"Reality, Life, and Quantum Mechanics"

BTG Issue: 
May 1979 | Vol. 14 No. 5
"A mathematician points out that if we view the universe as a machine, the more we explain it the less we understand."

"In recent years the idea that life can be reduced to chemicals and physics has become very prominent. According to this idea, all living organisms, including human beings, are simply aggregates of molecules interacting in accordance with chemical and physical laws. ... What are the molecules that combine together to make this [biological] machine, and what is really known of the laws governing their interaction? For the answers to these questions we must turn to physics, and in particular to the quantum theory, which provides the basis for the present understanding of atoms and molecules. However, we find ironically that modern physics presents a description of molecules that seriously undermines the mechanical picture developed by molecular biologists."

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