Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity

Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity

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Denis Noble
Cambridge University Press, 12/1/2016
EAN 9781107176249, ISBN10: 1107176247

Hardcover, 268 pages, 23.5 x 16 x 2 cm
Language: English

In this thought-provoking book, Denis Noble formulates the theory of biological relativity, emphasising that living organisms operate at multiple levels of complexity and must therefore be analysed from a multi-scale, relativistic perspective. Noble explains that all biological processes operate by means of molecular, cellular and organismal networks. The interactive nature of these fundamental processes is at the core of biological relativity and, as such, challenges simplified molecular reductionism. Noble shows that such an integrative view emerges as the necessary consequence of the rigorous application of mathematics to biology. Drawing on his pioneering work in the mathematical physics of biology, he shows that what emerges is a deeply humane picture of the role of the organism in constraining its chemistry, including its genes, to serve the organism as a whole, especially in the interaction with its social environment. This humanistic, holistic approach challenges the common gene-centred view held by many in modern biology and culture.

1. The universe and the principle of relativity
2. Biological scales and levels
3. Biological networks
4. Nature and origin of cells
5. Blind chance and natural selection
6. Biological relativity
7. Dancing nucleotides
natural genetic engineering
8. Epigenetics and a relativistic theory of evolution
9. The relativity of epistemology
the meaning of it all
10. Postscript