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Biology, Electromagnetism, and the Nervous System

O'Kelly, Gregory (2002) Biology, Electromagnetism, and the Nervous System.

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Biology in general and neuroscience in particular are criticized for not revising archaic definitions of electricity which date to the 19th century. Such a revision has implications which range from the paleobiological and evolutionary, to the neurological and clinical. Traditional accounts of bio-electricity regard it as due to the rundown and re-establishment of ion concentration gradients born by fluid, and attribute cell membrane voltages to these gradients. The physical sciences, however, treat electricity as the movement of electrons due to conduction or semiconduction, and electrons as a form of radiation, beta radiation, which is given off or absorbed by every chemical reaction. By perpetuating archaic notions of electricity biology and neuroscience prevent the consideration of the role of electromagnetism and electrochemistry not only in the first appearances of life from the chaos of chemistry, but also in the systemic functioning of the multicellular organism, not only in the move from prokaryote to eukaryote and multicellular organism embodying gastrulation, but also in simulation of the nerve impulse. These implications are discussed in detail with regard to the pace of evolutionary change, the use of electrochemistry to reverse atrophy and treat muscular weakness and some paralysis, and the questionability of long-accepted notions of the method of cellular functioning which invoke the existence of proton pumps and chemiosmosis.

EPrint Type:Preprint
Keywords:electron, electrochemistry, cathode rays, beta radiation, electricity, ion current, alpha radiation, chemiosmosis, proton pump, microtubule, transverse tubule, sarcolemma, disuse atrophy, paralysis, punctuated equilibria, electrophysiology, quantum mechanics, kinetosome, thermodynamics, Nernst equation, systemic mutation
Subjects:Chronology > 19th Century
Chronology > 20th Century
Geography > Europe
Geography > North America
History > Intellectual
Psychology > Evolution
Psychology > Neurology/Neuroscience
Theory > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:83
Deposited By:O'Kelly, Gregory
Deposited On:12 August 2002

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