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  1. #31

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    The thing that I find very troubling is that I was taught in grad school that you had better make an "airtight" case or else you would have to expect fellow scholars to "rip you to shreds" (and this wasn't even a scientific discipline!), yet scientists (and those in biology seem to be the worst offenders) don't seem to have any qualms about dismissing the ideas of others out of hand when there is so much evidence against their own. If Redneck P. is right, there is no reason for any one theory to be viewed as anything more than an educated guess at this point, given that there is evidence against their idea as well as a compelling competing notion. If you want to make a case, then make it as strong as possible, It's possible that two theories can both explain 99% of the evidence, but only the right one can explain 100%, and this is something too many scientists these days don't seem to understand.

    UPDATE: If you got to pubmed.com and search for sense of smell, you find interesting stuff like:

    "No two roses smell exactly alike, but our brain accurately bundles these variations into a single percept 'rose'. We found that ensembles of rat olfactory bulb neurons decorrelate complex mixtures that vary by as little as a single missing component, whereas olfactory (piriform) cortical neural ensembles perform pattern completion in response to an absent component, essentially filling in the missing information and allowing perceptual stability. This piriform cortical ensemble activity predicts olfactory perception."

    Nat Neurosci. 2008 Dec;11(12):1378-80. Epub 2008 Nov 2.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
    Last edited by Bigsly; 29th December 2008 at 12:20 AM.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    The thing that I find very troubling is that I was taught in grad school that you had better make an "airtight" case or else you would have to expect fellow scholars to "rip you to shreds" (and this wasn't even a scientific discipline!), yet scientists (and those in biology seem to be the worst offenders) don't seem to have any qualms about dismissing the ideas of others out of hand when there is so much evidence against their own. If Redneck P. is right, there is no reason for any one theory to be viewed as anything more than an educated guess at this point, given that there is evidence against their idea as well as a compelling competing notion. If you want to make a case, then make it as strong as possible, It's possible that two theories can both explain 99% of the evidence, but only the right one can explain 100%, and this is something too many scientists these days don't seem to understand.
    I think it's a lot like a discussion board, though heavily, heavily moderated. Some people do "safe" work where they dot all the i's and cross all the t's, and never face criticism. But they may also end up a day late and a theory short. Others jump in right away with ideas that are likely but still early, and brave the inevitable opposition.

    It's important to realize, from the history of science, that the public view of theories (and by public I mean the scientific community and the media who follow behind them) is often wrong, but science has a terrible record of doing mea culpa, in my opinion. Science is very good at saying "we are now right", but it doesn't like to focus on its past errors. I was blessed to have some professors who imparted to me the wonderful history of wrongness in chemistry. I'm also old enough to remember when ideas such as terrestrial impacts were mocked as religious garbage, and general relativity was still considered iffy. In my own field, the errors were less dramatic, but just as colorful. A famous chemist once mocked the idea of tetrahedral carbon bonding and its role in chirality as a hooker being brought into good society (it didn't help that the scientist advancing the idea wasn't from a "good" school). In another case, an essential answer in quantum chemistry went unnoticed for years, and an empirical result in Germany was doubted because the work was too elegant to be believed, and the result unexpected (in his case, it didn't help that he was a Jew and things were getting nasty in Germany). Science has flaws because science is done by people. If there is one thing I would impart to young scientists, that would be it.

    Bigsly, I would say that no theory is ever on 100% solid ground. They all seem to have a boundary at which they don't operate at 100%. Everything breaks down at some point, and either gets help from other theory, or is a big fat question mark and requires upgrading or extension. But you are right - the few nasty players who diss the opposing views without respect or self-examination take the fun out of the game. I will always respect my former advisor for the fact that he would treat with honor even the least respected and most controversial scientists of his field - particularly those who opposed his own views. As it should be. Science is no longer a rich gentleman's pastime, but we can still be ladies and gentlemen.

