Scientific American interviews

One of Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal) on the end of the world (again)

Another of Ernst Mayr (of Pirsig interest)

Just read most of the Mayr interview. Interesting. A bit of a sales pitch for Biology as a distinct subject (motivated by some round of budgeting somewhere I’ll wager). His point that biology is not just molecular biology, and molecules are not just physics, and physics are not just …. etc is the usual stuff. All biology is just molecular biology of course if all you are going to do is analyse it, but it is not just a synthesis of its molecular parts. There is an emergent level, called life if you like, which requires a holistic systems view of the parts interacting, not just adding together. This is Capra’s connections, and Pirsig’s levels. Biology is distinct from physics, in the same way that consciousness is distinct from biology. That is, not very.

If you want to do more useful than just scientific analysis, the connections / relationships / interactions are more interesting than the distinctions.

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