Why We Should Care About Universal Biology View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2018-06

AUTHORS

Carlos Mariscal, Leonore Fleming

ABSTRACT

Our understanding of the universe has grown rapidly in recent decades. We’ve discovered evidence of water in nearby planets, discovered planets outside our solar system, mapped the genomes of thousands of organisms, and probed the very origins and limits of life. The scientific perspective of life-as-it-could-be has expanded in part by research in astrobiology, synthetic biology, and artificial life. In the face of such scientific developments, we argue there is an ever-growing need for universal biology, life-as-it-must-be, the multidisciplinary study of non-contingent aspects of life as guided by biological theory and constrained by the universe. We present three distinct but connected ways of universalizing biology—with respect to characterizing aspects of life everywhere, with respect to the explanatory scope of biological theory, and with respect to extending biological insights to the structure of nonbiological entities. For each of these, we sketch the theoretical goals and challenges, as well as give examples of current research that might be labeled universal biology. More... »

PAGES

121-130

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s13752-017-0280-8

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13752-017-0280-8

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1092101465


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