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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, our help system and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun!

-- Sarah Tuttle 18:16, 18 May 2007 (CDT)

Complementary

Thomas, we are looking -as a group- to make this a great on-line encyclopedia. We have fun, but it is serious fun. When I pointed out that the article DNA has been nominated for approval, and suggested that this was not the appropriate time for a novice to try his hand at editing something he didn't know much about, but that putting down questions and explaining what you might like to know that is not there , I meant in a scholarly fashion, such that your aim would be to try to help make that article of higher quality, not that this would be the appropriate place to muse or ask us to muse. Your question is a philosophical one that I have moved here, we are in a more directed mode in that article.We need to get it into shape and there really is no time for such tangential considerations. Speaking of time, I again had to revert one of your edits, because the protein coat of pneumococcus is a major factor in enabling the bacteria to infect organisms, and you wrote that it has no role in the infection.This is not helpful, please do ot make edits in an article nominated for approval in s areas you are not familiar with, we do not want to miss such a major mistake.
I once read that a major factor in the historical discovery of the role of DNA was a virus that left it's protein coat behind after entering the cell. This was very interesting and significant to me at the time. I do not know if the virus talked about in the article is the same one, but it sure sounds like it is. Of course the coat plays a role in enabling the vius to enter the cell, but still, it is left behind, right?

Significance of the discovery

2-27-2008 You probably do not remember me, but we tangled once over the DNA article. I had tried to insert a comment that DNA was found to be the genetic material by an experiment which showed that a certain virus gained entry to a cell leaving the shell behind. Unfortunately I wrote that the shell played no role in the infection. Also unfortunately I did not have the requisite reference. We got into a dispute, the constables were called in and ultimately I was banned from Citizendium. While I appealed that ban and it was reverted, I lost the fire and now am not interested in your project

However, while writing a journal article about DNA and complementary (Which you did keep in the article) I found this quote from Nobel Laureate Arthur Kornberg which is essentially what I tried to insert into your article.



Arthur Kornberg DNA Replication Freeman and Co 1980 Page 2

Chapter 1 Structure and Functions of DNA

1944-1960 The Genetic Substance

This "Golden age" began with the first important evidence that DNA is the genetic substance...

Two persuasive discoveries were eventually made. The first was the demonstration in 1952 that infection of Escherichia coli by T2 bacteriophages involved injection of the DNA of the virus into the host cell. The viral protein structures appeared to serve merely to inject the DNA into the bacterium and then to be largely discarded outside the cell. The DNA from the virus thus directed the bacterial cells to produce many identical copies of the infecting virus. This experiment dramatized the role of DNA as the carrier of information for -producing the unique proteins of the virus and for duplicating its DNA many times over.



  • In regards to Binary theory 'a la Salk, or pairs holding pairs- I answer 'a la Lennon: One and One and One Makes Three. :-)
In systems thinking, we would say that 1+1=3 If you count all the elements of the equation or there are three sides to every coind...

systems theory

I got your e-mail about approval for Systems theory. As Approvals Editor do not approve articles. An editor in a workgroup that your article falls into would have to nominate it for approval. At this time, it is a very broad article, I myself am not familiar with "Systems Theory". I see that it includes Systems biology and many other things, like education. Is this a recognized discipline? Could you give us a reference that recognizes "System theory" as a science that includes all the fields as you have presented it? Although your article has many references, they are not tied in with the text. Even if you can't do numbered footnote references (I can't, I admit) put them in parentheses and they can be formatted later. Put the workgroups that you think the article falls under in categories. Look at another article that has workgroups on its edit page to see how to write the code.This will help find the editors that can approve it and once you do, I will help you contact them. If however, the connection between all fields with the basic idea of systems is original, you may have a problem, and the article may have to be broken up into its respective recognized discilines. Nancy Sculerati 03:52, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
Very interesting comment about the connection between all fields of a basic system. While that is exactly what the systems movement is all about, to research and bring together those ideas

common to various disciplines so that they do not have to be constantly reinvented, and often misrepresented by novice individuals, it is clear that systems theory as it actually exists as a scientific paradigm is not generally known by even the scientific community. Is this in part due to some encyclopedias which presuppose that popularity means validity? Every single discipline without exception began as a minority view. It can be argured that even today every discipline with the one exception of mathematics is practiced by a minority of scientists. Thomas Mandel


I got your e-mail about approval for Systems theory. As Approvals Editor do not approve articles.

I didn't mean to ask for approval, just wanted to know what it entailed.

An editor in a workgroup that your article falls into would have to nominate it for approval. At this time, it is a very broad article, I myself am not familiar with "Systems Theory". I see that it includes Systems biology and many other things, like education. Is this a recognized discipline?

May I suggest that you refer to my work at http://isss.org/projects/doku.php?id=wiki:primer and to answer your question or see the systems theory/Notes article here.

Could you give us a reference that recognizes "System theory" as a science that includes all the fields as you have presented it?

please see the page http://isss.org/world/ at the bottom
Interesting. Hi Thomas. I am a CZ Constable just checking out recent developments. I went to the article url above, was redirected to "general_orientation" and found a menu of conference dates but no articles per se. What should I be looking for relative to the article here under discussion? --Thomas Simmons 18:58, 11 June 2007 (CDT)
That website is under construction. What you are looking for is near the end of the home page - written by Kyoichi Kijima, ISSS President, 2006-2007. If you are serious about learning what we are about look at [1]Thomas Mandel 20:29, 11 June 2007 (CDT)
On second thought, here is his first paragraph -- The 51st annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) marks the beginning of another half-century history of interdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis of systems sciences. The ISSS is unique among systems-oriented institutions in terms of the breadth of its scope, bringing together scholars and practitioners from academic, business, government, and non-profit organizations. Based on fifty years of tremendous interdisciplinary research from the scientific study of complex systems to interactive approaches in management and community development, the 51st annual meeting of the ISSS intends to promote systems sciences as a holistic and integrated scientific enterprise."

Although your article has many references, they are not tied in with the text. Even if you can't do numbered footnote references (I can't, I admit) put them in parentheses and they can be formatted later.

Thank you for the tip.

Put the workgroups that you think the article falls under in categories. Look at another article that has workgroups on its edit page to see how to write the code.This will help find the editors that can approve it and once you do, I will help you contact them.

I will do that when I think I am finished. Right now I just started a few days ago.

If however, the connection between all fields with the basic idea of systems is original, you may have a problem, and the article may have to be broken up into its respective recognized discilines.

No it is not original so that is not a problem. The problem is that many if not most scientists have not studied systems theory.

Systems theory is a field of inquiry concerning all disciplines which study how things work together (The phrase how things work together may be original).

Thomas Mandel 13:11, 10 June 2007 (CDT) Nancy Sculerati 03:52, 10 June 2007 (CDT)

Workgroups are uually put in at the atart or at least midpoint of an article. Are yoy referring me to the same private organization's website becasue there is no reference available from the recognized major peer reviewed journals in the English language in the scientific literature? Essays publihed on the web are not considered scholarly resources here, especially if they are the only or major references. At this point your article heavily promotes the ebsite that you contribute to and does not meet the scholarship required for an encyclopedic article. Please spend some time reading the requirements for citizendium articles. Nancy Sculerati 13:49, 10 June 2007 (CDT)

(Thomas Mandel's reply follows.)

