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Matchsticks, Brains and Curtain Rings

  • John Maynard Smith

Abstract

The history of biology suggests that we understand how animals do something only when we invent machines that do the same thing. Animal flight was a mystery until engineers understood the aerofoil. To give a more controversial example, the nature of heredity and the genetic code was understood only after the invention of gramophones, tape recorders and other information-processing machines. It is therefore natural to hope that the invention of computers, which do many of the things that brains do, will help us to understand how we think. Is this hope justified?

Keywords

Radio Wave Analog Computer Genetic Code Digital Computer Tape Recorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John Maynard Smith 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Maynard Smith

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