The article is pretty neat and I’m not going to make any comments on it. What interests the most is the seemingly opposed lines of thought that some prominent biologists let’s say “represent”:
- Ernst Mayr, an adamantly defender of biology as an autonomous science, for whom living organisms could not be reduced to laws of physics and pure chemistry.
- Francis Crick who clearly stated that the ultimate aim of biology is to be explained in terms of chemistry and physics.
I think that this two points of view are radical and misleading. I see it as the old debate of nature VS nurture. Nowadays it’s clear that the phenotypic traits of an organism cannot be reduced to only genes or only environment. Something similar applies to this question. Basic physics laws and emergent properties are intertwined in living organisms and the tasks of biologists is to unravel to which extent each of them are involved in the “making” of a living organism.
I might be wrong, but I don’t think we’re that close from pure chemistry and physics nor we have that many, let’s say, “traits” that make us (living things) particularly special.