The investigation of all living phenomena in general and cell physiology in particular is beset with difficulties unmatched by other investigations because extreme complexity coexists with a high degree of internal coherence. To learn about a subject of extreme complexity requires division of labor. Division of labor inevitably leads to fragmentation, which destroys internal coherence. In his "History of Physiology"(English transl., Krieger, Malabar, Fla, 1973), the author Karl E. Rothschuh wrote in 1973: "Physiology is no longer a uniform and coherent field of investigation....Physiology has even ceased to be one whole and distinct teaching subject, a fact which virtually spells the end of the discipline as a certified field of scientific endeavor." This is true of cell physiology as well. More and more detailed knowledge is added each year on subjects of smaller and smaller scope.
To rescue cell physiology from this hopeless state, the only solution is a self-coherent unifying theory like the association-induction hypothesis.
When verified in its essence, such a self-consistent unifying theory would be able to point out what research should be vigorously pursued, what are dead-ends that should be abandoned. Such a unifying theory can also tell which part of the fragmented over-detailed knowledge should be preserved and which can be put on cold storage or discarded. Above all, a coherent unifying theory would be succinct enough to train future cell physiologists who will understand the field in the true sense of the word, and understand where and how to lead his team into the future.