Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > Getting Over the Code Delusion > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

Contextuality turns causality upside down

To realize the full significance of the truth so often remarked in the technical literature today — namely, that context matters — is indeed to embark upon a revolutionary adventure. It means reversing one of the most deeply engrained habits within science — the habit of explaining the whole as the result of its parts. If an organic context really does rule its parts in the way molecular biologists are beginning to recognize, then we have to learn to speak about that peculiar form of governance, turning our usual causal explanations upside down. We have to learn to explain the part as an expression of a larger, contextual unity.

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