Antireductionism and Molecular Biology

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Science  11 Aug 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3789, pp. 644-647
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3789.644


My general conclusion, then, is that, given the current state of biological science, there may be good heuristic reasons for not attempting in all possible areas to develop physicochemical explanations of biological phenomena, and good reasons for attempting to formulate specifically biological theories. This, however, is an argument which supports an irreducibility thesis for methodological reasons. Any attempt to twist this into a claim of real irreducibility for all time is, in the light of recent work in molecular biology, logically untenable, empirically unwarranted, and heuristically useless.