Post-Darwinian Biology



Systems biology and synthetic biology are interdisciplinary scientific approaches developed to improve the ability to understand, predict and control living systems. Both scientific areas capitalize on the production of large-scale data, both in the field of genomics and in a number of related fields, exploring new ways of cross-fertilization - starting both from traditional knowledge in biology - especially from the evolutionary one - articulated together with a series of theories and models coming from sciences such as physics, computer science, mathematics, chemistry and engineering. Systems biology represents a predominantly cognitive scientific approach, while synthetic biology privileges the technical and technological approach, aiming at the creation of living systems, starting from existing biological material and its derivation, or even from non-biological materials, grafted onto living systems. The two approaches capitalize on epistemological orientations based on knowledge versus those based on applications, in other words on analysis versus synthesis as epistemic orientations. Philosophers of science, who examine technological research as a form of human practice, have argued for interdependence, but without a perfect overlap between understanding the functioning of a living system and designing a synthetic one, a distinction between basic and applied science being impossible in the context of biology synthetic.


synthetic biology; post-Darwinian biology; systems biology

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