Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Future of Philosophy, the Seduction of Scientism
Susan Haack
[Susan Haack is a highly respected philosopher specializing in philosophy of logic, epistemology and philosophy of science. Emphasis is mine. ]
Science is certainly a good thing .But, of course, it’s not a perfectly
good thing, much less the only good thing, or even the only legitimate form of inquiry. It’
Is a human enterprise and, like all human enterprises, fallible, imperfect, and incomplete; moreover, there are many legitimate questions beyond its scope. The sciences have achieved remarkable things; but we shouldn’t allow respect for those remarkable achievements to transmute into uncritical deference to anything and everything bearing the label, “scientific”.
That is scientism. Of late, the scientism that now seems ubiquitous in our culture has come to threaten philosophy too. Self-styled “evolutionary philosophers” and “neuro- philosophers” try to colonize ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind; self-
styled “experimental philosophers” try to squeeze substantial philosophical results out of psychological surveys; “radically naturalistic”
Metaphysicians urge that the sciences hold exclusive authority on all legitimate empirical questions; and evangelical atheists claim that physics fixes all the facts, so that values
ethical, political, legal, aesthetic,  epistemological, etc.
can be nothing but illusion. But scientistic philosophy is badly flawed: at best, it ducks or flubs key philosophical questions; at worst, it undermines the very science on which it relies, by denying the legitimacy of standards of better and worse evidence or the reality of the human capacities necessary for the scientific enterprise to be even possible. Why, then, has it proven so attractive to so many? A key part of the explanation seems to be
an inchoate sense that something’s badly amiss with our discipline, that we can’t just go on with philosophical business-as-usual. And, indeed, something is rotten in the state of philosophy: the discipline becomes every day more specialized, more fragmented into cliques, niches, cartels, and fiefdoms, and more determinedly forgetful of its own history. More and more journals are crammed with more and more unread  and all too often, unreadable articles about what X said about Y’s interpretation of Z’s response to W. Anyone with enough frequent -flyer miles to upgrade to publication-by-invitation is relieved to bypass a relentlessly conventional peer-review process often crippled by tunnel-vision, cronyism, and self-promotion. I won’t even mention the decades of over-production of Ph.D.s, or the disastrous effects of that horrible, and horribly corrupting, “ranking” of philosophy graduate programs.
Combine this with the fact that the neo-analytic philosophical establishment, though institutionally still pretty firmly entrenched, seems close to intellectual exhaustion, and
it’s certainly no wonder that many are bored and restive, casting around for something
new; and no wonder, either, that we’re beset by passing fads and fashions—
prominent among them the scientistic fads and fashions. Unfortunately, far from solving the problems of our profession, this hydra-headed scientism makes things, not better, but worse; it seems to offer quick and easy solutions to long-standing, knotty problems, but in the end it is nothing but a confession of philosophical failure. None of this is very surprising. For, these days, almost everything about the way universities are organized conspires against the spirit of serious inquiry. The professional administrators who now manage universities stress productivity, the need for everyone to be research-active, and above all, anything and everything that could possibly be described as “prestigious”……

Excerpted and adapted from Susan Haack,
Scientism and Its Discontents
(2017),downloadable free at University of Chicago Press,1998),188-208

Monday, June 25, 2018

[[Anti-progress in the development of science. This is a theme which I have been very slow to appreciate. Jonathan Witt has done a great service in bringing it to our attention. Bold emphasis and remarks in [[]] below are mine.]]

