Dance to the Tune of Life

Biological Relativity

by Denis Noble

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781107176249
  • 9781316821114
  • 9781316819432
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.

  • Cambridge University Press; December 2016
  • ISBN: 9781316821114
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Dance to the Tune of Life
  • Author: Denis Noble
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781107176249
  • 9781316821114
  • 9781316819432

In The Press

'Among its many merits, this remarkable book deserves to become a classic text in the philosophy of science. Almost alone among philosophers of science, Noble is a practising scientist; and unusually among practising scientists, he is an accomplished philosopher. His book brings out, with unparalleled clarity, how the scientific endeavour involves not only empirical inquiry but also conceptual structure. Noble shows how, on the negative side, popular presentations of sound biological results may be vitiated by bad metaphysics, and how, on the positive side, science and philosophy may extend the boundaries of knowledge by a unified epistemology. He ends, however, with a salutary warning that there may well be a limit to the human capacity to know the answers to ultimate questions.' Sir Anthony Kenny, University of Oxford