Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 579-586

First online:

Review of genes in development: re-reading the molecular paradigm

  • Brant PridmoreAffiliated withResearch School of Social Sciences, Australian National University Email author 

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Genes in Development is a collection of 13 stimulating essays on "post genomic" approaches to the concept of the gene. At the risk of caricaturing some complex balances, the contributors tend to be skeptical about genetic determinism, the central dogma of molecular biology, reductionism, genes as programs and the concept of the gene as a DNA sequence. They tend to like emergent properties, complexity theory, the parity thesis for developmental resources, developmental systems theory, and membranes. But within this broad weltanschauung the essays in Genes in Development vary widely in their interests and emphases––from the history of twentieth century genetics to the social and ethical issues raised by contemporary genetics––which makes for an attractive and valuable collection.


Concept of the gene Molecular gene Post-genomic Membranes Developmental systems theory Genetic determinism Parity thesis