    It's all rather interesting, but I personally prefer being a bystander now!
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  3. #33
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    I dont have a chemistry background but I published many papers (3 journals, 5 conference and a number of workshop papers) in computer science publications during my recent grad school tenure - our group was working on a recently rejuvenated subfield of CS (two level grammar, and grammar inference) so I just have a bunch of general questions:

    1) I believe Turin is currently at MIT. Is he still continuing work on his theory and drumming up support for it?

    2) What other academic/industry research groups are doing research on the same theory as Turins'?

    3) Does anyone know of any recent papers by Turin (recent as in within the past 3 years) ?

    These questions are key because it can be very hard to get a novel idea published in journals with a decent ISI/impact factor - initially the reaction of the reviewers is almost always "No way! this cannot be! It is utter nonsense and no one will care for it !"
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  4. #34

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Well, I know that Einstein's relativity has been tested over and over again, which is appropriate. But, as those quotations from "The Billion Dollar Molecule" make clear, many if not most biologists seem to think that their models are established "facts," and they dismiss out of hand anyone who dares criticize those models. A theory is never 100%, which is why it's called a theory and not a fact. The thing that is so disturbing here is that it appears that this should be a rather simple problem to solve, experimentally. You get molecules that everyone can agree are the same shape or clearly not the same shape, and you see if either idea works all the time. If some are now talking about binding strength, I'd like to know about the primary data on this. Can it be measured easily? If so, again, why not do the experiments and determine who is correct? Or can they not even agree on molecules being the same shape or clearly different?
    Last edited by Bigsly; 29th December 2008 at 05:45 AM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I dont have a chemistry background but I published many papers (3 journals, 5 conference and a number of workshop papers) in computer science publications during my recent grad school tenure - our group was working on a recently rejuvenated subfield of CS (two level grammar, and grammar inference) so I just have a bunch of general questions:

    1) I believe Turin is currently at MIT. Is he still continuing work on his theory and drumming up support for it?

    2) What other academic/industry research groups are doing research on the same theory as Turins'?

    3) Does anyone know of any recent papers by Turin (recent as in within the past 3 years) ?

    These questions are key because it can be very hard to get a novel idea published in journals with a decent ISI/impact factor - initially the reaction of the reviewers is almost always "No way! this cannot be! It is utter nonsense and no one will care for it !"
    Great questions, zz! I've picked up partial answers to some of these - I'll look more closely now. But until then, let me give you what I know...

    (1) I heard he was going there. If so, that's what I'm presuming, but haven't verified. Narcus?

    (2) I have not seen any people who seem to be advancing his viewpoint, although I saw a theoretical paper (I think in England) saying it was plausible, and one team at Rochester who tried to do something he predicted and got negative results. I'll get the references if I can find them again.

    (3) I've seen several patents of his coming through, but they seem to be for substances that spin off his research, not the examples from the research itself. For instance, several of them are for sulfur-containing analogs of known fragrance substances. He appears to have examined various substances that make sense in the course of his research, and gets auxilliary ideas about them that go into patents of a tangentially related nature in terms of utility. The guy seems to be brimming with ideas.

    I presumed that if he got a spot at MIT, it was because his research is "hot" even if controversial. His commercial ties are likely a bonus. I would say that it would be justified. Too many people do dull, safe stuff. People who go after tough questions may attain gadfly status, but from a scientific viewpoint, they stir up the pot, and from an administrative viewpoint, they attract attention.

    Kudos to you for academic IT work - sounds like fascinating stuff you did. More proof that you appreciate complexity and precision!
    * * * *