Member Organizations of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR)

American society for Cybernetics

Asociation Argentins de Teria General de Sistemas y Cibernetica

Asociation Latinamericana de Sistemas

Asociation Mexicana de la Ciencias de Systemas

Asociation Mexicana de Systemas y Cibernetica

Association Francaise de Science des Systemes Cybernnetiques

Australian and New Zealand Systems Group

Bulgarian Society for Systems Research

Centre for Hypercursion and Anticipation in Ordered Systems

Cybernetics Society

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Kybernetik

Gesellschaft fur Wirtschaft und Sozialkybernetik

Globl Institute of Flexible Systems

Greek Systems Society

Hellenic Society for System Studies

Institute Andino de Sistemas

International Society for the Systems Sciences

International Society of knowledge and System Science

Internatiohnal Systems Institute

Italian Association for Research on Systems

Japan association for Social and Economic Syst3em Studies

Korean Society for Systems Science Research

Learned Society of Praxiology

Management Science Society of Ireland

Polish Systems Society

Slovendian Society for Systems Research

Sociedad Espanola se Systemas Generales

Systems Enineering Society

Systemgroep Nederland

United Kingdom Systems Society

From Systems Research and Behavioral Science ISSN 1099-1743 Wiley Interscience

Hmmm, if it isn't made in America, does that mean it isn't science? I hope that I do not regret being honest with you. --Thomas Mandel

There are English language peer reviewed scientific articles in the major journals written by authoirs in all those countries. I do not have more time to spend here Thomas, the organizations are irrelevant to the requirement here on CZ to use scholarly resources unless these are unavailable. Your author message from Sarah includes a link on how to get started as an author, please read it and the links on policy that connect to it. Nancy Sculerati 15:36, 10 June 2007 (CDT)

I thought that the authors here would be friendly and helpful, but after a tremendous amount of work, which is only days old, I want to cry. Why? Do you have a peer reviewed journal article that proves only peer reviewed journal article are acceptable sources of information? Why do you presuppose that I made all this up? How can you judge an article about that which you are not familair with? How many peer reviewed journal articles are introductions for the general public? Why should I have to dig out information from approved journal articles when I can go right to the person who said it? And what is more impoortant, what is being said or who is saying it? Finally, how does one go about accessing these journal articles? PS In our science we are taught to "sweep in" as opposed to the conventional science approach of "exclude out." Could be we are manifesting the division between ingtegrative science and objectified science... If so, well, some sort of system put me here...ISSS is a group of hundreds, thousands, of Phd's from various contries and who meet each year and present their findings to date. ISSS was SGSR, the original society from which the systems movement emerged as a science. I am the founder of their website, as well as the chair/facilator of the Primer Project. What do you mean by "I am promoting "? What I am promoting is the information which even you haven't heard of before. Surely you know of Rapaport?[2] I cited our journal, that's enough. Anyway. thanks for your time, I learned a lot. Thomas Mandel 17:25, 10 June 2007 (CDT)

Why, because the article thoroughly bespeaks of self-promotion. It'd be nice to know what others besides advocates say, don't you think? Stephen Ewen 20:33, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
Oh boy, I've been here less than a week and already I am in trouble...I think that if I wanted to know what someone was doing, I would ask those who are doing it what they are doing. I certainly wouldn't ask those who are unfamilair with what "someone else is doing" for that insight.

I don't know what you mean by "self-promotion" can you be more specific? You have this quote -- "habits of thought, reading, writing, and speaking which go beneath surface meaning, first impressions, dominant myths, official pronouncements, traditional cliches, received wisdom, and mere opinions, to understand the deep meaning, root causes, social context, ideology, and personal consequences of any action, event, object, process, organization, experience, text, subject matter, policy, mass media, or discourse."

Is it wrong to try and do that?

Not at all. That's the point. See the article talk page for more. Stephen Ewen 04:30, 11 June 2007

Thomas, I've restored some of Nancy Sculerati's comments above, to retain the integrity of the exchange. Please do not edit other people's talk page comments. --Larry Sanger 08:48, 11 June 2007 (CDT)

Thanks Larry, I only did that to stick to the real work. I made a huge mistake trying to butt in on something I know only a little about (DNA) Although they did keep my edits about complementarity.Thomas Mandel 20:29, 11 June 2007 (CDT)


Hi Thomas. Just a note to say that while all this discussion takes place (in some cases you seem to be getting frustrated), we are enthused that people will put in so much time and effort. So, please take these responses and comments in the spirit they are given--we want to build a good encyclopedia and quite frankly, systems theory is out there and has a legitimate place here. It is complex subject and getting someone who will write this is a boon. We just want to impress upon you that we do have guidelines. Please do not loose patience. Simple things at this point like citations in the text, reference to juried journals, the whole lot, are not too much to ask for a respected topic. Meanwhile, folks understand that it is a work in progress. One last point, the format that Larry referred to, the quote and comment format that is so typical in email (which is here used as interspersed comments), is not at all workable here. It is not unlike writing in capital letters all the time or standing your chopsticks upright in your rice bowl (in Japan)--it is a cultural thing. Anyway, thanks very much for the effort once again. --Thomas Simmons 21:00, 12 June 2007 (CDT)

I do not mind the rigor. What troubles me is when others not familair with the subject somehow stiil find a way to demean it.

I didn't expect that to happen at CitiZendium. However, I am glad that it happened because I discovered one reason why systems theory is not well known by all scientists. If you go to the CitiZendium article Systems Biology you will read all about systems theory as it is being used in biology. But there will be only one reference to systems theory, not even a reference but a quote from Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy. ( why Karl?) Now, If someone did in fact discover and develop and apply those systems ideas described in the systems biology article independantly, I would love to know who he or she is. On the other hand, could it be that someone didn't do his homework? Well, Larry or someone wants criticism in systems theory, so, does that apply to systems biology? And no, I have no intentions of going there and knock down another hornets nest...And if ethics is a consideration, it would be one mighty big nest.


Thanks for your letter, I was thinking that CitiZendium shoud have someone whose job it is is to be nice to the authors, and right then I got your letter. Thomas Mandel

Self-Promotion

In my role as facilitator of the Primer project, I believed that it would necessary to reflect the multi-perspectual aspect of systems theory by incorporating all the thoughts of the various players. I didn't think that one person could/should tell the whole story. At the same time, it is necessary to realize the core principles which are found throughout the "uni-versity." Here, our goal is similar, except the players include everyone. Personally, I have no knotted ties to any organization or person. I figured out what a system does by myself 22 years before I discovered the international community of systemists. I am partial to ISSS because it is the founding society, the first one to recognize systemics as a science. That is to say, ISSS has historical significance.

So, I think what is desired of me here is to be transparent more than neutral Thomas Mandel 01:40, 16 June 2007 (CDT)


I don't know if you noticed

I don't know if you noticed, but I was actually trying to defend you. Your response was to lash out, make a snide commnent about "gatekeepers" and then insult me. That's not a very good way to garner support for your article. You might even find that there are many scientists and scholars who agree with you in significant ways, but you do need to look beyond the words and pay a bit more attention to their intent. Greg Woodhouse 19:04, 18 June 2007 (CDT)

I did notice after I sent the reply but what troubled me was that I didn't know your intent. You did comment as if a gatekeeper, and I don't know where I insulted you, I'm sorry and won't do it again. Actually I feel like I am the one being insulted, why do I have to defend myself? Why do I have to garner support? I mean science is not about consensus, right? I'm spending every evening trying to become competant at writing this article the CZ way.. It is a vast field, and it seems that every paper is written by one Phd to another Phd. ISSS alone generates 500 papers a year. To condense that knowledge accurately is not all that easy. There's a huge difference between reading about something and accurately writing about that something .
Please try to understand my position. Before coming to CitiZendium I had tried to edit the article at Wikipedia. However, I had been banned indefinitely in an unrelated arbitration case involving plasma cosmology. Plasma cosmology at Wikipedia is written according to the wishes of an employee of a cosmology institute and who is a big bang supporter. Somehow my aggressive editing to include the fact that Hubble himself did not believe in expansion to his dying day led to the inclusion of a action item in the arbitration stating that I be banned from science articles. Four voted yes and that was that. They ignore my requests for appeal. They did not cite any particular reason for the ban. Furthermore, I heard that arbitration cannot ban indefinately. Well, if you got the power you can do anything you want. One said "a good Wikipedian can do anything he damn well pleases." So they write this as the closing line in plasma cosmology

"Plasma cosmology is not considered by the astronomical community to be a viable alternative to the Big Bang, and even its advocates agree the explanations it provides for phenomena are less detailed than those of conventional cosmology. As such, plasma cosmology has remained sidelined and viewed in the community as a proposal unworthy of serious consideration."

