Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 77–84 | Cite as

Minding the Emperor's new mind

  • I. Walker
Ideas in Theoretical Biology


This essay equates Penrose's (1989) ‘Emperor’ with the scientist engaging in mental (Schrödinger's ‘cat’) or real experiments.

The simultaneous presence of apparently contradictory phase-spatial symmetry conditions on the various hierarchical levels of biological systems are seen as the result of genetic and neurophysiological information that interferes with the physico-chemical vectors between the structural components of the system, the ‘experimenter’ being an integral part of this informational causality. Equations pertaining to the lowest structural levels of matter, therefore, may not be extendable over higher levels of biological organization, including human science and technology, which are seen as part and parcel of biology. This situation calls for a formal ‘theoretical biophysics’ which concentrates on macroscopic processes where life and, above all,Homo sapiens, is involved.


Biological System Structural Component Structural Level Real Experiment Hierarchical Level 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EcologyInstituto Nacional de Pesquisa da Amazônia (INPA)ManausBrasil

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