In Defense of Theistic Evolution, Denis Lamoureux Rewrites History
June 8, 2018, 1:01 AM
The review article’s title, “Intelligent Design Theory: The God of the Gaps Rooted in Concordism,” deftly signals Lamoureux’s two-pronged strategy: First, paint intelligent design as a fallacious God-of-the-gaps argument (when in fact it’s an argument to the best explanation based on what we know).
And second: Motive monger — in this case, by attributing the anthology’s conclusions to a religious motivation while giving short shrift to the book’s hundreds of pages of scientific evidence and argument.
Those criticisms of ID are low-hanging fruit for the writers at Evolution News, but here I want to focus on another problem with the review.
Scientism’s Grand Progress Narrative
At one point early on, Lamoureux confidently asserts the following:
First, according to a God-of-the-gaps approach to divine action, there are “gaps” in the continuum of natural processes, and these “discontinuities” in nature indicate places where God has miraculously intervened  in the world. …
If there are gaps in the continuum of natural processes, then science will identify them, and over time these gaps will “widen” with further research. That is, as scientists explore a true gap in nature where God has intervened, evidence will increase and demonstrate that there are no natural mechanisms to account for the origin or operation of a physical feature.
There is an indisputable pattern in the history of science. The God-of-the-gaps understanding of divine action has repeatedly failed. Instead of the gaps in nature getting wider with the advance of science, they have always been closed or filled by the ever-growing body of scientific information. In other words, history reveals that these purported gaps have always been gaps in knowledge  and not actual gaps in nature  indicative of the intervening hand of the Lord.
The lesser problem here is his tendentious use of the word “gaps.” The language suggests that it’s somehow a failure of God for the universe to be something less than a deist’s fantasy — a grand pool shot from the Big Bang without any need for subsequent creative involvement. That’s an aesthetic presupposition, and a manifestly suspect aesthetic presupposition.
That’s the lesser problem with the quote above, a problem  to delve into more fully at another time. Here I want to highlight the more glaring problem: Lamoureux’s assertion of “an indisputable pattern in the history of science.” The alleged historical pattern is manifestly untrue.
It was given formal structure by the 19th-century French philosopher August Comte, but in common parlance the claim runs something like this:
Humans used to attribute practically every mysterious force in nature to the doings of the gods. They stuffed a god into any and every gap in their knowledge of the natural world, shrugged, and moved on. Since then, the number of gaps has been shrinking without pause, filled with purely material explanations for everything from lightning bolts to romantic attraction. The moral of this grand story: always hold out for the purely material explanation, even when the evidence seems to point in the other direction. Materialism, in other words, is our manifest destiny; get used to it colonizing every cause in the cosmos.
This grand progress narrative is regularly employed with great confidence, but it’s contradicted by key developments in the physical and life sciences.
For example, through much of the 19th century, the scientific consensus was that microscopic life was relatively simple, little more than microscopic sacks of Jell-O. The scientific community also accepted the idea of spontaneous generation — that creatures sprang to life spontaneously out of things like dew and rotting meat. Taken together, these pieces of conventional scientific wisdom suggested that the origin of the first living cell deep in the past was hardly worthy of the term “mystery” — a material explanation seemed obvious.
But in 1861 Louis Pasteur conducted a series of experiments that discredited the notion of spontaneous generation. And in the next century, scientists began amassing evidence of just how complex even the simplest cell is. Today we know that cells are micro-miniaturized factories of astonishing sophistication and that, even more to the point, such sophistication is essential for them to be able to survive and reproduce. Origin-of-life researchers concede that no adequate material explanation has been found for the origin of the cell.
So, we have come to learn that spontaneous generation was a fantasy. We have discovered that even the simplest cells are highly sophisticated and information-rich organisms.
[[In other words, the consensus that origin of life was understood and that the building blocks of life – cells – are simple elements turned out to be spectacularly wrong. The truth is far more complex are even now poorly understood. This is anti-progress. ]]

