Why is reductionism useful in biology

106 Is biology reductionist and what else is it? Complexity, emergence and… Dirk Fabricius A. Biology is reductionist. But what is reductionist? In the hierarchy of complexity, each level is linked to the one above: chemistry with biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, psychology, sociology, economics and politics. Particle physics is the basic object on which all others are based - and thus explains it in many ways. In a reductionist worldview, physics is all there is. The Cartesian image of man as a machine seems justified. (Ellis 2005) Physics is everything there is - with this Ellis should meet the commitment of the reductionist (without, of course, relinquishing it). Holism is commonly seen as the opposite of reductionism. The holistic creed can be formulated as "The element is nothing, the relations are everything". The individual, for example, is then a social creature through and through. "Relations are all there is". But if it weren't for a “reductionist” position with regard to physics as far as it deals with matter. “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” is a holistic commitment that does not reduce matter. However, it seems doubtful to me whether physicists would not claim that modern physics deals with almost nothing other than relations. Another help in finding out the meanings of reductionism / holism is to look at the pairs of terms analytical / synthetic and deconstructive / constructive. I can only synthesize if I can put things together, create a connection, requires Relata. The synthesis must be preceded by the analysis. Holists often shy away from analysis and want a reasonable view of the whole without it, because they fear that the analysis will destroy the whole and only leave behind irrelevant individual parts: the truth cannot be approached in a reductionist way, at least with certain objects . Another fear is that the truth found in a reductionist way is dangerous. “The consistent application of the natural sciences to humans aims at the neuronally transparent human being, in whom everything that he does, feels, thinks and wants is open to the external observer, explained causally from neuronal mechanisms, predicted and at any time by neuronal ones Intervention 107 can be manipulated. If this goal were to become a reality in full, it would be a moral and cultural catastrophe. ”(Tetens 2004, p. 19) This brings me to the third pair of terms deconstructive / constructive. The holist would view destructive / constructive as a better pairing. When I say “deconstructive” instead of “destructive”, I am referring to differences in the “reductionist” camp. One can claim that the reduction path can be destructive for the object of investigation, that this would be a “bad reductionism”, while a “deconstructive” path, the part-whole question in view, the path to (re) construction only opened. In this variant, the constructive synthesis does not simply mix the individual parts together, but takes into account the fact that the individual parts are brought into certain relationships, structured relationships. A major topic in biology is "synthetic biology", "artificial life" research. The latter developed when “Artificial Intelligence” research failed due to a certain form of reduction. In order to distinguish good from bad reductionism, you need a look that initially puts what you see “under the microscope” in a “phantasmatic” context. "Every scientist is looking for ways to reduce the confusing variety of particular phenomena (!) To the simplest, clearest possible universal laws" (Bak 1996, p. 42 f.). To capture the Scottish coast in a mathematical formula, to develop formulas that create these pretty fractals and allow comparative measurements of coast lengths, formulas that are recursive and where the whole is already in its smallest part: The dream of reductionism has quite its delightful sides. If our genome is so much smaller than previously estimated, it cannot be concluded from this that it cannot be understood as an “actually effective bundle of causes” (Altmeyer 2001). Rather, it may encode algorithms that are as efficient in developing the phenotype as mathematical formulas for fractals. B. Does biology swallow the mind? If physics is all there is, then biology is not only a perpetrator, but also a victim of reductionism, as threatening as it is threatened. Forensic scientists, some formulations of the conference program seem to breathe this to me, see their science robbed of its “proprium” when reductionist biology takes hold. In the perception of this threat, if I see correctly, the scheme “natural science - humanities” plays a role, which persistently persists. Biology is added to the natural sciences. As far as the distance biology - physics is concerned in relation to the distance criminology - physics, biology is more likely to be attributed to nature, especially since "human biology" is only a small branch of biological research. And indeed 108 biologists agree with the sentence “Every mental state corresponds to a physical state, but not the other way around” (Quine 1981, p. 32; see also Hofstadter 1979, p. 609; Singer 2002, p. 39). This position is also called “constitutive reductionism” (Mayr 1982, p. 43). Criminologists and other social scientists and humanities scholars often do not dare to deny the sentence, but make their lack of conviction clear by negating the implications. The social or spiritual, for example, occurs without a corresponding