“In every field of inquiry, it is true that all things should be made as simple as possible – but no simpler. (And for every problem that is muddled by over-complexity, a dozen are muddled by over-simplifying.)” –Sydney J. Harris
I have filled many “pages” (Okay, too many) describing the problems that go with reductionism when it isn’t used as an experimental approach, but as a pseudo-philosophy of life appropriate for non-scientists. Most people don’t have a perpetual burr under their saddle about this sort of thing: Understandably. It’s sort of the philosophical version of being irked by someone consistently misusing a word and spreading that misunderstanding to others.
Surprisingly, the best argument against the cement mattress of reductionism might not involve me complaining at all, but simply sharing the details of some complex systems and letting the observer grasp the mind-blowing nettle for themselves.
These are very well done walkthroughs of our molecular machinery; skip around if you like, there will not be a quiz later. I challenge you to watch even a little of this without being shocked into a new open-mindedness concerning the genius underlying life. *
“These animations show cellular biology on the molecular scale. The structure of chromatin, the processes of transcription, translation, DNA replication, and cell division are shown. All animations are scientifically accurate and derived from molecular biology and crystallography research. I have composed this video from multiple animations under fair use for non-profit, educational purposes. I do not claim copyright on this video or its contents, with the exception of the cell image. Most credit goes to Drew Berry and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI TV) for the animations. Full credits are at the end of the video.” James Tyrwhitt-Drake
DNA animations by wehi.tv for science-art exhibition
-* Usual disclaimer: No religious ax being ground. Not a creationist.