And the only cause we have ever witnessed actually producing novel information is intelligent design. Thus, modern scientific observations have collapsed a long-standing material explanation for the origin of life and simultaneously strengthened the competing design explanation. This development runs directly counter to scientism’s grand narrative.
A common rebuttal is that inferring design in such cases amounts to “giving up on science,” and that science should always hold out for a purely material explanation. But this is mere question begging. What if the first living cell really was the work of intelligent design? Being open to that possibility and following the evidence isn’t giving up on science but on scientism, a dogma resting on a progress narrative flatly contradicted by the historical record.
Evidence from Cosmology
Cosmology and physics provide another counter-example to the grand narrative Lamoureux asserts. In Darwin’s time, conventional scientific wisdom held that the universe was eternal. Given this, it was broadly assumed that there could hardly be any mystery about its origin: it simply had always existed. But developments in physics and astronomy have overturned the easy embrace of an eternal cosmos, and scientists are now in broad agreement that our universe had a beginning. What many thought had never happened and so required no explanation — the origin of the universe — suddenly cried out for an explanation.
Near the same time that scientists were realizing this, there was a growing awareness of what is now widely known in cosmology as the fine-tuning problem. This is the curious fact that the various laws and constants of nature appear finely calibrated to allow for life in the universe — calibrated to such a precise degree that even committed materialists have abandoned blunt appeals to chance.
To explain away this problem, the disciples of scientism have now resorted to saying there must be countless other universes, with our universe simply being one of the lucky ones with the right configuration to allow intelligent life to evolve.
[[In other words what was assumed to be understood and unproblematic because extremely problematic, poorly understood, and extremely controversial. Spectacular anti-progress. ]]
[[Many other examples could be added. QM reveals that the ultimate building blocks of matter – particles/photons etc. – are deeply mysterious. Far from the simplicity hoped for by the ancient and modern atomists – just lots of differently shaped pebbles jostling together to produce all the phenomena we observe – at present the building blocks are beyond understanding.
Alternative measurements of the half-life of free neutrons contradict one another; alternative measurements of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe contradict one another etc. – this is not a picture of steady accumulation of more and more closed gaps. It is a picture of closing some gaps and opening others.]]
Not every physicist has played along. Several, including some Nobel laureates, have assessed the growing body of evidence for fine-tuning and pointed to intelligent design as the most reasonable explanation. Physicist and Nobel laureate Charles Townes put it this way:
Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.
Scientism’s grand progress narrative holds that as we learn more and more about the world, purely natural or material explanations inevitably will arise and grow stronger, while design arguments will inevitably collapse under the weight of new discoveries. But the opposite has happened in cosmology and origin-of-life studies.
Despite this, Lamoureux and other critics of intelligent design go right on recycling their grand narrative as if it were the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is not. It ignores truths both historical and scientific.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Guide Part II, chap 25.

The following is my formulation of what I learned in discussing this chapter with Rabbi Meiselman [I alone take responsibility for all the content.]

There are rules determining when an interpretation of text is acceptable:

  1. Peshat [literal, simple] interpretation is to be used, unless there is a compelling reason to reject it.
  2. 2. A philosophical demonstration against [any] interpretation is a compelling reason against it. [What counts as a “philosophical demonstration” will be addressed below.]
  3. That an interpretation violates central religious principles is a compelling reason against it.
  4. There are absolute limits beyond which interpretation cannot pass – even in the presence of compelling reasons against an interpretation, a reinterpretation may be impossible since the reinterpretation passes those limits [See Part I chaps 1-50 and below].

There are five cases to which these principles are applied:

  1. Rejecting the peshat of texts that describe G-d in corporeal terms.
  2. Rejecting eternity according to Aristotle
  3. Rejecting eternity according to Plato
  4. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Plato.
  5. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Aristotle

Here is how the cases come out via the principles:

  1. Rejecting the peshat of texts that describe G-d in corporeal terms. there is a philosophical demonstration against G-d’ corporeality, so that is a compelling reason against the peshat describing G-d as corporeal [2]; the alternative interpretation does not violate religious principles [3]; the alternative interpretation is within the acceptable limits [4]
  2. Rejecting eternity according to Aristotle: there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of creation] [1,2]; eternity according to Aristotle violates central religious principles, so that is a compelling reason not to change the peshat [3]; to change the peshat in those texts would pass beyond the acceptable limits of interpretation
  3. Rejecting eternity according to Plato: there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2];
  4. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Plato If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; the reinterpretation would not violate any central religious principles [3]; the reinterpretation would not violate the limits on interpretation [4]
  5. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Aristotle: If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; but the reinterpretation would pass beyond the limits of acceptable interpretation – and then we would not reinterpret [and it is not clear what we would do – see below].

