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Re: Mice given bat-like forelimbs through gene switch

On Jan 21, 2008 6:13 PM, Jura <pristichampsus@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I'm amazed that I am the only one who seems to have
> come across this separation of organism from life form
> on this list. I'm really not making any of this stuff
> up.
> A superficial Google book search might help illustrate
> my point.
> From: Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
> http://books.google.com/books?id=qGp3HQe2B_4C&dq=tissue+level+organization&q=organism&pgis=1#search
> "Cells are the basic structural and functional units
> of the organism."

This does not preclude the concept of unicellular organisms. If an
organism is a set of cells, then a unicellular organism is simply a
singleton set.

> From: Modern Biology
> http://books.google.com/books?id=E_ooNitL-pkC&pg=PT334&dq=tissue+level+organisation&lr=&sig=2VG2cteryNt1tay-HLW5y4Cw_rQ#PPT50,M1
> "6. Organism level
> In an organism various organ systems are integrated to
> perform the life activities. A complex multicellular
> organism, such as human being [sic], represents an
> exremely high level of organisation."

Why would they use the term "multicellular organism" if
"multicellular" was implicit in the word "organism"?

The other quotes have the same problem as the first one. As does this:

> If the definition of organism requires there to be a
> collection of cell(as shown in the excerpts above),
> then the term: "single-celled organism" directly
> translates to: single celled collection of cells. It's
> still an oxymoron.

Speaking as a programmer (and sometime dabbler in mathematics), I
don't see anything wrong with the idea of a collection that contains
one member. (In fact, I don't see anything wrong with the idea of a
collection that contains no members, but clearly "the empty set" is
not an organism, nor would I expect any text to bother spelling that

I suspect that much of this confusion is due to "multicellular
chauvinism". Similarly, a lot of texts reveal "therian chauvinism"
when they mention "the mammalian reproductive system".

Is there a text that specifically states that bacteria and protists
are *not* organisms?
T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039