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Biology Cannot Be Reduced To Chemistry And Physics

1846 words - 8 pages

Since the introduction of reductionism, science has greatly changed. Reductionism has captured the attention of many scientists, as well as philosophers of science for the reason that it seeks to accomplish such a large goal. However, we are posed with the question of whether or not reductionism is capable of sufficing enough information for all scientific inquiry. I will argue that biology is not capable of effectively being reduced to physics and or chemistry mainly because it cannot provide the sufficient quantities of information needed, mainly due to issues caused by incommensurability due to varying scientific meanings (which will be discussed with reference to Kuhn and Feyerabend) as well as issues with overall understanding of scientific terminology.
If we were to reduce biology to chemistry and physics, we would lose immense amounts of valuable information because biological processes often possess their own explanatory theories, which would be incompatible with physical or chemical theories. Biological principles differ so greatly from chemical and physical principles that should we attempt to reduce biology, we would likely make such a field dysfunctional. The complexity that we derive from biological laws would simply not be sufficed by chemistry or physics due to . An example of this would be maintenance of homeostasis in species; a species requires stable internal and external conditions for life. Our bodies have regulated and adapted ourselves to maintain homeostasis, as it is a requirement. Examples of homeostasis would be temperature and acidity regulations. However, this explanation is purely biological. Should I attempt to explain such a thing in a chemical matter, problems would arise that would prevent me from being capable of effectively explaining homeostasis on a chemical level. Chemical systems alone are not capable of adapting to any sort of environmental changes, whereas biological species have adapted so that the body will react and remain functional in environmental changes. For instance, when it is hot outside, we sweat in order to maintain a constant body temperature that is acceptable for living. If a chemical substance becomes too hot, it is not able to stabilize itself and will lead to equilibrium. Chemical systems lack the ability to regulate function without the use of outside sources. If we look at our bodies in homeostasis, we can say that our bodies are neutral in this state. You would not want your body to be in overdrive or underworking, so we would like for our bodies to be at a constantly steady state. As you can see, our bodies are capable of maintaining a neutral level naturally, whereas chemically, a substance requires intervention of some sort to maintain such a neutral level when environmental changes occur. So, biology is not effectively reduced to chemistry for this reason; biology is able to explain how we maintain a constant steady state whereas chemistry cannot suffice to explain how...

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