Today’s thought-provoking paper - link
The wide-ranging set of articles published in this issue reveal a major challenge both for the physiological sciences and for evolutionary biology. As the integration between the two proceeds, neither can remain unchanged. Evolutionary theory requires extension or even replacement, while physiological science needs to address the exciting possibilities opened up for the future. We hope that our article, and those published here, will enable both disciplines to respond effectively to that challenge.
The mentioned paper is the introduction to an entire issue of The Journal of Physiology.
About the author -
Noble’s research focuses on using computer models of biological organs and organ systems to interpret function from the molecular level to the whole organism.
He plays classical guitar and sings Occitan troubadour and folk songs (OxfordTrobadors). In addition to English, he has lectured in French on YouTube, Italian on YouTube, Occitan, Japanese and Korean.
His book (pdf available here) -
The gene’s eye view of life, proposed in Richard Dawkins acclaimed bestseller The Selfish Gene, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of genetic codes. But in The Music of Life, world renowned physiologist Denis Noble argues that, to truly understand life, we must look beyond the “selfish gene” to consider life on a much wider variety of levels.
Life, Noble asserts, is a kind of music, a symphonic interplay between genes, cells, organs, body, and environment. He weaves this musical metaphor throughout this personal and deeply lyrical work, illuminating ideas that might otherwise be daunting to non-scientists. In elegant prose, Noble sets out a cutting-edge alternative to the gene’s eye view, offering a radical switch of perception in which genes are seen as prisoners and the organism itself is a complex system of many interacting levels. In his more expansive view, life emerges as a process, the ebb and flow of activity in an intricate web of connections. He introduces readers to the realm of systems biology, a field that has been growing in strength in the past decade. Noble, himself one of the founders of this field, argues modern systems biology may be the view we need to adopt to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of life.
Drawing on his experiences in his research on the heartbeat, and on evolutionary biology, development, medicine, philosophy, linguistics, and Chinese culture, Noble presents us with a profound and very modern reflection on the nature of life.
Larry Moran of Sandwalk is not very happy with these physiologists.