  6. #36
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    The thing that is so disturbing here is that it appears that this should be a rather simple problem to solve, experimentally. You get molecules that everyone can agree are the same shape or clearly not the same shape, and you see if either idea works all the time.
    It's not simple, Bigsly, my friend. That's what David is trying to explain. Molecules are not just shapes - they're fuzzy little electrical necklaces that flop around every which way. Even if we find two molecules with exactly the same shape, but different electronics (like rigid metallocenes with different metal atoms buried in the center), there could be lots of valid, non-Turin reasons for a difference to show up. Sometimes in science we luck out and get a single experiment that shakes up everything and provides a knife-edge to test theory, but usually we don't, and even if we do, we often don't recognize it. In this case, the same shape but different electronics might give no difference. That looks easy (a no for Turin), but the result is still subject to interpretation - there could be a reason why there was no difference (though you are SO correct about using molecules PLURAL). But if there is a slight difference (more likely), there's a fight as to why it happened. Non-Turin theories invoking other electrostatic or chemical phenomena could explain it. If there's a huge difference, it looks good for Turin, but again - subject to interpretation, or competing theories. A different type of electronic theory could explain it. And Occam's Razor hovers overhead the whole time, ready to break a tie or snuff a Rube Goldberg theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    If some are now talking about binding strength, I'd like to know about the primary data on this. Can it be measured easily? If so, again, why not do the experiments and determine who is correct? Or can they not even agree on molecules being the same shape or clearly different?
    The experiments are coming - clearly, people are probing olfactory receptors in a big way now. I think the verdict will be coming in soon. But it's important to remember that we test the receptors with real molecules - not hypothetically identical/different ones. For example, the molecules being tested in the study you cite are not identical to the conformations of straight-chain octanal that they are trying to mimic. They have two hydrogen atoms removed to close the ring and hold it still. Thus they are an approximation. Still, we can learn from them. We can now hook up these receptors like wires and test them, so the answer to your question is yes, it's easily measured now (not sure if it's "easy", but it's very doable). I think the answer to the last question is that we can agree on molecules, but there are none that are "perfect" test substances. So the answer is to do enough different cases to look for a preponderance of evidence.

    Science is done with a finite number of selections from a finite number of possible approximations that we can to some degree test. If that sounds like it opens up the possibility of interpretation, then yes, it does. But only to a point. As more and more evidence arrives, things sharpen up, and the rock-solidness of the winning theories appears. That's why evolution is a no-brainer for scientists. Billions (literally) of dovetailing biological facts are only interpretable in terms of it. It's like atoms. If you don't like 'em, tough. THAT is when theories are solid like you would like them to be. But trust me - there are always surprises. The fact that we discovered a bounded form of graphite (fullerenes) only recently shows that we don't know everything even when we think we do.

    Competing theories are sometimes like two kids splashing water out of a puddle. Both sides win until there are no more facts to explain, and then you see that both were right in a sense - they were really just viewpoints and approximations of the same truth. That's become more common, it seems, and now scientists have theories of theories and theories about types of theories. Yeah, it's a mess. But I think it's still beautiful.
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  7. #37

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    (1) I heard he was going there. If so, that's what I'm presuming, but haven't verified.
    The MIT directory lists him as a "Visiting Scientist".
    http://web.mit.edu/bin/cgicso?query=Turin
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  8. #38
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Great questions, zz! I've picked up partial answers to some of these - I'll look more closely now. But until then, let me give you what I know...

    (1) I heard he was going there. If so, that's what I'm presuming, but haven't verified. Narcus?

    (2) I have not seen any people who seem to be advancing his viewpoint, although I saw a theoretical paper (I think in England) saying it was plausible, and one team at Rochester who tried to do something he predicted and got negative results. I'll get the references if I can find them again.

    (3) I've seen several patents of his coming through, but they seem to be for substances that spin off his research, not the examples from the research itself. For instance, several of them are for sulfur-containing analogs of known fragrance substances. He appears to have examined various substances that make sense in the course of his research, and gets auxilliary ideas about them that go into patents of a tangentially related nature in terms of utility. The guy seems to be brimming with ideas.

    I presumed that if he got a spot at MIT, it was because his research is "hot" even if controversial. His commercial ties are likely a bonus. I would say that it would be justified. Too many people do dull, safe stuff. People who go after tough questions may attain gadfly status, but from a scientific viewpoint, they stir up the pot, and from an administrative viewpoint, they attract attention.

