Biological Theory 15 (1):50-55 (2020)

Eminent scientists are well-placed to bring the novel works of others, even if not in their own areas of expertise, to general attention. In so doing, they may be able to extend original accounts or introduce new terminologies, but they are basically messengers, not innovators. In the 1940s an evolutionary theory of biological aging was explained by Peter Medawar, and informational concepts relating to DNA were explained by Erwin Schrödinger. Both explanations were eventually traced back to the Victorian polymath Samuel Butler—one by Medawar’s research associate Alex Comfort, and the other, albeit indirectly, by Schrödinger himself. In his time Butler’s works were too erudite for general readers and too laden with populist jargon for contemporary experts to take seriously. However, today it appears counterfactually plausible that an early acceptance of his ideas would have greatly quickened the pace of research.
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DOI 10.1007/s13752-019-00340-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Material Basis of Evolution.Richard Goldschmidt - 1941 - Philosophy of Science 8 (3):394-395.
Anticipatory Measure: Alex Comfort, Experimental Gerontology and the Measurement of Senescence.Tiago Moreira - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 77:101179.

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