Book Review - Neutral Models in Biology
claird at NeoSoft.com
Wed Jul 28 14:59:40 EST 1993
In article <1993Jul28.065456.3242 at cs.su.oz.au> danny at cs.su.oz.au (Danny) writes:
>Neutral Models in Biology
>(Eds) Matthew H. Nitecki and Antoni Hoffman
>Oxford University Press 1987
>[ biology, philosophy of science ]
>applicable to broader science quite generally. In "Self-Organisation,
>Selective Adaptation, and Its Limits: A New Pattern of Influence in
>Evolution and Development" Kauffman models the genomic regulatory
>system as a network of Boolean switches. He presents the results of
>simulation studies which suggest that (under some fairly reasonable
>assumptions) there are generic statistical properties of such systems
>that may be largely "immune" to selective effects and so can be
>considered ahistorical universals.
Note that, in
Kauffman, Stuart A.
1993 The Origins of Order: Self-Organi-
zation and Selection in Evolution.
Oxford University Press, New York
the author includes some variations on this story: besides
simulation, he adduces analytic arguments which suggest
"genericity"; also, sometimes the point is not that
self-organized systems actively resist selection, in the
sense that "immune" suggests, but merely that no observati-
ons we have (or perhaps are likely to have) can distinguish
whether or not selection has been active. It's a big book;
it has many angles.
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