    Kudos to you for academic IT work - sounds like fascinating stuff you did. More proof that you appreciate complexity and precision!
    Thanks for your answers R_P. I quite enjoyed reading your detailed writings here. Looks like you are up-to-date in your area of interest. Maybe Turin should hold an audience with you.
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  9. #39
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    The MIT directory lists him as a "Visiting Scientist".
    http://web.mit.edu/bin/cgicso?query=Turin
    Thanks very much, David. That led me to several links at MIT which I'm analyzing now. Here is one, to somebody who is collaborating with him...

    http://web.media.mit.edu/~manup/Manu...b/Welcome.html
    * * * *

  10. #40
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Thanks for your answers R_P. I quite enjoyed reading your detailed writings here. Looks like you are up-to-date in your area of interest. Maybe Turin should hold an audience with you.
    Thanks, zz. Honestly, I feel humbled to be posting in a place that Turin found worthwhile. But it's clear why he did. Few places would tolerate this level of discussion of arts and sciences with such a high degree of community interest, as opposed to snickers and yawns.

    I would love to follow Turin's work as closely as I once did other subjects, but my employer's resources can no longer be used for anything but the tasks needed to get the job done. Not an unreasonable request in these hard times, when customers have to make even harder choices. Better that my pleasure reading walk the plank, than somebody else's job.
    Last edited by Redneck Perfumisto; 30th December 2008 at 03:16 AM. Reason: (my ){2}
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  11. #41

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    I am going to spend a night in a Holiday Inn Express and then re-read that article.
    hahahah good one! And if you still don't get it, maybe you should switch your car insurance to Gieco, that way you can at least save a lot of money on your car insurance!

  12. #42
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maz24 View Post
    hahahah good one! And if you still don't get it, maybe you should switch your car insurance to Gieco, that way you can at least save a lot of money on your car insurance!
    I smell a shill!
    Now if I only understood how my nose-hole can detect the shillyness.
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  13. #43

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    What about utility and predictability? It appeared that one of the drivers for Turin's work was his assessment that dominant theories of the early 90's had little or no predictive utility for the perfume industry. Have the recent developments in theory resulted in advancements the ability to predict how new molecules or will smell?

  14. #44
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuman View Post
    What about utility and predictability? It appeared that one of the drivers for Turin's work was his assessment that dominant theories of the early 90's had little or no predictive utility for the perfume industry. Have the recent developments in theory resulted in advancements the ability to predict how new molecules or will smell?
    I'm trying to get a sense of this (no pun intended) using my weak home resources. For a gloomy view, look here, at one of my favorite chem blogs. To quote:

    The take-home lesson is that there are no major SAR trends in odor that you can count on. A substitution that works in one series can do nothing when applied to a closely related compound, or it can take the odor off in a completely unexpected direction.
    I haven't seen the cited article, so I'm unable to comment if that's a fair restatement of the conclusions. It was 2006, so it's pretty recent. In any case, I think that viewpoint is mostly from a practical standpoint. If you have to pretty much map out every small local region in chemspace to find correlations, and they don't translate across chemspace with any reliability, then you don't really have anything better than empiricism, in my opinion.

    Now, personally, I'm a believer in Hilbert's epitaph - Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen. (We must know. We shall know.) Even knowing what can't be known - the limits of knowing - is good knowledge. But I'm hopeful that the modern understanding of olfactory receptors will, in fact, lead somewhere.

    So..... Continuing to look around, I am finding a ton of good science showing (what looks to me like) slow and steady progress. I even found a recent article (abstract here) that I was willing to fork over the cash to read. The abstract starts off with a rehash of the combinatorial viewpoint, including the idea that odorants could be both agonists and antagonists (makes sense). The highlight of the abstract is at the end:

    We demonstrated that OR1G1 recognizes a group of odorants that share both 3D structural and perceptual qualities. We hypothesized that OR1G1 contributes to the coding of waxy, fatty, and rose odors in humans.
    Translation - they say that they can demonstrate that one particular olfactory receptor links 3-D structure (roughly, shape) and perceptive qualities for a group of molecules. They postulate that the receptor in question is a contributor to perception of certain odors.