Now here they are again, with the passages from the text inserted:

  1. there is a philosophical demonstration against G-d’ corporeality, so that is a compelling reason against that peshat [2] the Incorporeality of God has been demonstrated by proof:; the alternative interpretation does not violate religious principles [3] Secondly, our belief in the Incorporeality of God is not contrary to any of the fundamental principles of our religion: it is not contrary to the words of any prophet.; the alternative interpretation is within the acceptable limits [4] nor is it impossible or difficult to find for them a suitable interpretation
  2. there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2]But the Eternity of the Universe has not been proved; eternity according to Aristotle violates central religious principles, so that is a compelling reason not to change the peshat [3] we should necessarily be in opposition to the foundation of our religion, we should disbelieve all miracles and signs, and certainly reject all hopes and fears derived from Scripture,; to change the peshat in those texts would pass beyond the acceptable limits of interpretation unless the miracles are also explained figuratively. The Allegorists amongst the Mohammedans have done this, and have thereby arrived at absurd conclusions and But if we assume that the Universe has the present form as the result of fixed laws, there is occasion for the above questions: and these could only be answered in an objectionable way, implying denial and rejection of the Biblical texts, the correctness of which no intelligent person doubts.[4]
  3.  there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2]But the Eternity of the Universe has not been proved
  4. If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; the reinterpretation would not violate any central religious principles [3] If, however, we accepted the Eternity of the Universe in accordance with the second of the theories which we have expounded above (ch. xxiii.), and assumed, with Plato, that the heavens are likewise transient, we should not be in opposition to the fundamental principles of our religion: this theory would not imply the rejection of miracles, but, on the contrary, would admit them as possible.; the reinterpretation would not violate the limits on interpretation [4]We should perhaps have had an easier task in showing that the Scriptural passages referred to are in harmony with the theory of the Eternity of the Universe if we accepted the latter, than we had in explaining the anthropomorphisms in the Bible when we rejected the idea that God is corporeal.
  5. If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2] If, on the other hand, Aristotle had a proof for his theory, the whole teaching of Scripture would be rejected, and we should be forced to other opinions.; but the reinterpretation would pass beyond the limits of acceptable interpretation – and then we would not reinterpret [though it is not clear what we would do – see below.

The quotes under g clearly illustrate limits on interpretation, and this last quote under j is absolutely compelling: even a philosophical demonstration contradicting the whole of the content of the Torah would not lead to reinterpretation!
It remains to comment on the Rambam’s meaning for “philosophical demonstration”. It is clear from Part 2 chapter 17 that any demonstration relying of the assumption of the uniformity of the laws of nature in the past would not count. On the other hand, the Rambam’s own demonstrations start from presently observed realities and use natural physical/philosophical reasoning, so something like that would count. In any case, the age of the universe and evolution and relating theorizing clearly will not count.


An Open Letter to My Colleagues

James Tour is a synthetic organic chemist at Rice University.

