Monday, July 18, 2005

Sir Francis Crick Redux

Abbas Raza gets carried away this morning with Francis Crick's Beautiful Mistake as he takes a look at the contributions of a string of researchers and scientists, ending with Francis Crick's conclusions about DNA replication, a theory so lovely that nobody could believe it to be, as it turned out, incorrect.
More than one thinker has fallen in love, Pygmalion-like, with his own creation.

When Albert Einstein was asked what he would do if the measurements of bending starlight at the 1919 eclipse contradicted his general theory of relativity, he famously replied, "Then I would feel sorry for the good Lord. The theory is correct." What he meant was that the theory is far too beautiful to be wrong.
One of the tragedies of being human is that even with an industrial-sized intellect, one cannot live long enough to satisfy all its demands, but there are those who give it their best shot. I have a feeling that Raza is still very young. (As you get older, the meaning of the word young is a rapidly-moving target. Fifty, you know, is the new thirty...)
This morning's essay is not for the feint-of-heart, but for those of us who follow bio-science from the peanut gallery it is a fascinating read.
It recalls an earlier find, Dr. Sacks' wonderful remembrance of Crick, published in March.

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