Cellular processes by selection or by self-organization
October 17, 1999, in the HBG forum, SA reply to P re The Program God (Oct 10 '99).
SA: I find this discussion very interesting and stimulationg. It made me realize several things.
First, about myself. I understand now that subconsciously I somehow always believed that molecular level (DNA, not even genes) is the basis of life. Of course, cellular darwinism is very dear and appealing to me, but I always assumed (for a reason?) that cellular darwinism is a reflection of molecular stochasticity at the DNA level. I am not going to discuss whether this view is right or wrong at this point.
Second, I believe we are somewhat lost in terminology. To be precise, each of us uses same conventional terms, but we imply slightly different things, different aspects of the same things, by using same terms. To illustrate, you can view a half-filled bucket either as half-empty or as half-full. I have been thinking about stochasticity and selection in biology for so long, that I assume for no reason that everyone sees what I see. I definitely have no right to make this kind of assumption, as well as it is wrong to assume that everyone around us is still a determinist. Remember, there are still people around us who believe in God (I do, for example), and who literally believe the seven-day creation story (I do not).
Third, Dov's contribution to this discussion forum has been rich and significant. Moreover, I realize now that in the light of this discussion Dov could make small but important changes to his manuscript and this would contribute to the ideas that we develop significantly. Dov, I am ready to help. For example, "DNA as molecular society – selection or self-organization?". One suggestion to Dov – make the changes and resubmit for reconsideration. Second suggestion to the HBG – Dov Henis as a new official member (he already is a factual member by his participation).