LIFE SHOULD NOT EXIST. This much we know from chemistry. In contrast to the ubiquity of life on earth, the lifelessness of other planets makes far better chemical sense. Synthetic chemists know what it takes to build just one molecular compound. The compound must be designed, the stereochemistry controlled. Yield optimization, purification, and characterization are needed. An elaborate supply is required to control synthesis from start to finish. None of this is easy. Few researchers from other disciplines understand how molecules are synthesized.
Synthetic constraints must be taken into account when considering the prebiotic preparation of the four classes of compounds needed for life: the amino acids, the nucleotides, the saccharides, and the lipids.1 The next level beyond synthesis involves the components needed for the construction of nanosystems, which are then assembled into a microsystem. Composed of many nanosystems, the cell is nature’s fundamental microsystem. If the first cells were relatively simple, they still required at least 256 protein-coding genes. This requirement is as close to an absolute as we find in synthetic chemistry. A bacterium which encodes 1,354 proteins contains one of the smallest genomes currently known.2
Consider the following Gedankenexperiment. Let us assume that all the molecules we think may be needed to construct a cell are available in the requisite chemical and stereochemical purities. Let us assume that these molecules can be separated and delivered to a well-equipped laboratory. Let us also assume that the millions of articles comprising the chemical and biochemical literature are readily accessible.
How might we build a cell?
It is not enough to have the chemicals on hand. The relationship between the nucleotides and everything else must be specified and, for this, coding information is essential. DNA and RNA are the primary informational carriers of the cell. No matter the medium life might have adopted at the very beginning, its information had to come from somewhere. A string of nucleotides does not inherently encode anything. Let us assume that DNA and RNA are available in whatever sequence we desire.
A cell, as defined in synthetic biological terms, is a system that can maintain ion gradients, capture and process energy, store information, and mutate.3 Can we build a cell from the raw materials?4 We are synthetic chemists, after all. If we cannot do it, nobody can. Lipids of an appropriate length can spontaneously form lipid bilayers.
Molecular biology textbooks say as much. A lipid bilayer bubble can contain water, and was a likely precursor to the modern cell membrane.5Lipid assembly into a lipid bilayer membrane can easily be provoked by agitation, or sonication in a lab.
Et voilà. The required lipid bilayer then forms. Right?
Not so fast. A few concerns should give us pause:6
  • Researchers have identified thousands of different lipid structures in modern cell membranes. These include glycerolipids, sphingolipids, sterols, prenols, saccharolipids, and polyketides.7For this reason, selecting the bilayer composition for our synthetic membrane target is far from straightforward. When making synthetic vesicles—synthetic lipid bilayer membranes—mixtures of lipids can, it should be noted, destabilize the system.
  • Lipid bilayers surround subcellular organelles, such as nuclei and mitochondria, which are themselves nanosystems and microsystems. Each of these has their own lipid composition.
  • Lipids have a non-symmetric distribution. The outer and inner faces of the lipid bilayer are chemically inequivalent and cannot be interchanged.
The lipids are just the beginning. Protein–lipid complexes are the required passive transport sites and active pumps for the passage of ions and molecules through bilayer membranes, often with high specificity. Some allow passage for substrates into the compartment, and others their exit. The complexity increases further because all lipid bilayers have vast numbers of polysaccharide (sugar) appendages, known as glycans, and the sugars are no joke. These are important for nanosystem and microsystem regulation. The inherent complexity of these saccharides is daunting. Six repeat units of the saccharide D-pyranose can form more than one trillion different hexasaccharides through branching (constitutional) and glycosidic (stereochemical) diversity.8 Imagine the breadth of the library!
Polysaccharides are the most abundant organic molecules on the planet. Their importance is reflected in the fact that they are produced by and are essential to all natural systems. Every cell membrane is coated with a complex array of polysaccharides, and all cell-to-cell interactions take place through saccharide participation on the lipid bilayer membrane surface. Eliminating any class of saccharides from an organism results in its death, and every cellular dysfunction involves saccharides.
In a report entitled “Transforming Glycoscience,” the US National Research Council recently noted that,
very little is known about glycan diversification during evolution. Over three billion years of evolution has failed to generate any kind of living cell that is not covered with a dense and complex array of glycans.9
What is more, Vlatka Zoldoš, Tomislav Horvat, and Gordan Lauc observed: “A peculiarity of glycan moieties of glycoproteins is that they are not synthesized using a direct genetic template. Instead, they result from the activity of several hundreds of enzymes organized in complex pathways.”10
