On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
> Craig is pointing out that functions are not separable in the real
> world. Nature does not build things in a gears and spring method, every part
> of a cell is an integral part of a whole. If we are to replicate the
> function of a cell exactly we must literally replicate all aspects of a
> cell, or else we are making something completely different.
I thought he was saying that even if we put in an identical component
there would be a difference. In any case, with any machine every part
is integral to the whole, and if you changed a part you would change
the function of the machine. However, the functional change may not be
significant to the machine. This is why cars still function if spark
plugs from a different manufacturer are used and hip joints still
function if the femoral head is replaced with a metal prosthesis. You
could do tests to show that the car and the person are not exactly the
same after the replacement procedure, but the engineering challenge is
to ensure that the differences don't matter to the user.
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