Well, one of those alternative thinkers is Hubble himself. They say it is irrelevant and revert me.

So I come here and the first reaction is along the lines of I never heard of systems theory you may not be able to write it.

Do I have to explain the logic of this? Is the lack of knowledge a reason to ignore knowledge becuase there was none "as far as I know." Come-on guys, The books are listed, they were written to be read. Master the knowledge then tell me what is going on. Don't tell me that I am wrong because you don't know any better. That is the real pseudoscience, a favorite word at Wikipedia.

Don't come down on me when I challenge you. All science is a challenge. If you challenge me do it specifically, so that I can at least reply in principle. I am not looking to garner support, nor is your support necessary or sufficient. What is important, my guess, here, is what is happening out there. We are but journalists, not editorialists. And I am not a Lemming...

Don't write in wikitalk like they did "As such, plasma cosmology (replace word with "Systems Theory") has remained sidelined and viewed in the community as a proposal unworthy of serious consideration."

In actuality, the big bang theory is derived from General Relativity which does not include electromagnetic considrerations. Relativity Theory is a theory of gravity and the big bang is a theory based on gravity, and how the univese would come about if gravity were the sole determinate. But to make it work they had to invent untestable inflation, dark energy, and black holes which are seen because they spew out tremendous amounts of matter explained by them arising from reflected matter streaming in" but have no answer for those cases where there is no matter to stream in and still the black hole is spewing out well you get the story. I am not an expert there but I do know how to read and think.

Systems Theory is not something that is practiced by a small minority. All science is a small minority of the total. But Systems Theory is metatheory and is found in all the minorities.

As evidence I cite your own Systems Biology article which clearly states many of the core systemic principles (excepting the designation of parent/daughter to our sub system/suprasystem model. The implied relationship is misleading leading to nonsense.)

And I challenge you to tell me why proper attribution was not made in that article to prior research.

In short, I am trying very hard to write a good article. I realize that it is not good to promote any organization, and it is not good to paint the subject matter is this or that way. I realize that it is important that CZ is not saying what is said in the article - one way or the other.

I am going to rewrite the article completely. This will take some time. My only request is that it would be nice if I got some feedback, negative or positive, on the product as it progresses. This is not about me.

Thomas Mandel 11:37, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

Anyway, this is getting interesting. I hope I am doing a good job by your (CZ) standards. The bottom line is that this is your (CZ) story I am authoring. Thomas Mandel

Archiving

Hi Thomas, I saw that you wanted to know how to archive a portion of a talk page. I can try to walk you through it. What page do you want to archive. --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:00, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

They put my article in a talk page Talk:Systems theory/Notes(fine with me) and I have rewritten the entire article on the Systems theory/Notes I am done with the old article on the talk page and would like to archive it then rearrange that talk page correctly. I searched all over and cannot find anything about how to do that. Thomas Mandel 20:17, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

Let's try this, click on this link Talk:Systems theory/Archive 1. --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:26, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

OK I did it. Don't know if it is where it is supposed to be oh you dropped the /Notes...Thomas Mandel

The archive box would not work on the /Notes page, so had to put it on the Talk:Systems theory page. If you need it to do something different, we'll have to get Chris Day involved because he made te archive template. Is that good for you? --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:41, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

Yep. I assume that the /notes will vanish in the future. I am happy.

Thomas Mandel 21:05, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

Isn't selection after the fact?

I am questioning the use of natural selection in a systems article. As you know selection occurs after the fact and has nothing whatsoever to do with the preceding evolutionary step. As far as I can tell, that evoutionary step is accorded to random mutations, in other words it just happens. In systems science the notion of "self-organization" accounts for matter and life to organize itself into new wholes. That is to say, by definition a system is an evolutionary (emergent) system. See ↑ Jantsch E (1980) The Self-Organizing-Universe. Pergamon Press Thomas Mandel 22:25, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

For example, in the article, "...complex assemblages of interrelated, dynamically interacting, coordinated and hierarchically organized naturally selected components[2]"

Shouldn't it read "...complex assemblages of interrelated, dynamically interacting, coordinated and hierarchically organized self-organized components[2]" Thomas Mandel 22:11, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

I understand your point about the temporal position of natural selection. Natural selection does come after random mutation, but not only after that. It also comes after 'natural experiments' (e.g., symbiosis leading to mitochondria). Yet it still figures into systems biology because selection preserves those results of natural experiments and random mutations that contribute to a fitter, better functioning self-organized cell, say.
Building hierarchies of self-organizing subsystems won't happen with just any collection of protein molecules, say. Relatively simple self-organizing systems might have arisen 'spontaneously' during the origins of life but they also evolved in their functionality and complexity, which brings evolutionary forces into the act.
I would re-write: "...complex self-organized assemblages of interrelated, naturally produced and selected components, dynamically interacting in a coordinated and hierarchical way ..."

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 22:17, 28 July 2007 (CDT)

Rewritten from response on article's Talk page. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 19:35, 29 July 2007 (CDT)
Are you somehow equating "evolution" with "selection"? A system by definition/design brings a new entity into being

intrinsically. Therefore the evolutionary forces that are brought into the act are those which create the evolutionary step.

We write in the systems theory article:


Self organization Self-organization occurs, for example, in the cell in the process of DNA replication whereby a second DNA molecule is produced as a complementary to the existing strand without any external influences. Self-organization is also seen in the union of the sperm with the ovum to form a relationship. Evolution is initiated by the self-organization of new phenotypic configurations. Self-organized Evolution is a characteristic of a system, not a product of chance events. It involves both system characteristics and contigingency.

W. Ross Ashby wrote: "I am, of course, now discussing the origin of life,. Has modern system theory anything to say on this topic?"

"It has a great deal to say, and some of it flatly contradictory to what has been said ever since the idea of evolution was first considered. In the past, when a writer discussed the topic, he usually assumed that the generation of life was rare and eculiar, and he then tried to display some way that would enable this rare and peculiar event to occur, So he tried to find some special some route from, say, carbon dioxide to the amino acid, and thence to the protein, and so on, through natural selection and evolution to intelligent beings. I say that this looking for special conditions is quite wrong. The truth is the opposite, --every dynamic system generates its own form of intelligent life, is self-organizing in this sense. ...With the computers aid we can see the truth of the statement that every isolated determinate dynamic system obeying unchanging laws will develop "organisms" that are adapted to their environments." [6]


Thomas Mandel 21:32, 29 July 2007 (CDT)


I hope have no hidden bias that 'evolution' implies 'selection'. In my response above, I indicated that 'selection' can only preserve 'novelty', not generate it. (I can argue for selection generating novelty indirectly by altering the adjacent possible, but not here.)
You quote: "Evolution is initiated by the self-organization of new phenotypic configurations." Personally, I agree with that unestablished claim. Certainly, cosmologically speaking.
Things self-organize, but some self-organizations autopoies better than others, opening the door to selection. Assuming competition for longevity, without selection, no increase in autopoiesis fecundity — or more pertinently, no increase in complexity. That does not mean 'selection' only has evolutionary effects on complex self-organized entities.
When it comes to the origin of living systems, I suspect they originated from the system we know as the inanimate universe. From the processes comprising the inanimate universe emerged self-organizing living systems. That emergence could only have occurred if the whole of the universe exceeded the sum of its parts. Emergence requires that.
Taking atoms as the essential parts, we can predict molecules forming, some in self-organizing collections, some of which can reproduce themselves multiplicatively, calling on the molecular pool. Competition. A door open for selection. Could a door have opened for selection during the process of molecular generation, before living systems appeared? I can image several potential door openings for selection during molecular evolution. Nothing more natural than selection. Perhaps selection preserved our very own big bang among others competing for cosmic energy, and other evolutionary processes generated the big bang.
Novelty first, selection second (with proviso).
Regarding the Ashby quote, you sing to the choir. But then I mostly don my scientist garbs, and wonder how I can test/support/falsify the hypothesis that "...every isolated determinate dynamic system obeying unchanging laws will develop "organisms" that are adapted to their environments."

