Information 2010, 1(1), 28-59; doi:10.3390/info1010028
Article

A Paradigm Shift in Biology?

Received: 16 July 2010; Accepted: 6 September 2010 / Published: 13 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Information?)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: All new developments in biology deal with the issue of the complexity of organisms, often pointing out the necessity to update our current understanding. However, it is impossible to think about a change of paradigm in biology without introducing new explanatory mechanisms. I shall introduce the mechanisms of teleonomy and teleology as viable explanatory tools. Teleonomy is the ability of organisms to build themselves through internal forces and processes (in the expression of the genetic program) and not external ones, implying a freedom relative to the exterior; however, the organism is able to integrate internal and external constraints in a process of co-adaptation. Teleology is that mechanism through which an organism exercises an informational control on another system in order to establish an equivalence class and select some specific information for its metabolic needs. Finally, I shall examine some interesting processes in phylogeny, ontogeny, and epigeny in which these two mechanisms are involved.
Keywords: information; teleology; teleonomy; epigeny; complexity; function
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [908 KB, uploaded 13 September 2010 14:36 CEST]

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Auletta, G. A Paradigm Shift in Biology? Information 2010, 1, 28-59.

AMA Style

Auletta G. A Paradigm Shift in Biology? Information. 2010; 1(1):28-59.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Auletta, Gennaro. 2010. "A Paradigm Shift in Biology?" Information 1, no. 1: 28-59.

Information EISSN 2078-2489 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert