Interview with Denis Noble

interviewee: Denis Noble, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford
interviewer: Davor Orlič, Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd.
published: Nov. 20, 2007,   recorded: October 2007,   views: 9285

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In the interview we can find out that Denis Noble, professor of Cardio-Vascular Physiology, built one of the first models of the heart and recently wrote a very provocative book called "Music of Life" about systems biology. The Videolectures.Net team spoke to him in Dresden at the European Conference on Complex Systems. We asked him about his lecture at the conference, DNA, molecules, meaning of life and how does the organism works. When asked if he moved from applications to philosophy, he answers positively.
"Use my book to get rid of some mistakes you may have made by using metaphores of other people, use my metaphores as a contrast, go up the ladder but then throw these away too! Leave yourself, think yourself what you really think biology is about."

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Ann Sonya Gavriel, May 5, 2009 at 11:03 p.m.:

Yes, integrative phase now. This means allow for all interactivity - not assuming 'the more complex the more unstable', without complementary assumption 'the more integrative, the more stable'. And inheritance needs to incorporate Lamarckian-type thinking since we have discarded talk of memes but found nothing to 'wire in' its place - for what it is that interacts with 'gene' to pass on 'cultural' mind shapes - not only individual bias, kinds of mind, of person...
It is true that phases of conceptual revolution have to occur when the time is ripe. The time is ripe for system biology - I have felt it since the mid seventies - thank you Denis Noble by the way for your superb 'Music of Life'. We have to be Humpty Dumpty ourselves - the journey of life is in a way how we deal with integrating ourselves into this gift of life... how we make sense of ourselves in it all (what it's like to be me, as opposed to anyone else, and wishing i could be someone else for a day so long as i could then keep the feeling, the knowing and memory, of what it was like to be them....) -
So self-absorption needs to have a more integrative connotation too! We are not vain and foolish if self-interested - it is not a negative value thing... We are our own most convenient point of reference, of study, reflection, and meditation - a prime gift example of life... Why not go deeply into ourselves to better feel we 'get' it - the nature of life (and Nature - a metaphor not recognised as a metaphor or signifying subconsciously the end of inquiry, where it stops, 'all roads lead here' - as if 'Nature' (as in 'Natural Selection') is the answer, the destination... Nature 'is' interactive systems...networks, but it is all, also. Much of what this Zeitgeist opens is still an intuition. We see more cluster patterns but How is it all? etc....
So this asking what life is and what nature is (Spinoza's 'God is Nature')have no 'answer' but we must not stop reflecting on these 'ultimate' questions... There is no end to the ultimate (punny paradoxical end...) Thank you for this space.

Comment2 carlos, October 10, 2009 at 2:48 p.m.:

what are the characteristics of countries found in stage 3 of the D.T.M

Comment3 pradeep, March 14, 2010 at 2:49 a.m.:

"Throw the metaphor after you go up the ladder".

Exact quotes from Veda ( India's ethnic literature).
Dr. Noble exactly talk what is said 1000's year ago in Veda's.

Well thats the truth, so expected to repeat itself again and again in various forms.

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