Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by riccardo)
    Biochemistry is retarded. You invent terms like NADH and ATP and they suddenly turn into things like ADP. These threads are boring I agree.
    :confused: What's wrong with ATP, ADP and AMP? Adenosine Tri/Di/Mono phosphate just describe the structure of the molecule. Seems perfectly logical to me! The same can be said for NAD+/NADH etc....

    (Original post by Chemistboy)
    It's called a chemical reaction, dear.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah I know it's called a reaction, lol, It's just in chemistry you seem to have BALANCED equations i.e. matter does not seem to be created. The downside of this is that you actually have to ACCOUNT for what happens and develop a mechanism to describe the process. In biochemistry you seem to have carbons appearing here and there, also you seem to abandon systematic naming, although it makes sense for large molecules it's just laughable for pyruvic acid (2-oxopropanoic acid anyone?) and that list could be continued. Writing ADP --> ATP just doesn't tell you what happens in the reaction, in chemistry I would have to write a balanced equation of reactants and products, whether they are the most important constituents of the reaction or not. I know exactly what a reaction is, it just seems that biochemists violate the conservation of mass frequently. If what biochemists said went, the Los Alamos project would have been a total waste, there could have been little nuclear bombs in mitochondria, everywhere even. Just get a critical mass of respiring people together and boom! off would that nuclear reaction go. Pedantry never seemed to reach biochemistry and ChemistBoy must surely agree with that, being a chemist and all.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Well if you don't mind spending years writing out full chemical equation with formula for ATP C10H8N4O2NH2(OH)2(PO3H)3H, then go ahead.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    lol! I know that for those big molecules you've got to call them whatever you think of. It just seemed to me in biochemistry topics that you'd suddenly have carbons appearing without reason or rhyme, my friends who still do biology agree.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by riccardo)
    lol! I know that for those big molecules you've got to call them whatever you think of. It just seemed to me in biochemistry topics that you'd suddenly have carbons appearing without reason or rhyme, my friends who still do biology agree.
    I think it boils down to the fact that those sorts of things are simplified in Biochemistry because that level of detail is not necessary most of the time. I guess it is a kind of shorthand in a way. Of course, in places where you would benefit from including balanced equations and suchlike, you would do so (as many of my lecture notes are). As with all science, avoiding unnecessary complications is a very good thing!

    I don't see how you can use this as criticism of the subject because at the end of the day, it isn't pure chemistry, it is simply using components of chemistry as necessary to explain biological phenomena.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah I know, it's not like balancing equations is going to help you cure cancer, it just seems strange sometimes. But why do you call 2-oxopropanoic acid pyruvic acid and methanal formaldehyde, that's really silly.

    You can't really argue that any science is the best and anyone who tries is foolish to do so. They're all parts of a whole which would be incomplete without any one of them. End this discussion.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by riccardo)
    Yeah I know, it's not like balancing equations is going to help you cure cancer, it just seems strange sometimes. But why do you call 2-oxopropanoic acid pyruvic acid and methanal formaldehyde, that's really silly.

    You can't really argue that any science is the best and anyone who tries is foolish to do so. They're all parts of a whole which would be incomplete without any one of them. End this discussion.
    I don't really know why they use different naming conventions. As you say, it does just make things a bit complicated if you are a student/scientist that works in both fields.

    I agree that no one science is 'best'. The whole distinction between physics, chemistry, and biology is purely man-made. We naturally split complicated things into small chunks to make it easier for us to understand them. I believe that many of our future greatest achievements will come from those scientists that are able to cross between all three disciplines.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    lol you sound like the guy on bitesize revision adverts
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by riccardo)
    lol you sound like the guy on bitesize revision adverts
    Not sure if that is a good or bad thing though!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by spoon1)
    Physics cannot exist without Maths.
    Physics makes maths. Maths makes physics.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Where's Biochemistry...?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by irisng)
    Where's Biochemistry...?
    comes under Biology, as it's a part of both Biology and Chemistry...
    but more like Biology...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Biochemsitry sucks and the only science where none of its name is mentioned in it is Physics. It is therefore the best.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shyopstv)
    Biochemsitry sucks and the only science where none of its name is mentioned in it is Physics. It is therefore the best.
    lol, you won't get very far in scientific circles with that attitude.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's all about Biology
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Where is the line in the sand? It's perfectly possible for one person to do both.
    It's just that it's a huge task to do both, it rarely happens. eg. Dirac comes up with what is now called the Dirac equation attempting to make Schrodinger's equation fit in better with relativistic constraints. Through his equation he predicts a positively charged particle with the rest mass of the electron. A particle so far undiscovered. A few months (maybe a year or two, can't remember) later, Carl Anderson discovers the positron. Faraday discovers mutual induction. He gives a quantitave analysis. Maxwell later goes onto produce his set of equations which describe it and unify electricity with magnetism.