    They also had this to say, which I find more impressive:

    We previously described the odorant repertoire of a human OR, OR1G1, identifying both agonists and antagonists. In this paper, we performed a 3D-quantitative structure–activity relationship (3D-QSAR) study of these ligands. We obtained a double-alignment model explaining previously reported experimental activities and permitting to predict novel agonists and antagonists for OR1G1. These model predictions were experimentally validated.
    Translation: they say that they (1) identified molecules that activate or block an olfactory receptor, (2) related the activity to structure, and (3) used that to predict new molecules that activated or blocked the same receptor.

    I haven't done more than skim the article yet - I assume it was strong enough to warrant publication. But in any case, my answer would be that - yes - we will know.

    Now - where does Turin stand in this? I'd say that depends. If more and more receptors are examined closely, and the current approach ("dual agonist–antagonist combinatorial coding") works better and better, then Occam's razor says there is no need for anything more. But perhaps there is something that the model doesn't explain - such as structurally disparate molecules activating the same receptor, with the only correlation being the IR energetics. Then Turin's stuff could conceivably fit in. Or his observations could just be interesting accidents. To quote the title of the recent book, "fooled by randomness". Maybe thiols and boranes just hyperactivate the same receptor type by a structural accident, and appear superficially the same, like birds and bats. Maybe they activate different receptors that are both interpreted as similar odors - another fluke. Maybe Tonkene smells like coumarin because of basic functional similarity, and not a matching IR spectrum. This is where it's important to leave behind the semi-anecdotal "leads" that point us in potential right directions, and to start getting meticulous and statistical.

    If Turin is right, then it might be possible to have a program predicting IR spectra simply crank through potential structures in search of fingerprint matches to valuable molecules, like Tonkene matches coumarin. Is that what he did there? I don't know. But it would be important to know about failures there, too, if we're being honest with ourselves.

    On the other hand, it will be important to do the same for non-Turin theories, too. Can they predict more than just a single receptor? Can we correlate a structure with the mappings of thousands of other molecules across hundreds of receptors, and predict the final odor as a function of binding to multiple receptors? I think that's an exciting possibility.

    Either way, I firmly believe - Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen.
    * * * *

  15. #45

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoy such posts and discussions especially the ones that explain in understandable English the scientific point of view I tend to feel put off by the tad of condescension that some scientists express when asked questions by 'common folk' So happy to see otherwise!

    Ow and I love how Turin writes too, like a 'mad scientist' :lol: I like his style and eccentricity cos he writes/talks with humor Many scientists take themselves far to seriously

  16. #46
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Just wanted to say that I really enjoy such posts and discussions especially the ones that explain in understandable English the scientific point of view I tend to feel put off by the tad of condescension that some scientists express when asked questions by 'common folk' So happy to see otherwise!

    Ow and I love how Turin writes too, like a 'mad scientist' :lol: I like his style and eccentricity cos he writes/talks with humor Many scientists take themselves far to seriously
    Yes, science really should be fun. That's why my favorite scientists are the gang of ex-stunt-people on MythBusters. I'm just amazed at the purity of science they put on display. So much of science has become politicized, agenda-driven, and tainted in a mild but still annoying way. And I'm not leaving myself untainted by that statement. In contrast, all those jokers on MythBusters do is seek the truth on behalf of the common man, using the scientific method straight out of the bottle. God bless 'em!

    Yes, I enjoy Turin's writing, too. Very much.

    Finally, an important point. In science, mathematics, and anything else, we tend to learn more from errors than otherwise. So even if Turin's exploration of the frequency theory is wrong in terms of explaining biological olfaction, nothing is wasted in knowledge. It's clear that Turin's work opens up all sorts of interesting scientific and technological avenues, and I hope that he finds success on at least one of them.
    * * * *

  17. #47
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    I am going to spend a night in a Holiday Inn Express and then re-read that article.
    Still LMAO!

