Why is the modulation mechanism study of functional biology in trouble while the comparative study of behavioral meaning is conducive to revealing the modulation scheme?
From the preceding discussion, we can draw a conclusion that modulation-mechanism study essentially does not investigate functions, but investigates the design of functions. When a function study is shifted to researching the meaning of functions, it has shifted to researching the design of functions. That is Mayr's difference between evolutionary cause tracking and program cause tracking. The former studies the meaning, and the latter studies the functional problems.
The meaning of behavior, or the design of behavior, contains the modulation of behavior. In other words, natural selection has given this behavior the start-up in collaboration with other component behaviors; and this collaborative start-up has an optimal implication for the organism to balance trade-off in the environment. When we compare the trade-off of one start-up and another start-up under a specific ecological pressure, we will naturally understand what the organism will start up.
Taking genetic research for example, what is its basic unit? After decades of research on the gene, nobody can clarify it. The following three features probably characterize an expression study:
(1) It should have a clear unit of expression; without a clear unit, the study may be in confusion;
(2) the expression is not simply physiological, it must be relevant to ecologies;
(3) where there is an expression, there is a meaning; or we can say that expression is meaning, which including the holistic physio-ecology, development, and some combinations. The current expression research in life science fails to clarify the unit in gene expression, metabonomics and neuro-regulation, as well as the expression unit of functional regulatory structures at a certain level.
Therefore, to identify a behavior is easy, but to figure out the meaning of this behavior is difficult; this is the difference between functional research and meaning research. The meaning of a behavior involves many things, such as other components, coordination with other components, elicited combination effects, corresponding environmental conditions, and so on. Without these things, we cannot clarify meaning. The meaning of a component is far more complicated than the component itself. It is the component's general effect when the component is in a whole that is responding to certain eco-conditions and coordinated with other components to form some combinations.
Learning from historical experience, objective modulation structure and mechanism mode are liable to be considered issues easy to be settled through route tracking. But why does it go to the wall? The deep-structure concept can provide a good explanation for this. Objective modulation structure and mechanism mode are based on the meaning systems; and modulation mechanisms are written by congenital or epigenetic meanings, acquired from congenital evolution and epigenetic learning. In the modulation process, each chemical or physical process involves the upper-layer components, and the process may also be integrated into the whole's coding system. Therefore, the objective modulation structure and mechanisms can be seen as deep structures. The study of the former is equivalent to the study of deep structure. If we do not understand them from the perspective of the meaning system and simply rely on route tracking of functional experiments, what will happen?