Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 2–3, pp 401–407 | Cite as

If the Genome isn’t a God-like Ghost in the Machine, Then What is it?

  • M. Blute


Implicit God-like and ghost-in-the-machine metaphors underlie much current thinking about genomes. Although many criticisms of such views exist, none have succeeded in substituting a different, widely accepted view. Viewing the genome with its protein packaging as a brain gets rid of Gods and ghosts while plausibly integrating machine and information-based views. While the ‘wetware’ of brains and genomes are very different, many fundamental principles of how they function are similar. Eukaryotic cells are compound entities in which case the nuclear genome might best be thought of more as a government than simply as a brain.

Key words

Cellular brain Cellular government Function of the genome Gene concepts Genetic information Molecular machines Origin of eukaryotic cell Selfish gene 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada

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