Francis Crick Quotes
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There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.
Unfortunately it makes the unambiguous determination of triplets by these methods much more difficult than would be the case if there were only one triplet for each amino acid.
A comparison between the triplets tentatively deduced by these methods with the changes in amino acid sequence produced by mutation shows a fair measure of agreement.
It is essential to understand our brains in some detail if we are to assess correctly our place in this vast and complicated universe we see all around us.
Trying to determine the structure of a protein by UV spectroscopy was like trying to determine the structure of a piano by listening to the sound it made while being dropped down a flight of stairs.
It has yet to be shown by direct biochemical methods, as opposed to the indirect genetic evidence mentioned earlier, that the code is indeed a triplet code.
You can do reverse engineering, but you can’t do reverse hacking.
A final proof of our ideas can only be obtained by detailed studies on the alterations produced in the amino acid sequence of a protein by mutations of the type discussed here.
It now seems certain that the amino acid sequence of any protein is determined by the sequence of bases in some region of a particular nucleic acid molecule.
It now seems very likely that many of the 64 triplets, possibly most of them, may code one amino acid or another, and that in general several distinct triplets may code one amino acid.
The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he'll fight and die for it.
Avoid the temptation to work so hard that there is no time left for serious thinking.
A good scientist values criticism almost higher than friendship: no, in science criticism is the height and measure of friendship.
A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong
The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is in fact to explain all biology in terms of physics and chemistry.
If revealed religions have revealed anything it is that they are usually wrong.
Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private but should not be taught to young children.
Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice.
My own prejudices are exactly the opposite of the functionalists': "If you want to understand function, study structure".
In the fullness of time, educated people will believe there is no soul independent of the body, and hence no life after death.
It seems likely that most if not all the genetic information in any organism is carried by nucleic acid - usually by DNA, although certain small viruses use RNA as their genetic material.
Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.
There is no form of prose more difficult to understand and more tedious to read than the average scientific paper.
Free will is located in or near the anterior cingulate sulcus.
Chance is the only source of true novelty.
God is a hacker, not an engineer
A busy life is a wasted life.
You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.
In my experience most mathematicians are intellectually lazy.
While Occam's razor is a useful tool in the physical sciences, it can be a very dangerous implement in biology. It is thus very rash to use simplicity and elegance as a guide in biological research.
A man who is right every time is not likely to do very much.
It is not easy to convey, unless one has experienced it, the dramatic feeling of sudden enlightenment that floods the mind when the right idea finally clinches into place.
We are sometimes asked what the result would be if we put four +'s in one gene. To answer this my colleagues have recently put together not merely four but six +'s.
Almost all aspects of life are engineered at the molecular level, and without understanding molecules we can only have a very sketchy understanding of life itself.
Evolution is cleverer than you are.
If poly A is added to poly U, to form a double or triple helix, the combination is inactive.
How is the base sequence, divided into codons? There is nothing in the backbone of the nucleic acid, which is perfectly regular, to show us how to group the bases into codons.
We have to take away from humans in the long run their reproductive autonomy as the only way to guarantee the advancement of mankind.
Exploratory research is really like working in a fog. You don't know where you're going. You're just groping. Then people learn about it afterwards and think how straightforward it was.
Rather than believe that Watson and Crick made the DNA structure, I would rather stress that the structure made Watson and Crick.
This seems highly likely, especially as it has been shown that in several systems mutations affecting the same amino acid are extremely near together on the genetic map.
For simplicity one can think of the + class as having one extra base at some point or other in the genetic message and the - class as having one too few.
I also suspect that many workers in this field [molecular biology] and related fields have been strongly motivated by the desire, rarely actually expressed, to refute vitalism.
Anybody who believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old needs psychiatric help.
If the code does indeed have some logical foundation then it is legitimate to consider all the evidence, both good and bad, in any attempt to deduce it.
Exact knowledge is the enemy of vitalism.
It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.
It is notoriously difficult to define the word living.
Protein synthesis is a central problem for the whole of biology, and that it is in all probability closely related to gene action.
Do codons overlap? In other words, as we read along the genetic message do we find a base which is a member of two or more codons? It now seems fairly certain that codons do not overlap.