physical state being thought.1 Such an assumption is denied by the theory of evolution, of which biologists are unanimously convinced, although not all of Mayr's (2002) claim that "evolution is a fact" 2 In short, I think the humanities / social scientists have to get used to the idea that their distance from nature is much smaller than they think: does the abyss start on their doorstep? No, because the assumption that nature is mindless does not apply when examining living things, as biology does. I. Nature has spirit This sentence comes from Gregory Bateson, it is true (Bateson, 1972, p. 407; see also Küppers 1986, p. 195 ff.). One of the criteria for life is reproduction. Reproduction, however, requires complicated transcription and translation processes and information processing. The talk of the “genetic code” expresses this. The physiology of all living beings reveals a wide range of information cycles and processing processes, positive and negative feedback. Now one can argue that “spirit” means intelligence. Spider webs, beaver dams and termite burrows reveal ghosts, but this is not in spiders, beavers and termites. Intelligence as an autonomous change of behavior and planned construction and reconstruction (cf. Dörner et al. 2002, p. 138) is supernatural, and the divinity of man can be recognized by the fact that he can do it. However, the distances to living things are neither in general - in view of a common genetic code, common biochemistry, common cell structure (Rose 2000, p. 270 ff.) - nor to other primates and mammals, but also to some birds, neither with a view to technical still on social intelligence in the starting point so great that one could take human intelligence out of nature. There are even lessons in ants. I have not found a useful criterion which defines the mind in general or the men- 1 Cf. on the critique of evolutionary psychology at the “Standard Model of the Social Sciences” Tooby and Cosmides 1992, pp. 46 f. 2 This is possibly because the question "What is a fact?" Is unclear. The latter is a question that is also interesting for lawyers. 109 sneaking spirit in particular separable from simple information processing or animal intelligence. In addition, everything indicates that even the highest mental functions are based on neural processes which, if disturbed, bring the mental work to an abrupt end. If that is true, the schematization of science versus humanities is wrong and the forensic scientist, stepping out the front door, does not fall into the abyss. II. What is the difference between a dead and a live cat? “What is the difference between a live and a dead cat? A scientific answer is 'systems biology'. A dead cat is a collection of its parts. A living cat is the emergent behavior of the system that includes these parts ”(“ In pursuit of systems ”, Nature (435), 2005, p. 1 - Editorial). Such a statement in the editorial of one of the leading scientific journals should alleviate the horror of a reductionist biology. Biology is full of examples of the fact that objects, which were initially taken out of context and placed under the microscope, are put back into context in their surroundings, namely identical objects (from the reduced view) in different contexts. The investigation then relates to the behavior of these objects depending on the context. The same amino acid in different proteins: The function of a protein must not be understood in such a way that it is built up from the context-free function of its individual parts, but one has to consider how the parts interact. In principle it is still possible to set up a computer program that takes the primary structure of a protein as input and firstly determines its tertiary structure and secondly the function of the enzyme. That would give a completely reductionist explanation of the function of proteins, but determining the “sum” of the parts requires a very complicated algorithm. (Hofstadter 1979, pp. 557 f.) Dawkins points in a similar direction: It is a fundamental truth of logic rather than genetics that the phenotypic 'effect' of a gene is a concept that only has meaning when the context of Environment is specified, environment is understood to include all other genes in the genome. A gene 'for' A in neighborhood X may turn out to be a gene for B in neighborhood Y. It is simply meaningless to speak of an absolute, context-free phenotypic effect of a given gene. (Dawkins 1982, p. 38; see also Rose 2000, p. 130 ff.) Darwin already had the intricate and complex interactions within species as well as species and their physical environment in mind (Hoffmann and Parsons 1991, p. 6), and molecular biology, not only in the form of population genetics, continues this consideration. 