Chapter

Genes, Genomes, and Molecular Genetics

in Genomes and What to Make of Them

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226172958
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226172965 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226172965.003.0003
Genes, Genomes, and Molecular Genetics

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This chapter which presents the transition from genetics to genomics as a shift in our knowledge; that is, a shift in concepts, theories, and representations. Commentators have rightly pointed to the growing importance of the physical sciences in genetics, especially after the elucidation of the structure of DNA and the rise of molecular biology, and have seen this as a continuing incursion leading to a new molecular genetics and to genomics. The shift here has often been characterized as a move to reductionism and mechanism that clashes with the distinctively holistic and functional approach of biology, but it is actually better described as a move towards materialism and the molecular/structural modes of representation typical of chemistry. This is a move that threatens neither holistic nor functional forms of scientific theorizing, although it remains of profound importance in other ways.

Keywords: DNA; genomics; genetics; molecular biology; materialism

Chapter.  12489 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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