Accessible updates on the technical literature; commentaries on that literature; and introductions (with links) to new articles associated with the “Biology Worthy of Life” project. The content in general relates to the dramatic discoveries re-shaping our understanding of organisms. The current focus is on gene regulation, evolution, and the meaning of organic wholeness — all of which can make for some occasionally wide-ranging excursions. Notes, commentaries, and articles are by Stephen L. Talbott of The Nature Institute.

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  • Does evolutionary theory explain the origin and reality of purposiveness in the life of organisms? Or does the reality of purposiveness point us toward severe and disabling inadequacies in the reigning versions of the theory? This is a large and ambitious article — the fi ...
  • Molecular biologists have spent several decades trying to identify how “one thing causing another” explains the organism. It is a simplistic and decontextualized way of looking that ends up in radical falsehood. The study of genes and their expression shows us that the org ...
  • It makes little sense to try to explain how intelligence arises in organisms, given that we see nothing but intelligence there — for example, in the processes producing the brain. The really interesting challenge is to distinguish the intelligence at work in our bodies fro ...
  • Confusion over the meaning of “epigenetics” reflects fundamental confusion about the nature of organisms and biological causation. Epigenetics really points us to the intentional activity of the whole organism — an activity in which DNA is caught up. The organism is ma ...
  • Both the history of research on induced pluripotency and the current discoveries regarding the microbiome testify to the decisive importance of context, relationship, and interaction in the life of the organism. ...
  • You’ll have a hard time believing how the invisible microbes within us function as part of our own life. And perhaps not so hard a time believing how biologists are tempted immediately to regard particular microorganisms as opportunities for exerting neat control over every ...
  • A study of plant form reveals that organic form is a causal principle; in a very real sense, it is form that brings about its own physical embodiment, not physical interactions that bring about form. A realization of this truth would radically transform biological thinkin ...
  • Excerpt: “How many molecular biologists today would feel such freedom — the kind of freedom Richard Conn Henry knew within the physics community? I mean, for example, the freedom to wonder aloud whether intention and agency, so difficult to banish from biological descrip ...
  • A late 19th-century work by the Russian philosopher, Vladimir Solovyov, convincingly demonstrates that "sexual love", culminating in human romantic love, cannot be understood merely as a means for propagating the species; it explains the evolutionary process more than being e ...
  • Contents: “Viruses, cytoplasmic DNA, and the web of life”; “The (molecular) days of our lives”; “DNA and RNA brought to life”; “Functional vs. nonfunctional DNA binding”. ...
  • There is no rigid, psyche/soma, inner/outer or mind/matter dichotomy in the human being or in any other organism. There is no rigid, psyche/soma, inner/outer or mind/matter dichotomy in the human being or in any other organism. From the body as a whole to its various parts, ...
  • When intelligent design theorists emphasize “machine-design” in the organism as evidence of the past activity of an intelligent designer, they do an injustice both to the organism and to their own interests. If they want to combat the dominant materialistic commit ...

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