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Universal Biology: Assessing universality from a single example

In The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth. Cambridge, UK: pp. 113-126 (2015)

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  1. Life as Adaptive Capacity: Bringing New Life to an Old Debate.Kelly C. Smith - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (2):76-92.
    Whatever we take “life” to mean, it must involve an attempt to describe the objective reality beyond scientists’ biases. Traditionally, this is thought to involve comparing our scientific categories to “natural kinds.” But this approach has been tainted with an implicit metaphysics, inherited from Aristotle, that does not fit biological reality. In particular, we must accept that biological categories will never be specifiable in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions or shared underlying physical structures that produce clean boundaries. Biology blurs (...)
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  • CRISPR as a Driving Force: The Model T of Biotechnology.Carlos Mariscal & Angel Petropanagos - 2016 - Monash Bioethics Review 34 (2):1-16.
    The CRISPR system for gene editing can break, repair, and replace targeted sections of DNA. Although CRISPR gene editing has important therapeutic potential, it raises several ethical concerns. Some bioethicists worry CRISPR is a prelude to a dystopian future, while others maintain it should not be feared because it is analogous to past biotechnologies. In the scientific literature, CRISPR is often discussed as a revolutionary technology. In this paper we unpack the framing of CRISPR as a revolutionary technology and contrast (...)
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  • Universal Biology Does Not Prescribe Planetary Isolationism.Carlos Mariscal - 2017 - Theology and Science 2 (15):150-152.
    Stephen Hawking’s caution against messaging extraterrestrial intelligence is a claim of universal biology and is probably false.
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