Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Morbid Post

Another thing is worth mentioning in regard to the issue
discussed below. The mere fact that science lacks (as of yet) an explanation for some observable phenomenon does not mean that said phenomenon is a figment of the imagination or the construct of evocative prose.

Until recently, we did not understand the mechanism behind X-linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. (It turns out to result from a mutation in the gamma chain of the interleukin-2 receptor.) Unfortunately for those afflicted with X-SCID, the absence of an explanation did not absolve them of the need to live in a hermetically sealed bubble because of their compromised immune systems.

Other examples abound. Glioblastoma is brain tumor. Even today, its causes are understood not at all and its mechanisms very poorly. But it will kill you all the same. Ditto for Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis.

Similarly, the mere lack of a scientific explanation of the mechanism by which a wine reflects the soil in which its grapes are grown is not evidence for the absence of the ultimate effect.

1 comment:

William said...

Sure, but this is a testable theory. Just grow one type of grape in a bunch of different soil types and see if winos can correctly associate which wine with a specific soil.

Actually, that would be a pretty cool thing for you guys to do for this blog - try to do your own blind taste test and see if you can guess the soil type from a selection of wines, and then look up the answers.

I'll help, if you like, and to totally cleanse my palate between tests, I'll do a couple of shots of tequila.