The parable of the Marine Biologist.

A young woman walked up to a marine biologist and asked her to help her pet dolphin who appeared ill. The woman continued to point to a shark and asked her to cut up and study everything she could about the shark, in order to formulate a pharmacology product to give to the dolphin?

Species Concept

The marine biologist looked perplexed, “that’s absurd, that’s pseudoscience… that’s a shark. I should study the dolphin”, she said.

The marine biologist, along with any geneticist or zoologist would agree. What algorithm, what formula could they develop that will safeguard the health of the dolphin if the research was based on the physiology of sharks?

“That’s ridiculous, study the dolphin”, added the marine biologist.

“Why? They both live in the ocean. They are both a fish,” replied the young woman.

“It is a totally different species, it has a completely different genome, and it has a totally different gene code. In fact, no biologist, or geneticist or zoologist or scientist would study a different species and recommend a pharmacology product from the physiology and gene code of a different species anywhere in the world for any reason!” cried the marine biologist. “You might as well ask me to study a snail to treat an angel fish,” snapped the marine biologist.

The young woman, stared in confusion, and asked an obvious question.

“So why are we studying mice, and rabbits and others and formulating pharmacology; for humans?”

– Dr. Matt Hammett

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