Novartis Foundation Symposium 213 - The Limits of by Novartis Foundation

By Novartis Foundation

A entire quantity reading the elemental questions raised by means of reductionists' conception approximately degrees of rationalization essential to comprehend organic platforms. The publication evaluates the drastically strong ideas of molecular biology, and analyzes accurately how molecular details has superior our realizing of primary organic procedures.


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Additional resources for Novartis Foundation Symposium 213 - The Limits of Reductionism in Biology

Sample text

It is very questionable whether a truly reductive analysis can be achieved (see text). Silva 1996). The example we use is again water. What is the difference between a lake and a river? A lake can be fully reductively described by the above procedure. e. the kinetic energy of unidirectional motion. Reductionism leads us to define the water as molecules in the river as above, but the energy of flow is now an applied external energy. The system demands us to define the influence of the Sun, the external energy source, on the water system since it raises the water in the gravitational field continuously before it returns to flow in a bed.

If we analyse any particular level, it becomes clear that this level cannot be explained in terms of the elements underneath it, because surprisingly enough these elements have been understood by the way they interact in order to explain the level that we are ~ 34 DISCLSSIOX observing. So it is not a property of the element of a level of complexity by itself. Therefore there is a fallacy in the reductionist principle that if we go all the way down we are going to find properties which in themselves are directly observable and once we measure them we’re going to combine them at the next level up, and so on.

If you are going to answer a question such as this, it wouldn’t even be sufficient to go back to the history of Brendel and talk about how his brain was trained and all the changes that took place because of reinforcement mechanisms, etc. No answer to that question could avoid using concepts about music and Beethoven, and those questions will not get any kind of explanation within the levels that we’ve been talking about. Instead, they must be answered in terms of human history, culture and sociology.

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