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 22:57, 29 July 2007 (CDT)

Don't you see, when you find an avenue for selection, it is a dead end alley. You miss the essential features of organization, like how did it happen. Why do you have to envoke competition as if that were the first law? Did depth perception arise because each optic nerve competed with the other and subsequently each got thirty percent of the other which happen to be those located on the inner corner of the eye while at the same time the brain just happened to form a network connected to those nerves and just happened to connect to other areas of the brain. Why is winning so important to you? You say "nothing more natural than selection" but what you are saying is "nothing more natural than existence." In other words, things exist because they exist. What you are doing is taking a fact and extrapolating it as a generality. But that is not how it is done.

I would not refer to avenues for selection as dead end alleys. That would seem to miss the potential for further cycles of natural experiments and selection, if conditions favor selection, which they often do. Winning is unimportant to me. More important: how you play the game. Your last four sentences I cannot comprehend. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 11:59, 31 July 2007 (CDT)

It is I, Anthony, who cannot comprehend why the theory of natural selection is held by almost everyone to be the principle of evolution when it has nothing to do with the evolutionary act itself. And It is not so much selection itself that is a problem, but the fact that it is the end of all. So many times I hear a scientist answer the question "how did that happen? with the phrase "It happened through Natural selection." As if that explains anything...To me that sounds like "it happened because it happened that way." I cannot comprehend that either...Thomas Mandel 00:27, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

I think the point to be made is that selection is not a systemic term. It is not regarded as an evolutionary principle in systems theory. To quote our encyclopedia:

"Selection is a limiting negative agent, that results in the elimination of some types (biological, economic, or social). As observed by W.R. Ashby, it is equivalent to a "mapping that reduces the original domain to a subset." It could however not work without the previous action of a variegating agent, as was already observed in 1921 by A. Bogdanov in his essay "Essays in Tekology" where he distinguishes between a conservative and a 0progressive selection."

Also from Csanyi "Only processes that do not destroy the system are incorporated (which is self-evident) and, combined with outer ones, enter in self-reproductive cycles." IESC p307

A system, as I said before, includes "evolutionary development" by definition. So the primary evolutionary principle is synergistic, tht is, working together. And not competition. I believe that our failure to make this point clear has been problematic to say the least. Thomas Mandel 13:32, 4 August 2007 (CDT)

Literature

Hi Tom,

Just a quick note -- those lines aren't really "musings," but very important introductory remarks about the nature of literary studies today. To my mind, they are one of the article's strengths, forged with quite a bit of back-and-forth editing. This field, in which I dwell, has really been very sharply divided these past 20 years, and the intro reflects that judicuously, with a bow to each side. Those who come to the field would probably be best served by hearing this up front ....

But I'm only really a ghost around here these days, so . . . sorry, couldn't resist a comment or two before -- poof -- I shall vanish!

I just finished moving it to what seems to me to be its home so to speak. I agree with you but it doesn't seem to fit right at the beginning. It does fit where it is right now at the present time.
Seems to fit reasonably well there -- thanks for thinking it over -- we'll see how it goes from here ... Russell Potter 21:54, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
I'm trying to help not mess with you or your article. All I knew was that it didn't fit at the very beginning. In a book it would fit as the preface, but they don't have prefacees here. How do you spell that?

Thomas Mandel

Lead-In Sentence: Systems theory > Notes

Tom: You have a tour-de-force article in the making, but I feel you need to approach it on a more introductory level, for readers not familiar with the ideas and terminology.

To try to make my point: I would have led in with something like the following:

Systems theory, or systems science, applies the findings and principles of numerous disciplines (e.g., physics, engineering, biology, mathematics, computer science) to study, explain and control entities of the world, natural (e.g., ecosystems) and artifactual (e.g., a military weapon system), in terms of their organization as wholes, viz., 'systems’, emphasizing the interactions of their component parts that may give rise to novel properties not possessed by the parts or explicable by their properties as determined in isolation from the system, and emphasizing general principles applicable to systems in any domain (e.g., sociology, engineering, management, economics).

Just a suggestion.

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 22:07, 11 August 2007 (CDT)

Surely *this* sentence could be edited into 2 or 3 sentences.... It's still mind-boggling. Hayford Peirce 22:32, 11 August 2007 (CDT)
How about this?
Systems theory, or systems science, applies the findings and principles of numerous disciplines (e.g., physics, engineering, biology, mathematics, computer science) to study, explain and control entities of the world, natural (e.g., ecosystems) and artifactual (e.g., military weapon system), in terms of their organization as wholes, viz., as 'systems’. Systems comprise more or less complex entities that have interrelated and interacting components operating in a coordinated manner, often with hierarchically arranged subsystems, resulting in an organized whole. Systems theory emphases the interactions of the system component parts that may give rise to novel properties not possessed by the parts or explicable by their properties as determined in isolation from the system. It also emphasizes general principles applicable to systems in any domain (e.g., sociology, engineering, management, economics).
I *hate* seeing three (!) parentheses in one sentence, particularly the first one. Why not this: "Systems theory, or systems science, applies the findings and principles of numerous disciplines such as physics, engineering, biology, mathematics, and computer science to study, explain, and control both both natural and artifactual entities in terms of their organization as wholes, that is, "systems". Ecosystems, for example, are natural entities, while a military weapon system is artifactual." Hayford Peirce 15:23, 12 August 2007 (CDT)
--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 13:56, 12 August 2007 (CDT)
Firstly, systems theory is not about finding and applying principles and findings of numerous disciplines, if it were, why would we need systems theory? Systems theory is about finding general system principles which then can be applied as a special case in any particular situation, not only science - music, art, life itself.

Secondly, "entities" is not an operative word in systems theory. While systems theory certainly includes entities, the ontological ground of systems theory is the interactions. An entitiy is what something is, systems theory is about what entities are doing to each other. There are many systems in which the elements are not entities such as fields and so on.

Please note that our first paragraph was crafted by many professionals who , at least, consider it not only acceptable but 'great'

Who are these "professionals" who consider it "great"? People who do the writing of something are not really those who are best equiped to judge its merits. It's the *readers* who judge whether a piece of writing is great or not. Hayford Peirce 15:23, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

A paragraph such as you suggest might fit in as paragraph two.

Thirdly, systems theory is not a theory of organization per se.

Fourthly, Because the ontological ground of systems theory is the interelationships, that is the focus of systems theory and not just an emphasis. Thomas Mandel 14:08, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

I think you are taking the easy road Tony, and making the assumption, as so manmy others new to the field do, that systems theory is about things, therefore, you would surmise, the features of the system would also be about things. But systems theory has a different ontology, it is about interaction/relationship. That is the starting point for an understanding of systems theory

So we wrote

Systems theory 

is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective scientific inquiry that studies structure and properties in terms of their interrelationships. Ervin Laszlo contrasts the system model with the Classical science model of reductionism as a shifting of emphasis from parts to the organization of parts; from the "component to the dynamic" as he puts it. Erich Jantsch writes, "Quite generally, a system becomes observable and definable through its interactions. [1] They emphasize that it is through these mutually interactive relationships that new properties of the whole emerge. Bela H Banathy regards this observation to be the "value" of systems theory; as this new whole has properties which are not found in the constituent elements. "We cannot understand the whole bit by bit" he explains.[1] Notably, systems theory is not a theory that could/should be falsified, it is a perspective that is taken (Laszlo)

In your attempts to squeeze the entire field into one paragraph (Why?) you eliminated the primary feature of systems thining, and managed to rephrase the rest of it as if were an extension of classical science which then would be a competitive role which we are not.