110 III. “Epigenetics” and the fitness landscape So-called “epigenetics” has flourished recently (Jablonka and Lamb 2005; Pigliucci 2005; Qiu 2006; Rassoulzadegan et al. 2006; Stollorz 2002). Here it is examined how genes are switched on and off in the course of individual development through various processes. This also relates to the question of whether and how such connections and disconnections are inherited. For example, the mother's increased prenatal stress can affect the unborn child. At first glance, epigenetics seems to make the old Lamarckian claim of the “inheritance of acquired properties”, which Darwin did not completely renounce, into a correct theory. However, epigenetics does not call into question that the genome remains intact. In this respect, the evidence gained in the first half of the 20th century for the correctness of the Weismann doctrine that there is no path from the soma to the plasma, from the body to the germ cell, is not called into question. The investigation of the epigenetic mechanisms is only possible because the processes of genetic inheritance are investigated. The term “fitness landscape” was developed by Stuart Kaufmann (1993) in his book “Origins of Order”. He developed the thesis that the evolutionary process not only takes place through the interaction of "random" mutations and subsequent selection, but that there are already intra-genomic self-regulatory processes that keep the "mutational charge" at the "border of chaos" and thus it enable a population to strive for the achievable peak in the fitness landscape. Here, too, the microscopic genetic processes are examined in their contexts. But Kauffman also does not question evolution on a Darwinian basis - variation, reproduction, selection.3 IV. Stress Stress is an environmental factor that causes a change in a biological system that is potentially harmful (Hoffmann and Parsons 1991, p. 4). Boriss and Loeschcke (2004) use the geneticists' favorite animal, the Drosophila melanogaster, also known as vinegar fly, to investigate how different temperatures, especially heat and cold, are processed by these flies and which genetic processes occur. The identification of "heat shock proteins", which are produced by certain genes, makes it possible to identify this gene in other species and it is found that the effects of this gene each have 3 On related questions "Channeling", "Coadaptation", " Pleiotropy ”and“ coupling ”in genetics see Futuyama 1979, p. 378 ff .; Mayr 2001, pp. 144 f. 111 according to type, and that means different depending on the surrounding genome. This calls for recourse to the complexity theory. This is entirely in line with Dawkins' quotation at the beginning of this section. V. Learning For the biologist there is no doubt that learning presupposes a certain genetic makeup and that different ways of learning are only possible within the framework of their given genetic makeup. At the same time, the concept of learning implies that the genes do not directly determine behavior and the course of learning processes is only possible within the framework of studies that consider more complex relationships. However, determining the learning potential of a species can only be achieved through a strictly reductionist approach. Evolution can also be viewed as a learning process through trial and error on a generational level (Bateson 1982, p. 11). Through mutation and recombination, genetic changes occur in the offspring (experiment), most of which prove to be of no benefit to the life and reproduction of these offspring (error), but some do, and these changes are permanently incorporated into the gene pool. But then the question arises, when is phenotypic and when genotypic learning? This question cannot be answered without looking at physical environments and their changeability and "volatility" and not without looking at the hardware that supports learning. This is a point at which the general systems theory, which wants to abstract from physics / hardware - everything environment - differs significantly from a biologically based systems theory. Since I already mentioned the teaching ants and the termites with their structures, I would like to address Douglas Hofstadter's analogy of anthill and brain in “Gödel, Escher, Bach” (Hofstadter 1979, p. 343 ff.): A “working anthill” corresponds the living cat. All ants may survive if the burrow is destroyed and yet the anthill is "dead". The individual neurons of our brain are isolated like the isolated ants. The ant colony shows cages and teams, the condition of the ant colony could also be described in detail with regard to these characteristics (it would be tedious), but one would not get an explanation as to why the colony is in this condition. 112 C. Reductionist failures are useful - they can only be won through a reductionist approach I. Piles of sand, coupled pendulums, and incompleteness theorem If you drop one grain of sand on top of the other, it is foreseeable that the pile of sand will slide at one point. You can determine each grain of sand, the height of fall, and all other physical factors, and yet you cannot say which grain of sand will be the one that will cause the slide. No physicist doubts that there are determinate processes and yet will not be able to predict exactly what will happen. The same applies to the behavior of coupled, independently triggered pendulums (Bak 1996, p. 39) and also to avalanches, traffic jams, fires and earthquakes. In the critical state, the sand heap is the functional unit, not individual grains of sand. No reductionist approach makes sense.Examining individual grains under a microscope gives no indication of what is going on in the whole pile of sand. Nothing in the individual individual grain of sand gives any indication of the emergent properties of the sand heap. Self-organized “criticality” is nature's way of performing enormous transformations in a short time frame. (Bak 1996, p. 60 f.) Reductionism already reaches its limits in physics. Whether these are fundamentally, a question of unmanageability or one of unpredictability, does not seem to me decided, and I will not dare to say anything about it (cf. on the limited information processing capacity Spitzer 1996, p. 146). Properties of the overall system that cannot be predicted from a complete knowledge of the individual parts are called “emergent” (Küppers 1986, p. 184 f.). 