Location: Harvard University
Registered: July 2005
Re: RE: Little b
26 Jul '05 02:10
Will biologists ever accept any text-based language? Perhaps not. The answer is likely "different strokes for different folks", as you've suggested. I don't think it's necessary (or currently practical) for biologists to learn LISP. But - LISP is a great language for symbolic manipulation, and for this reason, it's an important tool for computational biologists. There's a lot of lore about LISP being hard to learn or only for hard-core "computer scientists". I think this is a lot of hooey which is largely due to the way it's currently taught. So you might view LISP as a good substrate for building the tools (GUI apps, etc) which biologists use to build models.
Regarding the comment about computer languages "written bу computer guys for computer guys" - I think there's a reason for this (other than оbscurantist computer culture). The "unnatural" structure of computer languages comes from the need for precise unambiguous expression. If models are to become part of mainstream of biology, perhaps it will be important for biologists to express themselves in precise formal language... that is - after they learn LISP