The Seven Stones

Teleology and Systems Biology

In his insightful review “”http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?ob=ArticleURL&udi=B6WSN-4MWYF5C-B&user=656666&coverDate=01%2F26%2F2007&rdoc=1&fmt=&orig=search&sort=d&view=c&acct=C000035599&version=1&urlVersion=0&userid=656666&md5=2870365ffcf286138287618e6197ef16">Morpheus Unbound: Reimagining the Morphogen Gradient", Arthur D Lander writes:

What distinguishes systems biology from earlier traditions is the tendency to define importance less in operational terms (e.g., necessary or sufficient to produce a behavior) than in terms of relevance to the goals of a system. In making this leap, systems biology inextricably binds itself to teleology (Lander, 2004). Indeed, without the presupposition of goals or purposes, the very notion of “system” itself is hollow.

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