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The science of life: The living system--a system for living Paperback – January 1, 1973

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 137 pages
  • Publisher: Futura Pub. Co (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879930349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879930349
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,029,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank Bierbrauer on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a small book about 130 pages with large print. But don't let this put you off making you think it contains little of importance. Paul Weiss was a great American experimental biologist and in conjunction with Kurt Goldstein and some few others forms a group who through their observations, and the growing realisation that what standard theory taught was simply not adequate to explain living beings in terms of dead matter, not through speculative philosophy are forced to take into account the whole organism and its interacting parts. These parts are not parts as and of themselves but rather integral aspects of the whole, in fact that through which the whole becomes visible.
Weiss, in this book asaults the usual genetic determinism idea with a full frontal attack laying out good arguments against a one way gene to organism determinism. In fact he states there may be macro-determinism without necessarily having to have micro-determinism, ie the genes themselves do not necessarily have to act in a strict mechanical way but rather are allowed freedom of action which on the whole results in determinism. By this is meant the development of the organism as it grows from an embryo and this is shown plainly through observations by the fact that cells which are present in one particular configuration at the start of development do not necessarily have to be in the same place or acting in the same way after a little time. Weiss proposes interaction between the environment<->organism<->tissue<->cytoplasm->nucleas<->chromosome<->gene, a chain of intercation which goes both ways.
Weiss leaves systems open to some degree allowing plasticity which is still controlled in the large allowing the organism to adapt to its environment in a more fluid way.
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