Sketching Theoretical Biology: Toward a Theoretical Biology, Volume 2, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sketching Theoretical Biology

Toward a Theoretical Biology, Volume 2, 1st Edition

By C. H. Waddington


360 pages

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Paperback: 9780202363196
pub: 2010-01-15
Hardback: 9781138532601
pub: 2017-07-14
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The purpose of this volume is to bring together a number of elements that would be useful in the construction of a coherent and comprehensive theory of biology. Based on the assumption that living systems represent some kind of "organized complexity," the collection discusses meaningful ways of formulating two basic questions: what is the nature of this complexity; and, what are the principles of its organization?

The question always asked about biological theory is whether or not it constitutes useful scientific theory. Because many useful biological theories cannot yet be made explicit in terms of conventional physics, Sketching Theoretical Biology illustrates the types of questions in biology that correspond to the types of issues discussed in theoretical physics.

This book, originally published in 1969, centers around a vigorous debate on the role played by metaphysical beliefs in determining scientific attitudes. The discussion covers heredity and evolution, cognitive processes and control processes, general property of hierarchies, and the current status of neo-Darwinism. Contributors include theoretical physicists, philosophers, neuroscientists, theoretical chemists, computer scientists, chemical engineers, geneticists and molecular biologists.

Table of Contents

Sketch of the second Serbelloni symposium: C. H. Waddington
A personal overview: A. S. Iberall
Some remarks on the notion of order: David Bohm
Further remarks on order: David Bohm
Bohm's metaphysics and biology: Marjorie Grene
Comments by C. H. Waddington
The practical consequences of metaphysical beliefs on a biologist's work: an autobiographical note: C. H. Waddington
The status of neo-Darwinism: J. Maynard Smith
Addendum on order and neo-Darwinism by David Bohm
Comment on Bohm's addendum by J. Maynard Smith
Note on Bohm's addendum by C. H. Waddington
Notes on Maynard Smith's 'Status of Neo-Darwinism' by Marjorie Grene
Some comments on Maynard Smith's contributions by David Bohm
Paradigm for an evolutionary process: C. H. Waddington
Some comments on Waddington's Paradigm by J. Maynard Smith
Reply by C. H. Waddington
Gibbs ensemble and biological ensemble: Edward H. Kerner
A statistical mechanics of temporal organization in cells: Brian C. Goodwin
New thoughts on bio control: A. S. Iberall
Cellular oscillations and development: C. H. Waddington
A physiochemical basis for pattern and rhythm: John I. Gmitro and L. E. Scriven
Self producing automata-some implications for theoretical biology : Michael Arbib
What biology is about: Christopher Longuet- Higgins
Some comments by C. H. Waddington and a reply by C. Longuet- Higgins
On how so little information controls so much behaviour: Richard Gregory
Comments by C. H.Waddington
Cognitive processes in physics and physiology: Karl Kornacker
A general property of hierarchies: Ted Bastin
Comments by C. H. Waddington
Physical problems of heredity and evolution: Howard H. Pattee
Statistical mechanics and theoretical biology: Martm A. Garstens
Aspects of evolution and a principle of maximum uniformity: Paul Lieber
Two poems: Mary Reynolds
Appendix: Notes on the second symposium: Michael Arbib
Index: Participants; Author; Subject

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / General