Extension of the animal-machine concept to humans and in biology

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La Mettrie extends the Cartesian conception of animal-machines through the affirmation of a “man-machine” (1748). Nevertheless, such an extension of the mechanical model of comprehension, as effected by La Mettrie, constitutes a profoundly anti-Cartesian gesture: in this way, he challenges … Read More

Virus Ontology: Thing, Being, Process, or Information?

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The study of viruses raises pressing conceptual and philosophical questions about their nature, their classification, (O’Malley 2014, 45–94) (Mayr 1953) and their place within the biological world. A major set of problems concerns the individuality and diachronic identity of a … Read More

What came first: the virus or the cell?

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Viruses reproduce only inside the living cells of organisms, (Wu 2020) being known so far more than 6,000 species of viruses. (International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) 2020) When it infects a cell, the viruses force it to rapidly … Read More

Failure of genetic modification of human embryos

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(Views of a fetus in the womb, detail from a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci) A team of scientists, led by biologist Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute, used the genetically engineered CRISPR gene editing technique to create genetically … Read More

The future of eugenics

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The potential use of genetic engineering has brought back past eugenics into bioethics disputes. There are opinions, such as those of Nicholas Agar, according to which non-coercive eugenics programs are inherently ethical. (Fletcher and Wertz 1990) Adherents of liberal eugenics … Read More

Eugenics

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The term eugenics as a practice and field of study was invented by Francis Galton in 1883, in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (F. Galton 1983) based on the recent work of his cousin, Charles Darwin, … Read More

Effects of global warming on Earth geophysics, agriculture and and biodiversity

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Geophysical and seismic effects  (Projections of global mean sea level rise by Parris and others. Probabilities have not been assigned to these projections. Therefore, none of these projections should be interpreted as a “best estimate” of future sea level rise. … Read More