David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Science 12 (4):337-366 (2007)
The “DNA is a program” metaphor is still widely used in Molecular Biology and its popularization. There are good historical reasons for the use of such a metaphor or theoretical model. Yet we argue that both the metaphor and the model are essentially inadequate also from the point of view of Physics and Computer Science. Relevant work has already been done, in Biology, criticizing the programming paradigm. We will refer to empirical evidence and theoretical writings in Biology, although our arguments will be mostly based on a comparison with the use of differential methods (in Molecular Biology: a mutation or alike is observed or induced and its phenotypic consequences are observed) as applied in Computer Science and in Physics, where this fundamental tool for empirical investigation originated and acquired a well-justified status. In particular, as we will argue, the programming paradigm is not theoretically sound as a causal(as in Physics) or deductive(as in Programming) framework for relating the genome to the phenotype, in contrast to the physicalist and computational grounds that this paradigm claims to propose.
|Keywords||Genome Programming theory Differential methods in Physics and Biology System Biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Gerald M. Edelman & Giulio Tononi (2000). A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination. Basic Books.
Gottlob Frege (1953/1968). The Foundations of Arithmetic. Evanston, Ill.,Northwestern University Press.
H. P. Barendregt (1984). The Lambda Calculus: Its Syntax and Semantics. Sole Distributors for the U.S.A. And Canada, Elsevier Science Pub. Co..
Peter J. Beurton, Raphael Falk & Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (eds.) (2000). The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution: Historical and Epistemological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
H. F. Nijhout (2002). The Nature of Robustness in Development. Bioessays 24 (6):553-563.
Citations of this work BETA
Tobias A. Mattei (2014). The Validity of Dawkins's Selfish Gene Theory and the Role of the Unconscious in Decision Making. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (2):148-149.
Similar books and articles
Alex Rosenberg (1997). Reductionism Redux: Computing the Embryo. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):445-470.
Alexander Rosenberg (2006). Darwinian Reductionism, or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology. University of Chicago Press.
Darrell P. Rowbottom (2011). Approximations, Idealizations and 'Experiments' at the Physics-Biology Interface. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154.
Joel B. Hagen (1999). Naturalists, Molecular Biologists, and the Challenges of Molecular Evolution. Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):321 - 341.
Francisco Javier Serrano Bosquet (2009). Linus Pauling : Molecular Disease and the Oorigins [Sic] of Molecular Biology. In González Recio & José Luis (eds.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. G. Olms
Evelyn Fox Keller (2000). Models of and Models For: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Biology. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):86.
Sylvia Culp & Philip Kitcher (1989). Theory Structure and Theory Change in Contemporary Molecular Biology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (4):459-483.
Predrag Šustar (2007). Crick's Notion of Genetic Information and the 'Central Dogma' of Molecular Biology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (1):13 - 24.
Predrag Sustar (2007). Crick's Notion of Genetic Information and the ‘Central Dogma’ of Molecular Biology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (1):13-24.
Harold Kincaid (1990). Molecular Biology and the Unity of Science. Philosophy of Science 57 (4):575-593.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #122,666 of 1,725,443 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,753 of 1,725,443 )
How can I increase my downloads?