4 The attempt by Russell / Whitehead to create a closed mathematical principle with “Principia Mathematica” Developing a system proved to be a failure when Gödel proved the “incompleteness” of formal systems, every formal system: there are true statements in every system that cannot be proven with the means of the system (Hofstadter 1979, p. 19 f. ). And in this case the irreducibility is a proven fact. Which does not mean that you cannot prove the true statement at all, but that you need at least two systems, which in turn do not have to be arranged hierarchically - there are “strange loops” (Hofstadter 1979, p. 728 ff.). 4 S. a. Küppers 1986, p. 192 on the question of whether the substitution of the term “chromosome” by physical terms is possible, which he affirms but rejects as impractical; Mayr 1982, p. 51 f. Agrees that the processes are of a physical-chemical nature, but regards the biological terms as irreplaceable and rejects this “theoretical reductionism”; Bonner 1980, p. 180; Deneke 1999, p. 116 ff. 113 In both cases, however, the reductionist approach seems to me to be an indispensable prerequisite for the transreductionist knowledge of “power laws” and the incompleteness theorem. II. Irreducibility of morality, aesthetics and consciousness? To the extent that it is asserted that certain human, cultural, social skills, institutions or functions are irreducible, this claim is unproven. Until proof to the contrary (which would imply a refutation of the theory of evolution), the more likely hypothesis is that all of this was evolutionary. Investigations in behavioral research, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience have already found numerous evidence for this, beyond the general implications of evolutionary theory. Of course, the picture is far from complete and there is still a lot of research to be done, but that's what we love to do. To assume irreducibility now would be to leave out promising research questions. D. Synthesis, simulation, construction The ever more fine-grained investigation of the individual amino acids, the individual genes, the individual organism leads to the insight that there are many things that cannot be explained, understood, synthesized, (re) constructed, and taken on their own can simulate. Systems, be they animate or inanimate, have "emergent" features that are not even perceptible from the "microscopic" point of view. On the other hand, every microscopic look shows that basically nothing but physics works on (not: basically), not only on robots (Dawkins 1986, p. 11). If one says “basically”, one easily assumes, for example, that mental and emotional processes are caused by brain processes, when one says “basically” one comes to the assumption that mental and emotional processes are brain processes (cf. Deneke 1999, p. 120). The caricature of reductionism: the genes determine the brain and the brain determines the thinking, has its roots here. As soon as one says "at the bottom", the way is free to perceive the diverse determinants of brain architecture, brain interconnections, cultural and other programming, self-programming through self-reflection and to integrate them into a complex model of behavior (Fonagy et al., 2004, p. 97 ff., 108 ff .; see Engel and König, 1998, p. 185). Brain function is causally influenced by abstractions such as the value of money, the rules of chess and the theory of the laser. These abstractions are realized in brain states in individuals, but they are not equivalent to them (Ellis 2005) The transition from the inorganic to the living has not yet been clarified, but it is being researched and a number of hypotheses have been refuted, others are promising and will continue tracked. An open question at the moment is what kept the macromolecules that are forming from rapidly decaying: we are looking for a special physical, geological environment that could have caused this. Such a transitional question also arises with regard to “robots”: from what moment on do robots come to life, when will the question of the rights of machines arise, questions similar to those that are now being asked about the rights of chimpanzees. One answer is that they would have to have a high internal complexity, independently working but cooperating subsystems, connected in "strange loops". Here, too, it is foreseeable that a clear boundary will not appear, but a transition area in which the boundary must be drawn. Biologists are present at both locations, along with physicists, computer scientists, chemists and psychologists. There is no absolute threshold between the living and the dead, thinking and the mere mechanical. Viruses and complex computer programs are located in transitional areas (Hofstadter and FARGO-Group 1995, p. 310; Küppers 1986, p. 199). If there is life, we are dealing with highly complex systems which breaking down into their elementary components would mean leaving nothing biologically significant. Any experimental investigation of the phenomenon "life" carried out too far destroys what it tries to determine: life. In short, the experiment itself transforms the living meat into butcher's products. (Devereux 1972, p. 19) There are non-linear interactions in such systems that can no longer be calculated. In addition, the biological evolution differs from the cosmic one in that biological evolution takes place in populations of genetically unique individuals with the transgenerative accumulation