Saccharides are information-rich molecules. Glycosyl transferases encode information into glycans and saccharide binding proteins decode the information stored in the glycan structures. This process is repeated according to polysaccharide branching and coupling patterns.11Saccharides encode and transfer information long after their initial enzymatic construction.12 Polysaccharides carry more potential information than any other macromolecule, including DNA and RNA. For this reason, lipid-associated polysaccharides are proving enigmatic.13
Cellular and organelle bilayers, which were once thought of as simple vesicles, are anything but. They are highly functional gatekeepers. By virtue of their glycans, lipid bilayers become enormous banks of stored, readable, and re-writable information. The sonication of a few random lipids, polysaccharides, and proteins in a lab will not yield cellular lipid bilayer membranes.
Mes frères, mes semblables, with these complexities in mind, how can we build the microsystem of a simple cell? Would we be able to build even the lipid bilayers? These diminutive cellular microsystems—which are, in turn, composed of thousands of nanosystems—are beyond our comprehension. Yet we are led to believe that 3.8 billion years ago the requisite compounds could be found in some cave, or undersea vent, and somehow or other they assembled themselves into the first cell.
Could time really have worked such magic?
Many of the molecular structures needed for life are not thermodynamically favored by their syntheses. Formed by the formose reaction, the saccharides undergo further condensation under the very reaction conditions in which they form. The result is polymeric material, not to mention its stereo-randomness at every stereogenic center, therefore doubly useless.14 Time is the enemy. The reaction must be stopped soon after the desired product is formed. If we run out of synthetic intermediates in the laboratory, we have to go back to the beginning. Nature does not keep a laboratory notebook. How does she bring up more material from the rear?
If one understands the second law of thermodynamics, according to some physicists,15 “You [can] start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.”16 The interactions of light with small molecules is well understood. The experiment has been performed. The outcome is known. Regardless of the wavelength of the light, no plant ever forms.
We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.
Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.17
  1. See James Tour, “Animadversions of a Synthetic Chemist,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 2 (2016); James Tour, “Two Experiments in Abiogenesis,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 3 (2016). 
  2. See Wikipedia, “Minimal Genome.” 
  3. David Dearner, “A Giant Step Towards Artificial Life?” Trends in Biotechnology 23, no. 7 (2008): 336–38, doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2005.05.008. 
  4. A small towards this goal was achieved when a synthetic genome was inserted into a host cell from which the original genome had been removed. The bilayer membrane of the host cell and all of its cytoplasmic constituents had already been created by natural biological processes. See Daniel Gibson et al., “Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome,” Science 329, no. 5,987 (2010): 52–56, doi:10.1126/science.1190719. 
  5. Bruce Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed. (New York: Garland Science, 2002). 
  6. See F. Xabier Contreras et al., “Molecular Recognition of a Single Sphingolipid Species by a Protein’s Transmembrane Domain,” Nature 481 (2012): 525–29, doi:10.1038/nature10742; Yoshiyuki Norimatsu et al., “Protein–Phospholipid Interplay Revealed with Crystals of a Calcium Pump,” Nature 545 (2017): 193–98, doi:10.1038/nature22357. 
  7. See Lipidomics Gateway, “LIPID MAPS Structure Database.” 
  8. Roger Laine, “Invited Commentary: A Calculation of All Possible Oligosaccharide Isomers Both Branched and Linear Yields 1.05 × 1012 Structures for a Reducing Hexasaccharide: The Isomer Barrier to Development of Single-Method Saccharide Sequencing or Synthesis Systems,” Glycobiology 4, no. 6 (1994): 759–67, doi:10.1093/glycob/4.6.759. 
  9. National Research Council, Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future(Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012), 72, doi:10.17226/13446. 
  10. Vlatka Zoldoš, Tomislav Horvat and Gordan Lauc, “Glycomics Meets Genomics, Epigenomics and Other High Throughput Omics for System Biology Studies,” Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 17, no. 1 (2012): 33–40, doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.12.007. 
  11. Adapted from Maureen Taylor and Kurt Drickamer, Introduction to Glycobiology(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 
  12. Gordan Lauc, Aleksandar Vojta and Vlatka Zoldoš, “Epigenetic Regulation of Glycosylation Is the Quantum Mechanics of Biology,” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – General Subjects 1,840, no. 1 (2014): 65–70, doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.08.017. 
  13. Claus-Wilhelm von der Lieth, Thomas Luetteke, and Martin Frank, eds., Bioinformatics for Glycobiology and Glycomics: An Introduction (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). 
  14. James Tour, “Animadversions of a Synthetic Chemist,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 2 (2016). 
  15. See Jeremy England, “Statistical Physics of Self-Replication,” Journal of Chemical Physics 139 (2013), doi:10.1063/1.4818538; Paul Rosenberg, “God is on the Ropes: The Brilliant New Science That Has Creationists and the Christian Right Terrified,” Salon, January 3, 2015. 
  16. Natalie Wolchover, “A New Physics Theory of Life,” Quanta, January 22, 2014. 
  17. The author wishes to thank Anthony Futerman of the Weizmann Institute and Russell Carlson of the University of Georgia for information on lipids and saccharides, respectively.