By James Trefil Physics Professor
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Additional info for 101 Things You Don't Know About Science and No One Else Does Either
But if we can design these drugs from scratch, this argument about the value of rain forests becomes less compelling. Perhaps we ought to think about finding another argument. < previous page page_35 next page > < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 10 Is There a Theory of Everything, and Can We Afford to Find It? The universe is a pretty complex place, yet for millennia scientists have harbored a seemingly crazy thought. " Here's a simple analogy: you go into a new town and see all kinds of buildings around you, from skyscrapers to bungalows.
In general, the one geneone behavior model seems to hold for behaviors for which we can make a clean distinction between members of the population who display it and those who do not. Profound mental retardation and autism, for example, seem to fall into this class. But with behaviors that are less clear-cut, like alcoholism and manicdepressive (bipolar) disorders, initial claims for finding a single responsible gene have been questioned. It may be that more than one gene is involved, or it may be that a complex interaction takes place between genes and the environment.
For a brief period after the war, scientists wondered whether there might be a science of systemswhether something like a transportation web might behave in a certain way simply because it is a system. The thought was that all systems might share certain properties, much as metals conduct electricity by virtue of the fact that they are metals. As it turned out, the answer to this particular question was no. There are many systems, each of which can be analyzed in some detail, but there are no properties or theories of systems in general.
101 Things You Don't Know About Science and No One Else Does Either by James Trefil Physics Professor