    In the "olden days" many theorists and experimentalists were one and the same person. But that does not suffice as an efficient argument, since in even older days, you'll find that one person could be a mathematician, physicist, philosopher and engineer all rolled into one. The reason is because there were fewer people in education in those days, and also these people happened to be damn smart.

    In the modern physics world, there is in fact a clear divide. It takes a different mentality to be a theoretical physicist, than it takes to be an experimental one. Experimentalists require machines and lasers and stuff to do their work. Theorists require a notebook and a pencil.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I'm interested as to what dangerous assumptions I was supposedly about to make...
    That I have no clue what I'm talking about.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Anyhoo, we could have a lets bamboozle each other with subject specific terminology and principles evening, but I'm not really in the mood? Basically your point is?
    Yes, that's a fair point, I was being silly here.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    So basically you start off your argument by insinuating that physics is far more detailed and in depth than the other sciences, but you end up saying that the other sciences make assumptions in order to become more detailed. You can't have your cake an eat it.

    To say that the study of biology and chemistry forms only a small part of the universe as an argument as to why these subjects are somehow inferior indicates that you believe quantity to be better than quality. Why is it more interesting or better to study the nature of an H atom or neutrino in a vacuum than to study the behaviour of a protein in a cell? I agree that all science is based on physical principles, but that doesn't mean that those fields are somehow beholden to the field that produced those principles. Theoretical chemists have developed quantum mechanics (an highly imperfect theory) as a useful an powerful tool in predicting the behaviour (with varying degrees of success I'll grant you) of incredibly complicated systems (way beyond the actual solvable ability of the schroedinger equation). Are you somehow suggesting that this work is inferior to the work produced in physics or beholden to it? (also remember a student presenting a paper on the use of wigner intracules from our theoretical group sounded pretty hard-core maths to me).
    You already know what I'm about to say, but what I meant was that the analysis human minds can perform is in fact very limited. Usually, we have to reduce any experiment to a graph (ideally in two dimensions, and set it up so that the result is a straight line; the skill required to set up such an experiment is the kind of skill an experimental physicist develops). And then often the gradient of the line will tell us some value of some effect or phenomena. To do that, we can only study very simple phenomena to a great deal of accuracy. As I'm sure you know, the Schrödinger equation can only be solved for the hydrogen atom analytically, and for any other atomic system, we have to rely on perturbation methods.

    Obviously, most interesting systems in real life are incredibly complicated, so we often make assumptions or study a small subset of all systems to perform analysis. I will admit, my chemistry knowledge is dire. But (I think I am correct when I say this) chemistry studies in general the behaviour of atoms and molecules, and the various ways their structures can change. So we make certain assumptions and restrict our study to a subset of all phenomena.

    My point is that fundamental physics takes a grander approach; it's ultimate aim is to be able describe all phenomena within a single framework or model.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Of course we all owe our current state of knowledge to those that have gone before us, but to suggest that physical theory of fundamental particles and forces is the most superior field of study is very narrow-minded and quite condescending to the many great scientists who have produce work of great importance in other fields.

    Of course no-one is in a position to judge which field is 'best' (the question is pointless really), each field of science has produce a unique insight into our world and should not be passed of as inferior because of its lack of mathematical rigour or the object of its study.
    Yes, of course you are right. I respect that chemistry and biology are both perfectly inseparable from the whole group of natural sciences because of all the interlinking. Although it generally requires a different set of skills and a different attitude and approach to become a particular scientist of some kind (and there are subdivisions within each natural science).

    My post was, of course, subjective (I would claim that anything a person says can only be subjective), and there is obviously no "best" science.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    For a physicist your logic is pretty fuzzy, I don't see how using more mathematics makes physics the 'purest sciece', in fact I'm not actually sure what you mean by that. It is easy for you to win an argument that you have defined in such a way i.e. more maths = more fundamental = best, however it isn't a fair and fully logical argument.
    My point is that mathematics is the only language in which we can make an exact statement, and physics employs mathematics to describe the real world. So physicists make exact statements about the real world. Which I'm sure is exactly what both the physical sciences do. More quantitave predictions as opposed to qualitative ones.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    As for beauty and symmetry ever taken a walk in the woods, looked at a crystal, do you not find these things contain both beauty and symmetry? Of course I respect your opinion that there is more beauty and symmetry in physics than anywhere else, but I disagree with it and it is far from undoubtable (in fact it's quite ignorant to suggest that it is).
    Of course I have seen beauty in the woods, or a lake, or indeed the face of a person. But the beauty I talk of here is on another level; I do not expect a non-physicist to understand the amount of beauty involved in the fact that the energy-momentum four-vector must be conserved in all inertial frames. There is incredible symmetry there, and because of that fact alone the universe is the way it is (or determines a lot of it).