If you are concerned because of paragraph two, I have placed that there temporarily until I find its home so to speak.

'''I do see your point that at present there is no single paragraph which ties it all together.''' I will work on one which states what actually is going on.

Bela Banathy Jr, who had no role in the writing of the first paragraph, wrote and said it was great. The response has been positive, three, so far, editors of journals have contacted me about the article, what does that say? Thomas Mandel 15:54, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

Anthony responds:

Tom, you say: “There are many systems in which the elements are not entities such as fields and so on.”

I would consider a field, such as the electromagnetic field, an ‘entity’, since it has objective reality and a self-contained character, defining qualities of entities according to the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) and Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged (3rd ed.). Even abstractions and objects of thought, qualify as entities according to those sources.

Tom, you say: “Firstly, systems theory is not about finding and applying principles and findings of numerous disciplines, if it were, why would we need systems theory?”

My first sentence did not address what system theory pertains to (your word ‘about’), but what system theorists do. Perhaps you could articulate what systems theorists, or systems scientists do.

I thought you needed a first sentence that would leave no doubt in the readers’ mind how to think about systems theory — no ambiguity.

Let me say how your lead-in, reproduced below, impressed me:

"Systems theory is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective scientific inquiry that studies structure and properties in terms of their interrelationships.”

You make ‘systems theory’ and ‘scientific inquiry’ into agents, specifically agents who study something (‘structure and properties’). ‘Theory’ and ‘inquiry’ do not carry out ‘studies’, ‘theorists’ and ‘inquirers’ do. Also, most uninitiated readers will not know what you refer to, specifically, by ‘structures and properties’. Also, they would not know whether the agents study ‘structures’ as one target of study and ‘properties’ as another not necessarily related target, like rocks and liquidity, say. Then you say they carry out the studies ‘in terms of their interrelationships’, not indicating unambiguously what ‘their interrelationships’ refer to. Possibly you mean the interrelations between a structure and its properties. If so, more clear wording, and a few examples would help the uninitiated, a university sophomore majoring in literature, say. No doubt Dr. Banathy understands the sentence.

My attempt at a lead-in perhaps ranks as feeble, but I tried for unambiguity and I tried to give familiar examples. The first sentence and paragraph should minimizes the abstract.

How about this to start off?:

Systems theorists, also referred to as systems scientists, aim to understand how systems as a whole, with their particular properties, functions and behaviors, emerge from the interrelationships among its component parts — where ‘systems’ include such things as airplanes, social networks, manufacturing processes, living organisms, ideologies, and many other types of such organized complexities.

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 19:22, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

Your sentence is a great improvement over the first attempt.

1) Why do want to change the meaning just because the semantics is wrong? There are system philosoophers/scientists/theorists,designers,practioners,artists,masters, so it is a mistake to limit it to "theorists or scientists." Besides the article is about system theory. I am using the word as it has become understodd among those who have used it in the past to refer to the entire field. It may also be called systemics. We specifically call our field a field of "inquiry" in deference to the diversity of investigators. It is transdisciplinary in the sense of common principles as opposed to integrated principles of interdisiciplinary studies. It is multiperspective because we study not only the part, but all parts, what those parts are doing, and the emergent properties of the new wholes, each focus is a different perspective. So,

Systems theory is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective field of inquiry concerned with the study of relationships or interactions among members of a whole (system).

---

Tom, I find that much better. Because in many systems the members are human beings, and people tend to think of members as humans, perhaps a more generic term, components, say, would avoid any mislead.

The following sentence sequence follows coherently and might serve as the Lead-In paragraph:

Systems theory is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective field of inquiry concerned with the study of relationships or interactions among the component of a distinguishable whole (system). A systems comprises a more or less complex distinguishable unity of components that interrelate/interact coordinately, often with a hierarchical arrangement of subsets of the components (subsystems), resulting in an organized whole with properties, functions, and/or behaviors peculiar to the system-as-a-whole and inexplicable from exhaustive knowledge of the intrinsic properties of its components. Those properties, functions, and/or behaviors peculiar to the system-as-a-whole are referred to as 'emergent'. Systems theory emphasizes that the emergent features of a system arise from the interrelationships or interactions among the components, constitute novelties in the world of its components, and sometimes in part determine themselves by back-directed effects on interrelations of the components. This article describes the origins, scope, concepts, perspectives and contributions of system theory.

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 22:35, 12 August 2007 (CDT)


Systems theory is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective field of inquiry concerned with the study of relationships or interactions among the elements of a distinguishable whole (system).

Systems theory emphasizes that the emergent features of a system arise from the interrelationships or interactions among the elements. These constitute novelties in the world of its elements,

This article describes the origins, scope, concepts, perspectives and contributions of system theory.

Thomas Mandel 00:09, 13 August 2007 (CDT)

I removed "A systems comprises a more or less complex distinguishable unity of components that interrelate/interact coordinately, often with a hierarchical arrangement of subsets of the components (subsystems), resulting in an organized whole with properties, functions, and/or behaviors peculiar to the system-as-a-whole and inexplicable from exhaustive knowledge of the intrinsic properties of its components.

To start with, it is entity grounded, i.e., the description is in terms of entities.

Compared to



Systems theory

is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective scientific field of inquiry concerned with structures, properties, and entities in terms of their interrelationships. Ervin Laszlo contrasts the system model with the Classical science model of reductionism as a shifting of emphasis from parts to the organization of parts; from the "component to the dynamic" as he puts it. Erich Jantsch writes, "Quite generally, a system becomes observable and definable through its interactions. [1] They emphasize that it is through these mutually interactive relationships that new properties of the whole emerge. Bela H Banathy regards this observation to be the "value" of systems theory; as this new whole has properties which are not found in the constituent elements. "We cannot understand the whole bit by bit" he explains.[1]This article describes the origins, scope, concepts, perspectives and contributions of system theory.

It covers all ground, includes actual testimony, and describe the distinguishing features of systems theory.

I don't know where to put this --Notably, systems theory is not a theory that could/should be falsified, it is a perspective that is taken (Laszlo)

self reference

In systems theory is simply that any description of a system should be in terms of that system.

Another try for an opening

Tom: Perhaps just for my own education, I keep trying to capture the nub of your opening statement to the general reader. My latest try:

System theory is a transdisciplinary and multi-perspective scientific discipline concerned with the study of organized phenomena (systems) of all types — material and immaterial, static and dynamic — focusing on the interrelationships of their constituent elements. A system consists of a set of elements that interact with one another, statically or dynamically, forming a pattern making up a distinguishable ‘whole’, with attributes unique to the system-as-a-whole. To paraphrase Erich Jantsch,[1] a system becomes observable and definable only through the interrelationships of its constituent elements.

In my opinion, for didactic purposes, I would want to follow with examples of diverse types of systems, before further generalizing.

