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in memoriam

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  • Mary Jo
    Francis wondered about many things. His interest in simple phenomenology led to his discovery of DNA. Go figure. In person Crick was provocative, quick-witted
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2004
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      Francis wondered about many things. His interest in simple
      phenomenology led to his discovery of DNA. Go figure.

      In person Crick was provocative, quick-witted and charming, although
      he rarely consented to interviews. He was averse to attention of any
      sort, he said, not because he was anti-social but because it cut into
      his thinking time.

      Unlike many scientists, Crick did not spend his days toiling away in
      a lab or instructing students. Instead, he read and mused in his Salk
      Institute office overlooking the Pacific Ocean, putting in full days
      well beyond retirement age. He had come to Salk after resigning from
      the Cambridge faculty in 1977.

      Crick was born in Britain in 1916 to a shoe factory owner and his
      wife. He studied physics at University College and then built
      underwater mines for the British government during World War II.

      After the war, Crick became interested in "the division between the
      living and the non-living" and decided to teach himself biology and
      chemistry.

      In later years, Crick wrote "The Astonishing Hypothesis: The
      Scientific Search for the Soul," which had as its central tenet that
      everything we see, feel, think and experience is controlled by brain
      chemistry, not some inner spirit or will.

      "Can you explain why blue looks blue?" Crick asked in the 1994
      interview. "It's no use saying the sky looks blue. That doesn't say
      why it looks blue. Why doesn't it look red? ... That's a very
      difficult question.

      "We are trying to go around that and find out what happens in your
      head when you see blue. Maybe that will give us a clue to answer
      these difficult questions." - Yahoo News

      Mary
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