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L'explication dans les sciences de la vie

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
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Book Reviews his statement "Whether Greek is compulsory or not, Latin cannot be omitted from a good education" would receive other than partial support. He would have mourned the eclipse of King James I's version of the Bible by modern translations. This essay is of broad interest and can be recommended to all medical practitioners. It could be profitably entered into the already overcrowded undergraduate curriculum, agreeably displacing certain arbitrary, transient fashions in theories of education, including the Hydra of "multiple choice". Clear writing demands clear thinking. The more difficult the concept the more cautious, careful, and ordered the conclusion should be. In this sense, Allbutt's Notes on the composition ofscientific papers is a good bench book, disposing of pomposity, inherited misconceptions, and nonsense. He would rather have one good, clean paper than five counterfeits, and there is a lesson in this for the research "industry" of today. J. R. Heron North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary HERVE BARREAU et al. (editors), L'explication dans les sciences de la vie, Paris, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1983, 8vo, pp. 258, Fr.90.00 (paperback). This collection of essays explores whether modes of explanation other than physico-chemical reductionism can retain their relevance, while better accounting for both the uniqueness of the living and for biology's quest for scientific status. Of particular interest in Section 1 ('Molecular and Theoretical Biology') is Rene Thom's 'Dynamique globale et morphologie locale chez les etres vivants'. It advocates a new paradigm-dynamic structuralisni-as incompatible and superior to the currently dominant paradigm of molecular biology on the grounds that the new paradigm's mathematical formalism better accounts for the problem of the stability of biological form. Thom pleads for more theory while underestimating the scientific community's objections to his new paradigm, objections grounded in its lack of experimental control. Sect

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