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Dec 12th: Jean Gayon
12 December 2017 @ 14 h 30 min - 16 h 00 min UTC+1
Jean Gayon (Univ. Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & IHPST)
Repetitiveness and reversibility have long been considered as characteristic features of scientific knowledge. In theoretical population genetics, repetitiveness is illustrated by a number of genetic equilibria realized under specific conditions. Since these equilibria are maintained despite a continual flux of changes in the course of generations (reshuffling of genes, reproduction…), it can legitimately be said that population genetics reveals important properties of invariance through transformation. Time-reversibility is a more controversial subject. Here, the parallel with classical mechanics is much weaker. Time-reversibility is unquestionable in some stochastic models, but at the cost of a special, probabilistic concept of reversibility. But it does not seem to be a property of the most basic deterministic models describing the dynamics of evolutionary change at the level of populations and genes. Furthermore, various meanings of ‘reversibility’ are distinguished. In particular, time-reversibility should not be confused with retrodictability.
Jean Gayon is invited by PhilInBioMed, ImmunoConcept, and Thomas Pradeu.
More information : PhilInBioMed.
Jean Gayon is Professor Emeritus at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. For several years, he was the Director of the Institut d’Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques (IHPST, UMR8590). He is a specialist of history and philosophy of science, and one of the main philosophers of biology in France (and beyond). His work concerns more precisely evolution and genetics.
Jean Gayon’s Webpage: http://www.ihpst.cnrs.fr/membres/membres-permanents/gayon-jean