    Actually, I may just move into one and re-do my life.
    * * * *

  18. #48

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    LT claims that his company has used his thoery to come up with as non cancer-causing replacement for coumarin. When I read Burr's book, I was rooting for Turin's theory just because it would, by definition, replace millions of man hours of apparently near-random molecule creation, making possible the a flood of new scents.

    BTW, I hane only the barest-bones understanding of any of this, but I do remember reading that Buck had to retract at least part of her research because nobody has been able to duplicate it.

  19. #49

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    That's one thing that really annoys me; there are so many examples of this (claims that are believed in like religious doctrines) and that either don't have experimental evidence to support them or else are contradicted by undeniable experimental data that it makes one wonder why biology is taught as a science. It's often little more than a stubborn version of philosophy (not to disparage philosophy professors).

  20. #50
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Thanks, zz. Honestly, I feel humbled to be posting in a place that Turin found worthwhile. But it's clear why he did.
    To pump his book?

    I'm not a scientist, but I do think that essences found naturally in our environment smell differently than ones manufactured in labs and maybe it is because of their vibrations. I've said that on here before. ::ducks flying glass beacons::

  21. #51
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by beachroses View Post
    To pump his book?
    LOL! I would imagine that he came into here with the same jittery feeling as a drug-and-potion salesman pulling his wagon into Tombstone. He may have felt a bit tarred-and-feathered, but we did buy every last bottle of perfume on his wagon. And we're still debating whether this magnetism thing he believes in really will cure arthritis. I suggest that it might, but perhaps not in the way that anyone suspects!

    Quote Originally Posted by beachroses View Post
    I'm not a scientist, but I do think that essences found naturally in our environment smell differently than ones manufactured in labs and maybe it is because of their vibrations. I've said that on here before. ::ducks flying glass beacons::
    LOL - No throwing of glassware here! I won't argue with there being a difference between natural mixtures and synthetic approximations. The note identification project put any thought otherwise to rest for me. Natural essences are so complex - it's impossible to find a synthetic reconstitution that provides the same olfactory impression. I did love some of the synthetic reconstitutions. In some ways, they were easier to work with, because they seem simpler. They are often very "clean" and pure-smelling. But they're never the same as naturals. In theory, I'm sure it would be possible to duplicate a natural essence by adding in every single natural component from a very pure synthetic source in some kind of massive effort, but why bother? Just use the natural and be happy that nature made the task easy!

    One of the things I find so wonderful about science over the ages is how recurring patterns of unfolding truth show that even the people who were wrong about something were often right in other ways. The Greek philosopher Democritus believed in atoms very early, and was eerily prescient in many in his musings:

    In the fifth century B.C., Democritus, an early shapist, theorized that sweet atoms were ''round and of a good size.'' Sour ones? ''Bulky, jagged and many-angled, without curves.'' ''Whichever shape predominates,'' he explained, ''will determine what sense-impression we receive.'' -from this review of Burr's book about Turin
    Democritus was a bit too early to understand real molecules, but he was perhaps right in principle. If you think of certain molecular features called functional groups as "jaggedness", or if you view the olfactory impression of a molecule against a number N of receptors as an N-dimensional object (make it 3 to see it easily), then I would say that "spiked" and "jagged" are precisely what nasty smells tend to be - they are overwhelming ("pointed", "sharp") in some particular direction. Heck - we even use the word "sharp". Sometimes I just have to wonder how Democritus and Pythagoras cheated to know so much!
    * * * *

  22. #52

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    For me, it's the "vibration" that makes the nasty smells. It really feels like something is being pulled too far, like a rubber band that is being stretched to near its breaking point. However, I wouldn't suggest this is something that should be considered scientific evidence.

  23. #53

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    It's often little more than a stubborn version of philosophy (not to disparage philosophy professors).
    Philosophers appreciate when someone bothers to rip their ideas apart, it means that we are on to something.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  24. #54
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Philosophers appreciate when someone bothers to rip their ideas apart, it means that we are on to something.
    Love this answer! I think this works the same way in a lot of places!
    * * * *

  25. #55

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Philosophers appreciate when someone bothers to rip their ideas apart....
    until everyone disagrees with them.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by helo darqness View Post
    until everyone disagrees with them.
    LOL!

