Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Like killing starfish . . . .

Regeneration is a tricky thing.

See, when you try to kill a starfish, you have to be careful about it. Just hacking it up won't do because even a few cells from the core of the fish left on the arms enable the arm to grow a whole new body. That's right - it's not just the animal that grows a new arm, it's the arm that grows a new animal.

From the same article above:

"Sheik Yassin's death is not going to harm or affect the movement. It's going to give us encouragement to go ahead with our program to achieve our goal," Hanieh said.

This isn't a judgment call on anyone's missles. This is a statement of fact. What happens when you try to destroy the core? How much will be left on the arms - how many more, stronger starfish will grow.

Let's look at the word: regeneration

\Re*gen`er*a"tion\ (-?"sh?n), n. [L. regeneratio: cf. F. r['e]g['e]neration.] 1. The act of regenerating, or the state of being regenerated.

2. (Theol.) The entering into a new spiritual life; the act of becoming, or of being made, Christian; that change by which holy affectations and purposes are substituted for the opposite motives in the heart.

He saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Chost. --Tit. iii. 5.

3. (Biol.) The reproduction of a part which has been removed or destroyed; re-formation; -- a process especially characteristic of a many of the lower animals; as, the regeneration of lost feelers, limbs, and claws by spiders and crabs.

4. (Physiol.) (a) The reproduction or renewal of tissues, cells, etc., which have been used up and destroyed by the ordinary processes of life; as, the continual regeneration of the epithelial cells of the body, or the regeneration of the contractile substance of muscle. (b) The union of parts which have been severed, so that they become anatomically perfect; as, the regeneration of a nerve.

And the root word: regenerate
v. re·gen·er·at·ed, re·gen·er·at·ing, re·gen·er·ates
v. tr.
1. To reform spiritually or morally.
2. To form, construct, or create anew, especially in an improved state.
3. To give new life or energy to; revitalize.
4. Biology. To replace (a lost or damaged organ or part) by formation of new tissue.

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I didn't even know the Theological definition - but I couldn't have made up something that good if I'd tried.

Regeneration - the process of replacing what's been used up by the ordinary processes of life. In this case, it will lead to more death.

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