Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Victor Ambros

There is an interesting interview with Victor Ambros in the latest edition of PLoS Genetics.

Here's his thoughts on his Lasker Award:

And so it has very little to do, frankly, with the particular person getting the award. What the award represents is a process that involves interactions amongst many, many people. And the end, one person ends up getting the award. It's really important to try to acknowledge that and understand the fact that really everything that happens in science, including the discoveries that people try to acknowledge by awards, are really the products of this confluence of people's histories and people's interactions. I really believe that science gets done by people with average abilities and talents, for the most part, and when something special happens, enough so that people want to acknowledge it with an award, it was really…in large part…luck!

We try to say to the public, here's an award for somebody who's really, really special. But actually, it's not the
somebody who is really special, it's the science that is special. The way we do science, and the way it works is so amazing. I wish non-scientists would better understand this. That science is a community exercise, that it involves people interacting, that it involves a lot of good fortune in the context of people trying to do something really carefully and following curiosity. That's why it works so well!

Words to live by!

1 comment:

  1. Here is what I do not understand. If evolution is supposedly rock solid science, why are the evolutionist so terrified of the teaching of Intelligent Design? Now I am not talking about teaching the Bible, but simply teaching Intelligent Design. No evolutionist can deny that a cell contains organelles, that are more complex than any man made technology the world has seen. It was asked of one scientist "if Darwin thought a cell to be a Volvo, what do we now know a cell to be?" the answer was "a galaxy". The Greek word kosmos, from where we get our word cosmos literally means order. A 3rd century evolutionary philosopher wrote "I cannot understand why there is kosmos (order) in the universe. Now evolutionist will claim that if Intelligent Design is taught, the creationist would be pushing their ideas on people, yet isn't that exactly what the evolutionist is doing by not allowing the teaching of I.D.? Students are smart, why not give them evidence for evolution and Intelligent Design, and let them follow the evidence wherever that may lead. Isn't that the purpose of science to begin with? Let’s start with the term the “theory of evolution.” A scientific theory is In the sciences generally, a scientific theory (the same as an empirical theory) comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena.4 Notice I emphasized observable phenomena, because for something to be a scientific theory there has to be observable proof that verifies the scientific theory itself. There has to be physical evidence of evolution occurring (remember from now on when I mention evolution I am talking about macro-evolution. The belief that our ancient ancestor was pond scum). So what am I saying, for something to be a scientific theory there has to be evidence that you can look at of the theory occurring. Here is where the first problem lies no one has ever witnessed the occurrence of evolution. NO ONE! Also there is no proof that verifies evolution ever occurred, so to say in its most basic form that evolution is a theory, according to the definition of a scientific theory is wrong. So evolution is not even a theory because there is no observable evidence that it ever occurred.