Feedback welcomed. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 19:27, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

Tony it doesn't help the reader if you give him false information. Systems theory is not a discipline, and you remove the distinguishing feature replacing it with old language that we don't use anymore. You keep thinking/writing in terms of things. Things are not what systems theory is about. Why do you want to change the meaning at the cost of accuracy? For example, you got rid of "features not found in the parts" which is important, and replaced it with "attributes unique to the system-as-a-whole" which is trivial if not outright wrong. I mean if I sit here and figure it out for a long while, I can imagine what you say. Why do you write so technical for a general reader? And why do you want to change that wich says it all complete with sources. I don't mean to demean your opinion, but your opinion is not what the article is about.It seems to me that you are changing the article to reflect your understanding of it, but your understanding of it is not how systemists understand it. Thomas Mandel 19:45, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

Tom, I thought 'phenomena' got us away from 'things', as every system you can think of qualifies as a phenomenon of some sort. Perhaps 'pattern' would serve better, since every system qualifies as a pattern, material or immaterial, static or dynamic. Don't you agree? Systems, not things, patterns.
I agree re discipline; change to 'field of inquiry'.
Consider this:
System theory is a transdisciplinary and multi-perspective scientific field of inquiry concerned with the study of the interrelationships of the constituent elements of organized patterns (systems) of all types — material and immaterial, static and dynamic. A system consists of a set of elements that interact with one another, statically or dynamically, forming a pattern making up a distinguishable ‘whole’, with attributes not found in the parts, and therefore characteristic of the system-as-a-whole. To paraphrase Erich Jantsch,[2] a system becomes observable and definable only through the interrelationships of its constituent elements. Examples of systems include:
  • Mechanical: timepieces; automobiles, bridges;
  • Human plus mechanical: flying a jet plane; playing a piano
  • Biological: cells; organ systems (digestive); organisms;
  • Ecological: forests; biosphere+ -:*Social: organized societies; clubs;
  • Ideological: isms; philosophies;
  • Procedural: measuring; grading; governmental;+ -:*Hypothetical/theoretical/scientific: Copernican; Newtonian; Darwinian;
  • Networks: World Wide Web.
Note that all such organized patterned wholes become observable as such through the interrelationships among their constituent elements.
Further generalizations could then follow.

Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 22:28, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

The ontology is not the same

Here is something from the Wholeness seminar[[3]] "Now we do have a few suitable candidates for such non-convertible archai, or guiding principles of our cognitive system. And they are hidden from our view through a flaw of our language system, much as Korzybski indicates. I mention one basic triad: Object/Entity, Process, and Relation. Indo-European language structure has the word type noun for entities, and verb for processes, but relations are somewhat undefined either disguised as nouns (entities) or as adjectives (or mostly spatial and temporal flavor). Consequently, Indo- European common-sense ontology is mostly object/entity driven. The duality of Object and Process is well known and is best exemplified in the Zeno paradoxes where it was argued that motion was impossible. In modern Physics, there is a shift from the entity view to the process view going on which has been discussed in the contributions. But we are seriously hindered by our language to think of Relation as ontological principle, and not just an attribute of entities. If we promote Relation to its own ontological place, we can understand why the Whole is more than the sum of its parts, and we can then construct a true ontological heterarchy which would fill the holes in our Whole. For it is the Relations which create the entities in the first place."

Tony, you are still thinking in terms of things. Not only that, your latest organization sounds like it came out of a dictionary definition for systems. The article is about systems theory and that has a very specific meaning, one of which is the general acknowledgement among the practioners in the field that systems philosophy is different from classical science and reductionism at the ontological level. It is NOT an extension of classical science, or even a complexifixation. It is a different perspective. I don't know what you are trying to do, but your language does not make sense from our perspective. What I have used as the beginning makes perfect sense from our perspective, plus it includes the sources, which you do not. Is this your own personal research? Certainly it is welcome on this talk page but it would not work in the article.

It is difficult enough to try and explain something very different. It would be impossible to do it looking through the lens we have always looked through. If the first paragraph sounds confusing to you, that is good, it means you do not yet have a good understanding of it. If you did you would see how obvious and clear it is being stated. There is no reason to add to "clear and succinct".

About your examples, A clock? A procedure? The article is about systems theory, and that , oh, I'm repeating myself. I mean, do you want to hear what we have to say? Or do you want us to say what you want to hear?

"There is no way a sophisticated method can substitute for clear thinking."

Andreas Goppold

PS maybe you are thinking of systems as an object, and find it necessary to provide examples of this object/system. But systems thinking is not about any particular system, it is more general and has to do with what a system does. So it is not correct to ask what is a system, it is more proper to ask what does a system do? And then give examples of what a system does.

Suggest following lead-in pgraph for general reader

System theory is a transdisciplinary and multi-perspective scientific field of inquiry concerned with the study of the interrelationships of the elements of organized patterns (systems) of all types — material and immaterial, static and dynamic. Such systems consist of sets of elements that interact with one another, statically or dynamically, forming patterns making up a distinguishable ‘whole’, with attributes not found in the parts, and therefore characteristic of the system-as-a-whole. To paraphrase Erich Jantsch,[3] a system becomes observable and definable only through the interrelationships of its constituent elements. Examples of systems include:

  • Mechanical: timepieces; automobiles, bridges;
  • Human plus mechanical: flying a jet plane; playing a piano
  • Biological: cells; organ systems (digestive); organisms;
  • Ecological: forests; biosphere'
  • Social: organized societies; clubs;
  • Ideological: isms; philosophies;
  • Procedural: measuring; grading; governmental;
  • Hypothetical/theoretical/scientific: Copernican; Newtonian; Darwinian;
  • Networks: World Wide Web.

Note that all such organized patterned wholes become observable as such only through the interrelationships among their constituent elements.


Further generalizations could then follow in a subsequent paragraph.

--Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 19:41, 19 August 2007 (CDT)

Anthony, what are trying to do? What is your goal/purpose? If I may be frank, your version is not a good explanation or introduction. It is misleading, in places incorrect/redundant, and it uses many words to explain soomething that can be explained in fewer words. It is almost as if you are trying to make it long. Your list of examples includes one or two systems of the kind we work with while the rest are mundance usages which do not cooncern us. It seems that you are thinking of a "system" as defined by general usage, but, again, the article is about systems theory which is a certain field of knowledge and not about what everyone else thinks a system is. It seems as if you are translating it into something you understand, but if you do that, then someone will come along and declare the whole concept trivial. I've seen something like this at wikipedia many times, the editor writes it as he sees it, and then knocks it down because it doesn't make sense? It looks to me like you are building a straw system. Thomas Mandel 22:53, 19 August 2007 (CDT)

Tom: See the article Talk page (Discussion tab) for the full Introduction. Please tell me what is 'misleading' and 'incorrect'. I do not want triviality, but I do want text that the general reader will find understandable. I do not claim expertise in systems theory, but I can evaluate text for accessibility. The article's present Introduction needs clarity and coherence, in my opinion. Working together, we might achieve that, as you know the field, and I and others can feedback on clarity and coherence for the general reader. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 21:27, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

I would rather work with what we have than try to decipher your version. Your version is three times as long as it should be. Here is what you are saying after removal of unnecessary words--

System theory is a transdisciplinary and multi-perspective field of inquiry concerned with the study of the interrelationships of elements that interact with one another, making a ‘whole’, with attributes not found in the parts,

Why do you suppose that the longer version can be better understood by a general reader? Besides you shifted the study back to the entities when you say "interrelationships of elements that..." and then you repeat yourself when you add "...interact with one another." And wholes are not made, they emerge.

The present version --Systems theory

is a transdisciplinary and multiperspective field of inquiry (This establishes the scope)

concerned with structures, properties, and entities (This establishes the subject)

in terms of their interrelationships. (this establishes the emphasis)

Ervin Laszlo contrasts the system model with the Classical science model of reductionism, (reducing to a minimum), (This establishes authority and difference)


as a shifting of emphasis from parts to the organization of parts; (This establishes the purpose)

from the "component to the dynamic" as he puts it. (This makes a source statement)

Erich Jantsch writes, "Quite generally, a system becomes observable and definable through its interactions. [1] (This repeats the main point from a different perspective)

Systemists emphasize that it is through these mutually interactive relationships that new properties of the whole emerge. (This establishes a new property)

The late Bela H. Banathy regarded this observation to be the "value" of systems theory; (This establishes a value)

as this new whole has properties which are not found in the constituent elements. (This establishes the reason for the value)

"We cannot understand the whole bit by bit" he explained.[1] (This repeats the main point with an example.)

