Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity

Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity

by Denis Noble


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Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity by Denis Noble

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107176249
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 322,066
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Denis Noble, CBE, FRS, is Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology and Director of Computational Physiology at the University of Oxford. He is one of the founders of the field of systems biology and is the current President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS).

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; 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; Glossary; Index.

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