    ...at which point the contrarians will start to agree!
    * * * *

  27. #57
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I won't argue with there being a difference between natural mixtures and synthetic approximations. The note identification project put any thought otherwise to rest for me. Natural essences are so complex - it's impossible to find a synthetic reconstitution that provides the same olfactory impression. I did love some of the synthetic reconstitutions. In some ways, they were easier to work with, because they seem simpler. They are often very "clean" and pure-smelling.
    Scientists discovered that natural essences from tea tree, geranium, lavender and verbena destroy that antibiotic resistant staph infection killing people in hospitals, because it is not able to develop a resistance to their complex natural structures. They also repel mosquitoes and are the main notes I wear here in the summer.

    I don't mind fragrances that combine natural essences with some synthetics, it's the 100% synthetic ones that don't give me the vibes for long. They end up in the back of my cabinet and eventually dumped on Ebay or donated. It's not that they don't smell good, it's that I tire of them easily. They lack "soul." They're usually the ones buyers go after first, too, so somebody likes them.

  28. #58

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by helo darqness View Post
    until everyone disagrees with them.
    If everyone disagress with you and they bother to critique your ideas then you REALLY know you are onto something...

    Originally posted by Redneck Perfumisto

    even if Turin's exploration of the frequency theory is wrong in terms of explaining biological olfaction, nothing is wasted in knowledge.
    Exactly, even if Turin is wrong, his ideas have added to the body of scientific knowledge and prompted people to look into new areas of scientific investigation that may have unexpected outcomes.
    Last edited by surreality; 1st February 2009 at 07:50 PM.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  29. #59

    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    If everyone disagress with you and they bother to critique your ideas then you REALLY know you are onto something...

    not always.

    not saying turin is wrong, but if someone goes around telling everyone something that is OBVIOUSLY false, such as "pulp fiction had john travolta and danny glover" or columbus was on the may flower, or chuck yeager was the first man on the moon or....whatever...

    when they ARENT onto something, people will argue with them, loudly.

    especially with creationists and people who think jesus rode with dinosaurs and want to teach this in schools...

    people will stand up and not put up with bullsh*t.

  30. #60
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    Default Re: New study contradicts Luca Turin's theory?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    If everyone disagress with you and they bother to critique your ideas then you REALLY know you are onto something...
    Quote Originally Posted by helo darqness View Post
    not always.

    not saying turin is wrong, but if someone goes around telling everyone something that is OBVIOUSLY false, such as "pulp fiction had john travolta and danny glover" or columbus was on the may flower, or chuck yeager was the first man on the moon or....whatever...

    when they ARENT onto something, people will argue with them, loudly.

    especially with creationists and people who think jesus rode with dinosaurs and want to teach this in schools...

    people will stand up and not put up with bullsh*t.
    OK, I find myself agreeing with both of you here. Generally, people will try to ignore the folks who are so far off base that they're not making sense. To borrow the book title from the now-famous physics phrase, "not even wrong". E.g., the 6000 year-old Earth people (who are the flat Earthers of the 21st century). The trouble is, when those folks use politics to bring that junk into science, then we have to make a big fuss, like it or not. But trust me, if they were just holding meetings and whatnot and not trying to make everybody else listen to that stuff, they would be totally ignored.

    But you're probably also right, h_d, in that it's a bit different on the internet. People seem more willing to just say whatever they think (), and people are also more willing to talk back honestly to anything they disagree with. I personally love that aspect of web culture, since it promotes more vigorous discussion of ideas. When all parties are open to changing their minds based on the evidence, and everything is up for discussion without preconditions, huge progress can be made toward understanding.

    beachroses - I know what you're saying about those purely synthetic frags. I find them difficult to wear, sometimes - I almost dread putting them on.
    * * * *

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