Life at the Cell and Below-Cell Level. The Hidden History of a Fundamental Revolution in Biology
"Dr. Ling is one of the most inventive biochemist I have ever met."
Reader's Queries (Read First!)
The in-depth and extensive experimental confirmation of the essence of the physico-chemical theory of life, which this volume embodies, marks the beginning of a new era in biology (See Preface). To participate in this ex-citing adventure, however, one needs certain simple basic knowledge of biology as well as of physics and chemistry. For some, all the required knowledge may be old hat; for others, part, or even all of it, may not be. Since neither the required basic biology nor the required basic physics and chemistry is difficult to master, for those who need it, this volume provides an easy, do-it-yourself course centered around an attached customized dictionary which I call a Super-Glossary. This Super-Glossary will answer all the questions a reader is likely to raise and thus enable him or her to move ahead without difficulty. A guideline for this self-teaching course is given in the form of answers to questions raised by several readers.
(1) Is there some specific order that you recommend for a first-time reader?
Answer: Yes. For the first reading, I recommend that you start with the Epilogue (Chapter 17) at the end of the text, followed by the Summary Plus (Chapter 16) and then the Preface. This way you will start with a perspective for what is to follow. After the Preface, read this Answer to Readers' Queries once more before starting to read the main text.
(2) What can I do if I get stalled on a word or a concept but cannot find it in my dictionary or textbooks I have?
Answer: Make a light pencil mark on the incomprehensible item and leave a stick-on tag on the page on which it is found. And then read on until you come across another "roadblock." Repeat the same procedure—again and again—until you feel that you have covered enough pages for this time. Stop and consult the Super-Glossary on p. 288 near the end of the book, which contains more than 900 (and thus virtually all) the technical words, terms, basic concepts etc. used in the writing of this volume. Again, make light pencil marks, this time on the incomprehensible items in the Super-Glossary. Armed with the explanations of the incomprehensible items, read the sections they appear in once more before moving forward again. If you follow this suggested routine, obviously you won't get stuck anywhere for any length of time (and thus become discouraged and stop reading.) The pencil marks and stick-on tags will also make the book a part of you and the next reading will be easier, until a full and complete understanding is achieved. In addition, you will be practicing a basic step of self-education—a vital skill if you plan to venture into totally unexplored new realms of knowledge in the future.
the Super-Glossary cannot offer you the answer to the question that
puzzles you, explain to me your problem via an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or a regular letter (