The question of questions: What is a Gene? Comments on Rolston and Griffths & Stotz [Book Review]

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (6):523-534 (2006)
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Abstract

If the question ``What is a gene?'' proves to be worth asking it must be able to elicit an answer which both recognizes and address the reasons why the concept of the gene ever seemed to be something worth getting excited about in the first place as well analyzing and evaluating the latest develops in the molecular biology of DNA. Each of the preceding papers fails to do one of these and sufferrs the consequences. Where Rolston responds to the apparent failure of molecular biology to make good on the desideratum of the classical gene by veering off into fanciful talk about ``cybernetic genes,'' Griffiths and Stotz lose themselves in the molecular fine print and forget to ask themselves why ``genes'' should be of any special interst anyway.

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Lenny Moss
University of Exeter

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

The descent of man.Charles Darwin - 1874 - Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Edited by Michael T. Ghiselin.
What Genes Can't Do.Lenny Moss - 2003 - MIT Press.
Bacteria are small but not stupid: cognition, natural genetic engineering and socio-bacteriology.J. A. Shapiro - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (4):807-819.

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