Readers of the Book of Life

Readers of the Book of Life : Contextualizing Developmental Evolutionary Biology

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Description

The "egg-and-hen" engima - how the genetic information and the body intermingle in "performing life" is a challenge for biology. The "Jurassic Park Fallacy" is a more traditional interpretation, stating that all the information necessary to build a body is present in DNA; the cell is but a "juke box" playing unambiguously what is in its genetic text, and tuning the performance to the environment. A. Markos suggests a complementary approach: to assume living beings as endowed with a capacity analogous to a human reader, who is able to extract meaning from a given text, according to her/his personal experience and cultural background. Hermeneutics was developed in the humanities as a method to achieve understanding, in a given context, of texts, history, and artwork. The author takes up living beings as hermeneutical interpreters of "texts" encoded in DNA. This interpretation is based on the experience of the cell (cell lineage, species), and negotiated with present environmental cues.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 162.6 x 248.9 x 22.4mm | 517.1g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 16 line illustrations
  • 0195149483
  • 9780195149487

Table of contents

Part 1: Readers of the Book of Universe; 1: An objectivist proposal for the unification of knowledge; 2: In the Quest for Meaning; 3: Living Nature - A gnostic approach; Part 2: Biology from the Mechanistic to the Eidetic; 4: Neo-Darwinism; 5: Biological structuralism; 6: The chance and the Lysenkoist biology; 7: The biological field.show more

Review quote

"[Markos] explores abandoned currents in biological thought to support his argument, before fully elaborating his own hermeneutic theory of life."--SciTech Book Newsshow more

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