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Biological sciences have strived to adopt the conceptual framework of physics and have become increasingly quantitatively oriented, aiming to refute the assertion that biology appears unquantifiable, unpredictable, and messy. But despite all effort, biology is characterized by a paucity of quantitative statements with universal applications. Nonetheless, many biological disciplines—most notably molecular biology—have experienced an ascendancy over the last 50 years. The underlying core concepts and ideas permeate and inform many neighboring disciplines. This surprising success is probably not so much attributable (...)