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Physical Approaches to Biological Evolution

Physical Approaches to Biological Evolution

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  • ISBN-13: 9783642787904
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Release Date: Jan 01, 1994
  • Edition: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1994
  • Pages: 399 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.95 x 9.25 x 6.1 inches


"Mr. Wolkenstein's Physical Approaches to Biological Evolution, whether or not it proves to give the ultimate truth on the matters with which it deals, certainly deserves, by its breadth and scope and profundity, to be considered an impor­ tant event in the philosophical world." This is a quotation from an introduction written by Bertrand Russell for Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I exchanged only name and subject. As for the rest, I could continue quoting Russell, but I would rather say something myself. As Wittgenstein did with formal logic, Wolkenstein rectifies our views on how to approach the logic of life from a formal theoretical basis. Many bio­ logists do not believe that their subject lends itself to the scrutiny of physical theory. They certainly admit that one can simulate biological phenomena by models that can be expressed in a mathematical form. However, they do not believe that biology can be given a theoretical foundation that is defined within the general framework of physics. Rather, they insist on a holistic approach, banning any reduction to fundamental principles subject to physical theory.

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