Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 34 (More on Lipton’s quantum-physics-free quantum physics)

May 12, 2018

So let’s look now at the great “groundbreaking study” that Lipton claims established the importance of quantum physics for biology.

As it happens, the study is available on line. A glance through it reveals it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with quantum physics.

Just for the record, I will reproduce the abstract of that study here. No need to read it.

(Note for those scanning through quickly: this is NOT Lipton.)

“How dendrites of different neuronal subtypes exhibit distinct branching patterns during development remains largely unknown. Here we report the mapping and identification of loss-of-function mutations in the abrupt (ab) gene that increased the number of dendritic branches of multiple dendritic (MD) sensory neurons in Drosophila embryos. Ab encodes an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor that contains a BTB/POZ domain and C2H2 zinc finger motifs. We show that ab has a cell-autonomous function in postmitotic neurons to limit dendritic branching. Ab and the homeodomain protein Cut are expressed in distinct but complementary subsets of MD neurons, and Ab functions in a transcriptional program that does not require Cut. Deleting one copy of ab or overexpressing ab had opposite effects on the formation of higher-order dendritic branches, suggesting that the Ab level in a specific neuron directly regulates dendritic complexity. These results demonstrate that dendritic branching can be suppressed by neuronal subtype-specific transcription factors in a cell-autonomous and dosage-dependent manner.”

Those still laboring with outdated “Newtonian linear thinking” will fail to see any quantum physics in the above abstract; but in fact, Liptonian quantum physics is percolating all through that passage. As we have seen, its essential ingredient is merely that it is complicated.

In the previous post I put up the graphic Lipton uses to illustrate this point. I’ll reproduce here again, this time with Lipton’s caption.

Map of interactions among a very small set of the cellular proteins (shaded and numbered circles) found in a Drosophila (fruit fly) cell. Most of the proteins are associated with the synthesis and metabolism of RNA molecules. Proteins enclosed within ovals are grouped according to specific pathway functions. Connecting lines indicate protein-protein interactions. Protein interconnections among the different pathways reveal how interfering with one protein may produce profound “side-effects” upon other related pathways. More wide spread “side-effects” may be generated when a common protein is utilized in completely different functions. For example, the same Rbpl protein (arrow) is used in RNA metabolism as well as in pathways associated with sex determination. (Lipton’s caption, summing up the aforementioned study, from which the graphic is taken p. 105.)

This is the first Lipton’s readers have heard of any of these things, and the first and only time that Rbpl proteins have been mentioned, whatever the heck they are. Lipton clearly understands what the study is about, in terms of the biology, and his readers will assume that he is also correct that it has something to do with quantum physics too — because they trust him and assume that he is not going to bullshit them about the rest of it. But he is.

And by now we are getting used to the way his copy-and-paste blocks of technical jargon suddenly shifts gears, with a crunch and a grind, into his anti-scientific confabulations.

I invite readers to look at the passage again and spot, if they didn’t already, the term that doesn’t belong…

….. Correct — the Liptonian insertion is the term in inverted commas: “side effects”. He knows the term is incorrect here, hence the quotation marks. With this dramatic foreshadowing, he is setting up an assault on medical science.

He follows this up with more of this highly technical cut-and-paste lecture notes that absolutely none of his readers will understand, but will assume is relevant to his argument. I will quote it in full.

Clearly, biological dysfunctions can result from miscommunication anywhere within these complex pathways. When you change the parameters of a protein at one point in such a complex pathway, you inevitably alter the parameters of other proteins at innumerable points within the entangled networks. In addition, take a look at the seven circles in the next illustration that group proteins according to their physiologic functions. Notice that proteins within one functional group, such as those concerned with sex determination (arrow), also influence proteins with a completely different function, like RNA synthesis (i.e., RNA helicase)…

Well of course, RNA helicase — everyone knows what that is, surely….. It’s the only time Lipton mentions it in the entire book, and he offers no explanation. And as always this cascade of jargon leads to the non sequitur that he hopes his brow-beaten and acquiescent readers will implicitly accept without noticing the crunching gear shift.

…”Newtonian” research scientists have not fully appreciated the extensive interconnectivity among the cell’s biological information networks.

Factual error.
Biologists since the time of Aristotle — to say nothing of Newton’s time — have mapped out relationships every bit as complex as what is being shown above. 

The mapping of these information network pathways underscores the dangers of prescription drugs. We can now see why pharmaceutical drugs come with information sheets listing voluminous side effects that range from irritating to deadly.

Factual error.

Extraordinary misunderstanding from Lipton here. He sees side effects as evidence of an intrinsic failure. The whole point of introducing a substance into a system is to alter the system. Medical scientists carefully track the way this substance inevitably affects other elements in the system too. This is in fact displays awareness of the complex interactions between that Lipton accuses them of being incapable of.

This awareness is a defining characteristic of modern medicine: altering one element in a complex system affects others. Costs and benefits of this are carefully weighed up, using the massive data bank that is being constantly maintained and updated, in order to plan a course of treatment. It is not about “applying a cure”, as with deadly medieval folk medicine and as with deadly modern “alternative medicine” of the kinds Lipton promotes.

Humans were not designed by a creator, as Lipton believes, with easy access roads pre-built to enable “natural healing” to make neat repairs.

When a drug is introduced into the body to treat a malfunction in one protein, that drug inevitably interacts with at least one and possibly many other proteins.

Well, yeh, that is kind of the point.

Complicating the drug side-effect issue is also the fact that biological systems are redundant. The same signals or protein molecules may be simultaneously used in different organs and tissues where they provide for completely different behavioral functions. For example, when a drug is prescribed to correct a dysfunction in a signaling pathway of the heart, that drug is delivered by the blood to the entire body. This “cardiac” medicine can unintentionally disturb the function of the nervous system if the brain also uses components of the targeted signaling pathway.

And this is of course exactly why you see those long lists of side effects.

Lipton is on a roll now, and suddenly veers off into evolutionary history. Rather than unleash another avalanche of error and misunderstanding, I will leave off now and pick it up again later…

Comments welcome, but please try to address the issues raised in the article!

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