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RE: your valued opinions- writing on trees/body languages/fungi

Subject: RE: your valued opinions- writing on trees/body languages/fungi
From: Jon Heuch
Date: Jan 06 2012 13:45:48
"Science" is a method not facts.


The word "Science" comes from the Latin meaning knowledge. The question 
"where is knowledge?" is
best approached by considering an analogy:


Think of a performance of an orchestra and answer the question "where is the 
music?". The answer
could include the Conductor, the orchestra, the instruments - their design 
and construction, the
score, the composer and the DVDs for sale but above all the live performance 
itself.  All have
components of "music" and in the same way "science" is multifaceted in its 
nature including the
process, the attitude of scientists and the results.


As for the issue that kick started me I have just re read the Foreward to the 
book in question. I
wish I could cut and paste but to paraphrase "I was questioning why Western 
medicine had never had
never (my emphasis) looked towards mushrooms as new therapeutic agents...   
One of the big ideas of
this that fungi may be sources of medicines ..." 


Another few comments related to the communicators of science and suggested 
they couldn't really get
it wrong, it was the use of their messages that might be problematic. I have 
some sympathy with that
view but unfortunately I hope arboriculture is a little bit better informed 
than the average member
of the ignorant public. We should at least be able to distinguish between 
entertainment, thought
provoking comment and science.


Anyone heard of Penicillin? Cyclosporin? Do you not think that the drug 
companies who spend just a
few cents a year on systematic trials of very large numbers of chemicals 
might have thought that
perhaps penicillin might indicate (after at least 50 years to think about it) 
that there were other
fungal chemicals around with similar properties?   There's always more to 
learn, more stones to turn
but unfortunately this book's big idea is well, not very big. It would be a 
warning to me,
especially after  the comparison between the internet and mycelium that 
perhaps the science
component of the book might be a little flaky. Entertaining it might be; 
thought provoking too and
if that is what you need that's just dandy.  I will reconsider the matter 
once Apple have introduced
the Mycelium Computer Monitor.


 Jon Heuch Tel:          +44 (0)1233 713 466 Mob:    +44 (0)7810 610 712


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