David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (1):13-24 (2007)
An assessment is offered of the recent debate on information in the philosophy of biology, and an analysis is provided of the notion of information as applied in scientific practice in molecular genetics. In particular, this paper deals with the dependence of basic generalizations of molecular biology, above all the ‘central dogma’, on the so-called ‘informational talk’ (Maynard Smith [2000a]). It is argued that talk of information in the ‘central dogma’ can be reduced to causal claims. In that respect, the primary aim of the paper is to consider a solution to the major difficulty of the causal interpretation of genetic information: how to distinguish the privileged causal role assigned to nucleic acids, DNA in particular, in the processes of replication and protein production. A close reading is proposed of Francis H. C. Crick's On Protein Synthesis (1958) and related works, to which we owe the first explicit definition of information within the scientific practice of molecular biology. Introduction 1.1 The basic questions of the information debate 1.2 The causal interpretation (CI) of biological information and Crick's ‘central dogma’ Crick's definitions of genetic information The main requirement for (CI) Types of causation in molecular biology 4.1 Structural causation in molecular biology 4.2 Nucleic acids as correlative causal factors The ‘central dogma’ without the notion of information Concluding remarks This is a new version of this article as there were errors in the abstract and full text in the previous version.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ulrich Stegmann (2014). Causal Control and Genetic Causation. Noûs 48 (3):450-465.
Benjamin Jantzen & David Danks (2008). Biological Codes and Topological Causation. Philosophy of Science 75 (3):259-277.
Similar books and articles
Paul E. Griffiths (2001). Genetic Information: A Metaphor in Search of a Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):394-412.
Richard vSternberg (2008). DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (3).
Jim Bogen & Peter Machamer (2011). Mechanistic Information and Causal Continuity. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oup Oxford.
Frode Kjosavik (2007). From Symbolism to Information? – Decoding the Gene Code. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):333-349.
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2009). Dna, Inference, and Information. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):1-17.
E. M. (1999). The Prion Challenge to the `Central Dogma' of Molecular Biology, 1965-1991 - Part I: Prelude to Prions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 30 (1):1-19.
James Maclaurin (1998). Reinventing Molecular Weismannism: Information in Evolution. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 13 (1):37-59.
Claus Emmeche (1999). The Sarkar Challenge to Biosemiotics: Is There Any Information in a Cell? Semiotica 127 (1-4):273-294.
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.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #50,041 of 1,098,981 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #33,712 of 1,098,981 )
How can I increase my downloads?