The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.

@article{Boudry2013TheMO,
  title={The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.},
  author={M. Boudry and M. Pigliucci},
  journal={Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences},
  year={2013},
  volume={44 4 Pt B},
  pages={
          660-8
        }
}
  • M. Boudry, M. Pigliucci
  • Published 2013
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the "blueprint" of an organism, organisms are "reverse engineered" to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality… Expand
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