and inheritance of information, which ensures the expression of physical characteristics and behavioral programs. The change in genetic information comes about through mutation and recombination, which are “random” compared to the selection process, albeit physically determined (Mayr 1979, p. 80 ff.). This is why reductionism as an exclusive strategy in biology reaches its limits even before culture and human society are reached. The existence of powerful computers allows simulations of all kinds, for exploration or for testing different models, as evolutionary simulations over several "generations" (Todd 1996, p. 211 ff.), I.e. the results of the first run are the starting point for the second. At the same time, computer technology allows the construction of soccer-playing, mine-searching and cleaning robots. “Synthetic biology” is still “an expensive, unreliable and ad-hoc research process”, but the benefits that can be expected are great and the problems must be addressed through “standardization, decoupling and abstraction” (Endy 2005, p. 449 ff.). 115 I. “Artificial Life” As soon as one sets out to create life artificially (Langton 1989; Dörner 1999), the analytical-reductionist view necessarily reaches its limits, because if this succeeds, life is life and no longer itself distinguishes between “natural” and “artificial”. You are dealing with interrelationships that can no longer be calculated computationally, and only trial and error, simulation and similar “holistic” processes lead further (Todd 1996, p. 211 ff.). A system that can be described with the sum of its parts has linear functions. A system that is more than the sum of its parts is determined by the interactions of the parts that no longer exist when the system is dismantled. However, it is also true here that this is only possible if one can rely on "previous reductionist studies". II. Five ways to see a frog 5 ways to see a frog: Physiologist, behaviorist, developmental biologist, evolutionist and molecular biologist ... Biologists need each of these 5 explanations - and probably others as well. There is no single right one, it always depends on the intention with which we asked ourselves the question about the hopping frog. (Rose 2000, p. 25 ff.) If, as in complex systems, many variables with many interactions are involved, the possibility of “hypothesis and test” ends and the comparison of model simulation and practice takes its place (Rose 2000, P. 89 ff .; Singer 2002, p. 28). Developing testable theories remains the goal (Kauffman 1993, p. 367) - the strategies used for testing change in the context of synthetic, simulating, constructive biology (Belew et al. 1996, p. 432 on the relationship between computer simulations and mathematical models). It is easier to verify the behavioral competence of a system whose internal machinery has been synthesized than the internal machinery of a black box whose behavioral competence has been observed (Dennett 1998, p. 257 with reference to Braitenberg). With all of this, it should be noted that the synthesizing presupposes the analysis, or better: different analyzes. This means that a reductionist approach is an inevitable and, according to all previous experience, an extraordinarily fruitful phase (Bonner 1980, p. 7). On the other hand, fruitful reductionist research is hardly possible without prior holistic consideration. 116 III. What is the embryonic case? How do you build a good model? I would like to emphasize that whenever we boast that we have found a newer, more rigorous way of thinking or representing, whenever we begin to move too heavily towards "operationalism," symbolic logic, or any of these very essential systems of lines of thought throb, lose some of the ability to think new thoughts. And of course we also lose something if we rebel against the sterile rigor of formal thinking and formal representation and let our ideas wander wildly. In my view, advances in scientific thinking come from a combination of loose and strict thinking, and that combination is the most valuable tool in science. (Bateson 1972, p. 117) Singer (2002, p. 25) points out that testable models for the highest cognitive performance require a definition of explananda by behavioral research and psychology, which in turn is a prerequisite for reductionist research. A “frivolous reductionism” (Edelman 1995, p. 237) of a genetic or neural nature, as it sometimes occurs in real life - in the history of biology in the form of eugenics, social Darwinism including biological psychiatry - or as a nightmare, obscures the view reality and leads to short-circuited, sometimes murderous acts. Good reductionist research should not be confused with hasty reduction of complexity, over-generalization. Firstly, it includes recognizing that you need simple models (Bak 1996, p. 44; Pinker 2006, p. 25) and that a model is not reality, secondly, the virtue of resisting temptation, reductionism and especially that to declare one's own model to be the ultimate. If you have a number of related problems, identify the simplest - the "embryonic case" and then work your way around recursively to the more difficult ones - but what is the embryonic case and how does the real problem relate to it? (Hofstadter 1985, p. 441; on the fractal logic of affect Ciompi 1997) Without a “holistic” view, it does not work here either. E. The "Happy Slave" monster. Warning against false reduction in order to fight against reductionism I. Behaviorism and culturalism Behaviorism in psychology and the