Defending information-free genocentrism.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Genocentrism, the thesis that the genes play a special role in the causation of development is often rejected in favor of a 'causal democracy thesis' to the effect that all causally necessary conditions for development are equal. Genocentrists argue that genes play a distinct causal role owing to their informational content and that this content enables them to program the embryo. I show that the special causal role of the genome hinges not on its informational status--it has none, or at least no more than computer programs have independent of our interpretations of them--but on its power literally to program the embryo, a power nicely illustrated in the use of polynucleotide sequences to compute solutions to NP hard problems in mathematics.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rosenberg, A

Published Date

  • January 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3-4

Start / End Page

  • 345 - 359

PubMed ID

  • 16898205

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1742-6316

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0391-9714


  • eng