Browsing by Subject "LAWS"

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  • Poczai, Péter; Santiago-Blay, Jorge (2021)
    The knowledge of the history of a subject stimulates understanding. As we study how other people have made scientific breakthroughs, we develop the breadth of imagination that would inspire us to make new discoveries of our own. This perspective certainly applies to the teaching of genetics as hallmarked by the pea experiments of Mendel. Common questions students have in reading Mendel's paper for the first time is how it compares to other botanical, agricultural, and biological texts from the early and mid-nineteenth centuries; and, more precisely, how Mendel's approach to, and terminology for debating, topics of heredity compare to those of his contemporaries? Unfortunately, textbooks are often unavailing in answering such questions. It is very common to find an introduction about heredity in genetic textbooks covering Mendel without mentions of preceding breeding experiments carried out in his alma mater. This does not help students to understand how Mendel came to ask the questions he did, why he did, or why he planned his pea studies the way he did. Furthermore, the standard textbook "sketch" of genetics does not allow students to consider how discoveries could have been framed and inspired so differently in various parts of the world within a single historical time. In our review we provide an extended overview bridging this gap by showing how different streams of ideas lead to the eventual foundation of particulate inheritance as a scientific discipline. We close our narrative with investigations on the origins of animal and plant breeding in Central Europe prior to Mendel in Koszeg and Brno, where vigorous debates touched on basic issues of heredity from the early eighteenth-century eventually reaching a pinnacle coining the basic questions: What is inherited and how is it passed on from one generation to another?
  • Annila, Arto (2021)
    Evolution is customarily perceived as a biological process. However, when formulated in terms of physics, evolution is understood to entail everything. Based on the axiom of everything comprising quanta of actions (e.g., quanta of light), statistical physics describes any system evolving toward thermodynamic balance with its surroundings systems. Fluxes of quanta naturally select those processes leveling out differences in energy as soon as possible. This least-time maxim results in ubiquitous patterns (i.e., power laws, approximating sigmoidal cumulative curves of skewed distributions, oscillations, and even the regularity of chaos). While the equation of evolution can be written exactly, it cannot be solved exactly. Variables are inseparable since motions consume driving forces that affect motions (and so on). Thus, evolution is inherently a non-deterministic process. Yet, the future is not all arbitrary but teleological, the final cause being the least-time free energy consumption itself. Eventually, trajectories are computable when the system has evolved into a state of balance where free energy is used up altogether.
  • Elzein, Nadine; Pernu, Tuomas K. (2017)
    Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subvening physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwise if they can do so in their actual circumstances, holding the past and the laws constant, while nonetheless arguing that this ability is compatible with physical determinism. However, we argue that supervenient libertarianism faces some serious problems, and that it fails to break us free from this deadlock within the free will debate.
  • Kivivuori, Janne (2017)
    This article describes the contributions of Veli Verkko (1893-1955), the founder of Finnish criminology, to homicide research. Particular attention is paid to his relation to the paradigmatic shifts of international criminology during the early part of the 20th century. The article describes his correspondence with Thorsten Sellin, who kept Verkko updated on paradigmatic changes.