1865, discovered two modes of inheritance which are regarded as "basic law" of inheritance. Unfortunately, also medicine regards Mendel's discovery as a law, which has grave iatrogenic consequences.
Mendel's "laws" are yet another context fallacy. What medicine takes as a law, is a simplistic model adequate for describing inheritance in peas. It fails when applied to our organism, and to animal populations. In order to cover up for the shortcoming of the model, Mendel and his followers apply a simple trick. They manipulate variability. A closer inspection of Mendel's experiments reveals that not in all peas inheritance followed Mendel's "laws" . Mendel and his followers attribute this discrepancy to the act of chance, which should vanish as the number of observations rises. Like in the normal (Gaussian) distribution. In medicine however nothing is distributed normally. All distributions are skewed. Yet genetics boldly 'normalizes' distributions and facts, and so spreads iatrogenesis.
Mendel's model requires that a gene be completely isolated. A fixed and unalterable entity. Otherwise the model fails. Anything that directly influences the gene is brushed off as Lamarckian nonsense . The isolated "deaf" gene is the central fable of genetics, which produced some exciting fiction, e.g., "The Selfish Gene", and Neo-Darwinism .
This fable dominates somatic cell genetics, which postulates that cells in the organism carry isolated and fixed genes, protected from the influence of outside processes. Since made of DNA, nothing can touch them, as the central dogma postulates. Only chance, manifested by an accidental mutation can change a gene, initiating a fateful disease, cancer.
this is supposed to occur in a fully
connected streaming organism.
Treatments suggested by this fable cause unnecessary suffering to patients. Cancer supposedly starts when a gene is randomly mutated, which endows it with a survival advantage in the "hostile environment" of the organism. The "hostile environment" is none other than the immune system, the Grand Protector of our Self, which attempts to kill the outcast (with nk-cells). Yet the "evil clone" continues to mutate, and gains in strength. Tumor evolution recapitulates Darwin's evolution of the species. Clones of cells with new mutations reproduce faster and faster, grow, spread and finally kill the patient.
This horrible fable shapes cancer treatment: "Cut out the clone before it spreads. Otherwise poison its progeny."
One wonders, if indeed such a course shaped the evolution of humankind, why do we still carry these potential killers? Why weren't they "selected out" earlier in our evolution? Something in the "survival of the fittest" notion stinks. Or perhaps humankind survived because of neoplasia?Philadelphia chromosome
translocations are also regarded as unfortunate mistakes which make the
cell more aggressive. Like in Burkitt's lymphoma, which is supposed to be
caused by two specific translocations. Recently one of them was found in
healthy Dutch individuals (3): "The frequency of t(14;18) breakpoints
in normal individuals is extremely high. At least half of all normal [Dutch]
individuals harbor numerous B cells with a translocation." These startling
observations lead to the following conclusions: chromosomal translocation
is a physiological process which was hitherto detected only when amplified,
e.g. in cancer. Sensitive PCR techniques reveal it in healthy cells as well.
Since it is ubiquitous, it cannot be
regarded as pre-malignant .
Why not then regard cancer progression as a continuing WOB repair of an ongoing damage caused by carcinogens? Gene mutations are initiated by WOB to produce novel molecules, that correct the carcinogenic damage. Mutations and translocations are WOB solutions. True, as disease advances, they become more abundant, yet without them patient would have fared worse.
1.Stedman's Medical Dictionary. William & Wilkins WordPerfect software 1994.2. Concise Medical Dictionary, Oxford University Press. Market House Books Ltd. 1998
3. Muller JR, Janz S, Goedett JJ, et al. Persistence of immunoglobulin heavy chain/C-MYC recombination-positive lymphocyte clones in the blood of human immunodefficiency virus-infected homosexual men. Proc.Natl Acad.Sci 92, 6577-6581, 1995.
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