Filozofija biologije: prirodna selekcija i biološke funkcije
(FIL_BIO_PHD)

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The seminar will explore a set of closely intertwined topics at the interface between evolutionary biology and philosophy, namely (I) philosophical issues concerning natural selection and (II) the resilience of functional talk in biology. Apart from tracking down the above-mentioned and other conceptual connections among the topics, the primary aim of the seminar will be to examine how a huge amount of data, acquired more recently in different research areas of molecular biology, influences our traditional understanding of (I) and (II). Thus, as to (I), we will try to establish what would be the exact categorization of natural selection, i.e., a force, a statistical consequence of some other, lower-level, processes or a certain type of mechanism. As far as (II) is concerned, the seminar will focus especially on the ENCODE project, which seems to question profoundly the applicability of functional talk in genomics. Furthermore, we will see how the account of functions, on which the ENCODE project relies, has influenced the estimate of so-called ‘functional elements’ within the human genome.


This course requires an enrolment key