David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):145-154 (2011)
This paper, which is based on recent empirical research at the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Bristol, presents two difficulties which arise when condensed matter physicists interact with molecular biologists: (1) the former use models which appear to be too coarse-grained, approximate and/or idealized to serve a useful scientific purpose to the latter; and (2) the latter have a rather narrower view of what counts as an experiment, particularly when it comes to computer simulations, than the former. It argues that these findings are related; that computer simulations are considered to be undeserving of experimental status, by molecular biologists, precisely because of the idealizations and approximations that they involve. The complexity of biological systems is a key factor. The paper concludes by critically examining whether the new research programme of ‘systems biology’ offers a genuine alternative to the modelling strategies used by physicists. It argues that it does not.
|Keywords||Models Simulations Complexity Systems biology Condensed matter physics Molecular biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Axel Gelfert (2013). Strategies of Model-Building in Condensed Matter Physics: Trade-Offs as a Demarcation Criterion Between Physics and Biology? Synthese 190 (2):253-272.
Carsten Seck (2012). Metaphysics Within Chemical Physics: The Case of Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (2):361-375.
Philippe De Backer, Danny De Waele & Linda Van Speybroeck (2010). Ins and Outs of Systems Biology Vis-à-Vis Molecular Biology: Continuation or Clear Cut? Acta Biotheoretica 58 (1).
Darrell P. Rowbottom (2009). Models in Biology and Physics: What's the Difference? Foundations of Science 14 (4):281-294.
Ronald Laymon (1990). Computer Simulations, Idealizations and Approximations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:519 - 534.
Giuseppe Longo & Pierre-Emmanuel Tendero (2007). The Differential Method and the Causal Incompleteness of Programming Theory in Molecular Biology. Foundations of Science 12 (4):337-366.
Alexander Powell & John Dupré (2009). From Molecules to Systems: The Importance of Looking Both Ways. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (1):54-64.
Joel B. Hagen (1999). Naturalists, Molecular Biologists, and the Challenges of Molecular Evolution. Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):321 - 341.
Richard M. Burian (1997). Comments on Complexity and Experimentation in Biology. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):291.
R. Badii (1997). Complexity: Hierarchical Structures and Scaling in Physics. Cambridge University Press.
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.
Jacob Stegenga (2009). Philosophy of Experimental Biology. Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
J. M. (2002). National Politics and International Trends: EMBO and the Making of Molecular Biology in Spain (1960-1975). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):473-487.
Added to index2011-03-08
Total downloads85 ( #11,661 of 1,010,217 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #4,866 of 1,010,217 )
How can I increase my downloads?