This article describes the origins, scope, concepts, perspectives and contributions of system theory.

Need intro for systems biology

Tony, in the systems biology section, I have copied over a paragraph from the web site, and hid it inside the editing copy. Can you come up with a good intro for systems biology section in systems theory article??Thomas Mandel 00:04, 25 August 2007 (CDT)

Renaming of Systems Theory

Hi Thomas. I was wondering if you would not mind renaming your article to "Systems theory (philosophy)" or "General systems theory" to distinguish it from the (mathematical) systems theory known to control engineers and applied mathematicians. There is a relation between the two "systems theory" but they are not the same. Please see my posts here and here and let me know what you think, thanks. Hendra I. Nurdin 16:41, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

It would be very misleading and harmful if the concept of "systems theory" were limited to control theory. Control theory is a part of systems theory, not the other way around. From what I see of your links, systems theory (control) is known by us as cybernetics. Thomas Mandel 21:34, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

Hi Tom, please find my response on the Systems Theory talkpage. I think further discussions should just be done over there. Hendra I. Nurdin 00:26, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Crop circles

I saw you mention work of crop circles on the systems page. I'm pretty skeptical about crop circles, especially the biophysical experiments, despite them being published. If I recall the journal published the papers because their editorial team thought there should be more debate, not necessarily because the data was overwhelming. Of course this happens quite frequently. Recent examples include the GMO contamination of wild maize in Mexico scare (published in Nature) and the 'rats poisoned by GMO potatoes' (published in Lancet). On older example was Benvunestes water memory paper in Nature, backing up the homeopathic principals.

What is convincing is when other scientists jump on these ideas and run with the work, sometimes finding fame. Has this happened with crop circles? I did a quick search and have found no further work in this area other than the controversial papers. I went to the horses mouth to read their take at http://www.cropcirclesecrets.org/biophysical.html and I'd be interested if any of this work has been followd up by Reynolds the Dartmouth expert mineralogist, who is quoted wrt the clay-mineral crystallization phenomenon. I also noticed Bernard Haisch quoted in there too, isn't he an editor here at citizendium? I'd be interested to hear his take he may even be of help to you on the systems article.

In short, I agree that there is published material on the crop circle topic and probably in all the other areas you are writing about on the systems talk page. But lone articles themselves to not necessarily make a case. What pushes an idea is when scientists, other than the advocates, take a lead in pushing the field along. Apparently this has not yet happened for crop circles, hence its fringe status in science. There are always papers making remarkable claims but how many rise to the surface and last the test of time? I think the old adage that fits best is remarkable claims require remarkable evidence and part of that is reproducible data from many different labs, that latter part being the key. Chris Day (talk) 21:34, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

Hi Chris Are you skeptical of your skepticism too? The thing about crop circles is that the entire field is populated by admitted liars.Almost all of the testimony which is taken as proving that all crop circles are man made comes from these admitted liars. Of course the same may be said of the other side too. This is where science comes in. My interest is not in the crop circles per se, but those "balls of Light" which I believe are balls of Plasma. These BoL's as they are called, are regarded by at least one scientist as a scientific fact. Almost everyone concedes that they do exist. What are they? Are they in fact "plasma"? If so who or what is controlling them? Now, I am not an ufo believer, I don't even have one book on that subject, but with the Internet I have run across some reports of ufo's. It seems to me that most of the ufo sightings are actually sightings of balls of light. And they have been sighted by pilots, police, and in Mexico, thousands of people. One of the strangest stories I heard was a testimony by an officer once in charge of a minuteman missle silo complex. He reported that as his guards were reporting seing balls of light outside, eight of his missles went into a shutdown. He also testified that soon after, another missle site reported that all ten of their missles went ito a shutdown mode and they saw the balls of light too. So what is going on? The other subject is plasma cosmology. the Sun and all stars and all galaxies are made of plasma. Plasma is charged ions, atoms that are not whole and thus electically charged, such as a neon light. Most of the Universe is composed of plasma. So that brings in the big bang theory. The big bang theory is based on general relativity which is a theory of gravity. That is, they are explaining how the Universe came about assuming that gravity caused it all. There is no electromagnetic effects in GR or the big bang theory. The black holes are observed NOT by observing matter flowing inward, but by huge amounts of matter flowing OUTWARD. The only way they can explain this anomaly in terms of gravitation, which ought to produce the opposite effect, is by the black hole accretion disk, the point where so much matter is streaming inward, some of it gets kicked back out and that is the outward flow we see. the problem is black holes have been observed (matter streaming outward.)without any nearby matter. I used to trust science, I believed in science with all my heart. But as I grew older I found that there are scientists just as corrupt as anywhere else. Outside their field they can be as stupid as anyone else.
So I am not impressed by any Phd, especially when they are very specialized. What I look for is what do they do. What does the fruit taste like that falls from their branches? In the crop circle situation, I look for consistency. the evidence I can regard as relaiable is not consistent with the claim that all circles have been man made. Just because a group of college kids found a way of fooling the so called expert does not mean the expert was fooled all the time. Why would they have to trick the expert? Why don't they simply demonstrate a complex circle in front of the cameras? When they do that, the circle looks like crap. All they seem to say is that "We made that one last night." Thomas Mandel 19:21, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
My skepticism is open to recalibration. As for BOL's, has science dismissed them, or is it just that it's hard to study a rare phenomena? I know next to nothing about black holes but given the absense (at least visible absense) of dark matter in the universe how can you know there is no matter nearby? It seems our ignorance in this area of science is large enough to hide many surprises in the future. Back to my skepticism, it's all based on lack of weight with respect to evidence, BOL's and crop circles might well be associated, but it's all as circumstantial as the evidence for elaborate man made circles. If you can easily dismiss the latter then why not the former? Chris Day (talk) 21:50, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Dark matter is a hypothesis created to explain away the anomalous nature of galaxy rotation which does not agree with standard theory. The entire theory is a hypothesis based on assumptions requiring a physics the like of which we cannot know.
I look at them (crop circle evidence) in terms of consistency. For example, the bending of the stalks has been explained by skeptics as phototropism (SIC) they bend back upwards naturally after a period of time. OK, but if that were true, the bend would be in the opposite direction if they were lifted back to their original position. Duhhh. There are pictures of these bends. I can see what they see, I don't need a Phd to tell me that they are bent, not broken. Rape seed is killed by bending, it breaks like celery. The rapeseed in some circles continue to grow. Thomas Mandel 22:11, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
PS. There is a report from a hoaxer who writes that he saw the lights the night they went out. The tone of his report was consistent with something strange was going on. For instance, he said that while they were making the circle, several people walked by them a short distance away without seeing them which he found strange.Thomas Mandel
PS one more time. You ask how come no one has taken this farther, I wonder about that too. One scientist says it is because it is scientific suicide to work on crop circles. Leavengood, a biophysicist, investigated the bending and seed germination of crop circles. He no longer does that. What he is doing now is selling seeds that germinate much faster and grow much faster and resist drought. So, is that consistent with it is all a hoax?

Unfortunately, we will never know what the scientists are doing because our culture decided beforehand that it is a hoax and therefore the scientists who have studied it are not worthy writing about.

"BoL's...are regarded by at least one scientist as a scientific fact." - that is about as oxymoronic as something can get.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 20:45, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

And what would you have said if I wrote "scientists regard them as a scientific fact?" All I know for sure is that one scientist regarded them as scientific fact given that they have been written up in the literature. Therefore at least one scientist regards them as scientific fact. Thomas Mandel 22:04, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

Formatting

Hi Tom,

Please note that if you start a line with a 'space', it will put a box around whatever you type:

This is with a space.