    And of course beauty is subjective. Just in the same way that I wouldn't expect us both to find the same girl attractive (assuming you were a heterosexual male or homosexual female or any other "description" of person which would find girls attractive), I don't automatically expect you to appreciate the beauty that I do. And I also appreciate the fact that you respect my opinion (as I respect yours), but I do not think that it is ignorant at all.

    Interesting you bring up crystals and trees. Ultimately the stuff they are made of obeys the symmetries imposed by the universe; and it is precisely these symmetries that physicists are trying to catalogue (and hopefully find that one symmetry is a subset of some greater symmetry).
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Experiment doesn't wait for theory and our knowledge of the universe progresses without the say so of fundamental physical theory. It is not neccessary to have a fundamental theory of everything to make significant and important discoveries about our universe. Also it has been demonstrated time and time again in the past that it is not the theory, but it's application that really leads to the advancement of our journey on the road to greater understanding.
    No but once we have the fundamental theory of everything, we can reduce all known phenomena, everything, from quarks inside nuclei, to electrons in atoms, to DNA unzipping, to moonlight right down to a single set of equations (even better; a single equation) instead of the plethora of different analyses we have to currently perform. Of course, such an equation would be useless in most current applications. For example, in engineering, it is still only Newton's Laws we use; quantum effects never come into consideration, even though quantum mechanics describes what is happening much more accurately than Classical Mechanics. But for everyday purposes the difference in predictions between the two are so miniscule they are negligible.

    I disagree with your last point. New theory opens up avenues the old theory could never have imagined. eg. quantum entanglement has no classical counterpart. With it, we can try to make quantum computers and have immense computational ability we could never have dreamed of. And we have already seen over the last 20 years what linear classical computing can do for us. And the point of having the most fundamental physical theory is that this will be it. The last goal. And from that single equation, and it's definitions, we will unearth more and more discoveries that will shape the future of the world (or even the universe).

    Some things though, are beyond physical explanation (I hope, at least). Like the feeling I get when I can make someone special smile.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    omg! i think you need to go outside and get some air! wtf?!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shiny)
    omg! i think you need to go outside and get some air! wtf?!
    hehee, I wrote that on the oxford tube back to london one day (a long time ago), and saved it as a textfile. Just forgot to post it here til now!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LennonMcCartney)
    Of course I have seen beauty in the woods, or a lake, or indeed the face of a person. But the beauty I talk of here is on another level; I do not expect a non-physicist to understand the amount of beauty involved in the fact that the energy-momentum four-vector must be conserved in all inertial frames. There is incredible symmetry there, and because of that fact alone the universe is the way it is (or determines a lot of it).

    And of course beauty is subjective. Just in the same way that I wouldn't expect us both to find the same girl attractive (assuming you were a heterosexual male or homosexual female or any other "description" of person which would find girls attractive), I don't automatically expect you to appreciate the beauty that I do. And I also appreciate the fact that you respect my opinion (as I respect yours), but I do not think that it is ignorant at all.

    Interesting you bring up crystals and trees. Ultimately the stuff they are made of obeys the symmetries imposed by the universe; and it is precisely these symmetries that physicists are trying to catalogue (and hopefully find that one symmetry is a subset of some greater symmetry).
    Thanks for your post, it was quite long and most of it I have no problem with (of course we'll have to agree to disagree about the ToE as I don't see why it should buck the trend of any other theoretical discoveries and instantaneously cede answers to life's major questions).

    However, to answer a couple of points in your post:

    It isn't ignorant to assert that this type of beauty is somehow better than any other, however it is ignorant to suggest that this opinion is undoubtable, which is what you said.

    We all find beauty in our own subject areas that can only be revealed through deep study, physics and physicists are not alone in this. There are many facets of chemistry that I wouldn't expect a non-chemist to find aesthetically pleasing either, but I wouldn't argue that their aesthetic superiority was unquestionable.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Why is chemistry losing? It's clearly the best :P
 
 
 
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: September 6, 2010

University open days

  • Southampton Solent University
    All faculties Undergraduate
    Sun, 18 Nov '18
  • University of Bradford
    All faculties Undergraduate
    Wed, 21 Nov '18
  • Buckinghamshire New University
    All Faculties Postgraduate
    Wed, 21 Nov '18
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.