Mathematical biology and the existence of biological laws

In DieksD (ed.), Probabilities, Laws and Structure. Springer (2012)
An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim is to defend, as well as reinforce, the view that there are indeed laws also in biology, and that their difference in stability, contingency or resilience with respect to physical laws is one of degrees, and not of kind. In order to reach this goal, in the next sections I will advance the following two arguments in favor of the existence of biological laws, both of which are meant to stress the similarity between physical and biological laws.
Keywords Biological laws  Mathematical models
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