This is not with a space.

Sometimes you want a box, sometimes you don't. I'm thinking you didn't. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:44, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

I know, but I am frantically trying to write. Seems like this is gang up on Tommy night. But I wish they were the kind that knew what they were talking about. I can reason with them, or hear their reasoning. I cannot reason with someone who does not know what he or she is talking about. Thomas Mandel 22:17, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

Your proposal

Tom, your proposal, "Attach beta tag to key graphic," is just too trivial to add to the proposals system, so I'm deleting it. What you should do quite simply is ask around generally (perhaps on Talk:Main page) for someone to do it. If someone creates the graphic, we'll upload it. This doesn't require any process at all. --Larry Sanger 21:48, 19 February 2008 (CST)

Talk:General Systems Theory

There are comments accumulating for you on the above page--please respond. --Larry Sanger 10:33, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

I hope you don't mind, after you removed the text, I moved your article to your user space where you can feel free to work on it. Others might want to help in the spirit of collaboration as well. Let me know if you would rather I delete it as you emailed constables to do. --D. Matt Innis 15:39, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

Hey Thomas, I forgot to tell you where I put it! It's here: User:Thomas Mandel/General Systems Theory. --D. Matt Innis 17:00, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

In the spirit

Glad to see you're getting into the spirit. Chris Day 00:14, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Is impact a bias? Could it not be negative as well as positive? As for the last section we need to finish with a bang and the usage/impact section was just not going to do it. It will that section that needs the most rewriting. Feel free to get stuck in where you please. Chris Day 00:26, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

genes

You ask "are codons a "primary" part of a gene?"

I would say no, except in a protein centric world. Many genes exist that have no codons, so I don't think you can ever consider codons primary in that context of a gene. Chris Day 13:42, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

So what is the name for a series of codons? Thomas Mandel 13:44, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
Open reading frame, or ORF. Chris Day 14:50, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
We have a problem. So far Asimov and the Utah center for genetics both say that it is the genes that contain the information. I also remember reading here that there are different definitions about what a gene should be defined as. I suspect that there is a missing word, a missing word that is key to understanding DNA. For example, in computer science, they write about Bits that make up a BYTE. But it isn't the Bits or the Byte that carries the information it is the "Bitting" and they don't have a name for it. Oh, they have a name, but something no one ever heard of. So the correct terminology would be the name of the relatinships of the codons. The codonings. Thomas Mandel 15:01, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
Just to complicate the issue, in eucaryotes ORF's do not exist in most genes (the DNA version) as it is usually broken up by introns. Only in the processed mRNA do you see the open reading frame. And here we venture into further discussion of "what is a gene" due to alternative splicing. Depending on the environment or cell type a transcript can be processed into different mRNA products. Thus, one transcript can produce different ORF's. So the old idea of one gene one protein, that was wrong dues to non coding RNA's is also wrong because one gene can produce multiple proteins. This is similar but different to operons. In this case the different ORF's from alternative splicing share many of the codons, but not all of them. It is hard to generalise when it comes to DNA and genetics.
Genes do contain information, Asimov and the Utah center are correct. Codons are not the only information in genes, they are one kind of infomation important for translation. Chris Day 14:50, 3 April 2008 (CDT)


Seems to me we have a context problem. So the answer would be to tag the word "gene" with the proper context. Within the context of a strand of DNA it would be dGene and within the context f a Chromosome it would be a cGene, something like thatThomas Mandel 15:07, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

So can you write a paper, get it published and find a reference to it before supper? Thomas Mandel

Alternatively, are you telling me that after all this research I have no idea what a gene really is? Does anyone? Thomas Mandel 15:12, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

I am telling you a gene is many things, not just something that encodes a protein. Chris Day 15:14, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

I'm going to copy and paste this into the DNA talk page. It seems relevant. Chris Day 15:19, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

Well, I feel better, seems no one agrees on what a gene is. http://www.genomicglossaries.com/content/gene_def.asp

Gene definitions

gene: (cistron) Structurally, a basic unit of hereditary material; an ordered sequence of nucleotide bases that encodes one polypeptide chain (via mRNA). The gene includes, however, regions preceding and following the coding region (leader and trailer) as well as (in eukaryotes) intervening sequences (introns) between individual coding segments (exons). Functionally, the gene is defined by the cis- trans test that determines whether independent mutations of the same phenotype occur within a single gene or in several genes involved in the same function. [IUPAC Compendium]

There are many discussions between biologists to find a comprehensive definition of a gene, which is not easy, if possible at all. For our purposes a gene is a continuous stretch of a genomic DNA molecule, from which a complex molecular machinery can read information (encoded as a string of A, T, G, and C) and make a particular type of a protein or a few different proteins. [Alvis Brazma, et. al., A quick introduction to elements of biology: 3.3 Genes and protein synthesis, European Bioinformatics Institute, Draft, 2001] http://www.ebi.ac.uk/microarray/biology_intro.html#Genomes

As I said, beware the protein centric view. It's an oversimplification ("For our purposes a gene is...") and leads to misconceptions. Chris Day 19:33, 3 April 2008 (CDT)


WIKIPENDIUM

Need I say more? Instead of Citizendium, why not Wikependium? Then we wouldn't have to think of ourselves as a wikipedia competitor.

Interesting you bring this up. See User_talk:Matt_Lewis. Chris Day 21:31, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

You have email

...from D. Matt Innis 22:12, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

More genes

Drifiting away from the topic on the DNA talk page so I brought this here. You wrote: "dGene for codons, eGene for more, cGene for overall, they do it with mRNA" You lost me here. Why do we need dGene when we have the word codon? And what do you mean by we do it with mRNA?

I assume that in this classification eGenes code for proteins. Why not just say so in plain english. i.e. something along the lines of:

"we know that the human genome has 25,000 protein coding genes. We have found that 5% of these undergo alternative splicing. There are also 5,000 non-coding genes."

Is this not better than:

"we know that the human genome has 25,000 eGenes. We have found that 5% of eGenes undergo alternative splicing (3,750 known fGenes). There are also 5,000 gGenes."
( Where fGenes are different processing variants of an alternatively spliced eGene (assuming an average of 3 variants per eGene) and gGenes are any gene that does not encode a protein The gGene class could be subdived further into the xGene, yGene and zGene represent different classes of genes that use either DNA polymerase I, DNA polymerase II or DNA polymerase III).)

The point is where do you stop subdividing into different classes of genes? Chris Day 02:12, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Ohhh, that's how they got to 40,000 genes total. I think I understand better now. A gene is a unit of genetic information, don't know if information is the right word, so when we are talking about codons (isn't a codon a set of three base pairs?) we mean by gene the entire sequence including start stop. But when we talk about chromosomes we are talking about histones too, that is, the shape of the folded DNA. And then there is overlap,reverse and repeating wow, I'm beginning to understand all this!

(I'll forget the names tomorrow though...) Thomas Mandel 02:28, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Actually I made up those numbers but you get the idea. Chris Day 02:37, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Elephants painting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LHoyB81LnEThomas Mandel 03:04, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Did you know that elephants are one of the few species to be able to recognise themselves in a mirror? As opposed to thinking it is another animal. They also have similar post traumatic stress syndromes and get depressed when family members die. Chris Day 03:33, 4 April 2008 (CDT)
I once read that an elephant will revisit the dead, and will often grab a bone and carry it for miles. Did you read about the two whales that were stranded? The workers tried for hours to free them but had to give up. A dolphin came along and explained to the whales how to free themselves.Thomas Mandel 09:28, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Welcome back!!

So sorry to hear about your illness, yet so glad to hear that you made it through it all! You are very, very lucky, for sure. Welcome back! D. Matt Innis 01:20, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
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