corresponding culturalism in social sciences - after the admission of M. Mead as a reaction to eugenics / social Darwinism - were anti-reductionist in the sense that they resisted the reduction to physics / chemistry / biology. At the same time they were reductionist in their fading out of the biological and internal organism. Human individuality became exclusively a product of inculturation. The idea of ​​a "happy slave" is monstrous and it is the sleep of reason that gives birth to monsters. As soon as one introduces the human being as a biological individual with already innate characteristics including certain interests and behavior programs one can reasonably question the existence of "happy slaves", conceptualize a "false self" or speak of alienation. II. The “Gaia Hypothesis” One of the “holistic” theories that were also influential in the short term was the so-called “Gaia Hypothesis” (Lovelock 1982) .5 Based on a wealth of correct observations, but without investigating the underlying mechanisms, it emerged the idea of ​​the earth as a unified organism in the sense of an “everything is related to everything” concept. As with Lamarck, there were correct observations, laws were also used, but these were inappropriately generalized. In doing so, for example, "biological individualism" fell by the wayside, the finding that individuals only develop in evolution, whereas the origin of life development was determined by cloning. Living things spread by means of identical living beings, such as, for example, lichens still do today. Further biological research has made it clear in many respects that Dawkin's conception of the "egoistic gene" is correct and that many forms of phenomenological altruism and cooperation can be explained within the framework of such a conception and that these explanations for coevolution and cooperation predict far better predictions than the rather dedifferentiated “Gaia hypothesis”. III. Amstutz ’Lamarckist approach and the landing in" organic thinking "Amstutz is already closer to our field with his investigation. He makes promising use of evolutionary literature, including the aforementioned Stuart Kauffman. As it turns out, however, he has not worked himself deeply enough into biology to understand and make fruitful of the fundamental objections to the functional possibilities of a Lamarckist inheritance, to group selection, which regardless of whether it is genetic or cultural evolution, are valid. His work ends with an organicistic approach that is still gloomy from a political point of view, reminiscent of Wilhelm Sauer. 5 On criticism: Maynard Smith and Szathmáry 1999, p. 48; a non-holistic variant can be found in Whitfield 2005. 118 nüpft (Amstutz 2001) .6 Here, too, “genetic” individualism and social individualism (which became dominant much later) are pushed aside and a dedifferentiated system-theoretical view emerges. The source of this failure is that the underlying mechanisms are not well understood and the procedures that accomplish certain functions are not worked out in detail. A strictly reductionist approach would have helped to avoid these errors and to only tackle the levels of complexity enrichment when the basic processes are known. IV. “Free will” Finally, let me turn to a core element of criminological - or should I say: criminological? - enter into debate, namely free will. Before the genesis of psychology, psychoanalysis and neuroscience, a “metaphysical” conception of free will was obvious. However, anti-Darwinian elements also necessarily flowed into it, so that the socio-cultural development remained inexplicable from an empirical point of view and something like “moral autonomy” appeared to be an unexplained miracle, the mechanisms of which, i.e. their emergence and impact on the real world, are believed to be inexplicable had to. Since the political freedoms developed within the framework of such a conception, such an image of man, empirical analyzes of everything that comes close to “free will” had to be considered not only as a threat to old scientific concepts, and thus to established methods, routines and convictions, but also as attacks on political freedoms.The speed with which criminal lawyers positioned themselves against neuroscientists is breathtaking and has led to all sorts of short-circuit debates, at the end of which some criminologists have finally allowed fictions to replace the truth (Burkhardt 1998). This is a surrender of science to political, legal convictions. Here it would be necessary to integrate a genuinely psychological, psychoanalytic perspective. This would allow the “computational paradigm” to find its way. This, it seems to me, provides the best currently available way out of the difficulties in which we find ourselves in the tension between biology and criminology. 6 For group selection see Amstutz 2001, p. 38; on Lamarckism p. 185 ff. and anti-Darwinism p. 204 f .; the, in my opinion, misleading recording by Kauffmann p. 278 ff .; referring to Sauer p. 326 ff. 119 F. The “computational paradigm”: ideas that control mice Completely paralyzed people can control computer mice by virtue of their ideas or their neuronal equivalent (Marsiske and Meyer 2006). Opinions and desires can causally influence behavior, i.e. something real, spatiotemporal, because the symbol is instantiated, and this in which it is instantiated is something real, for example a neuron pattern or a certain sequence of current flows. And that, like everything real, can have causal power. (Münch 1998, p. 31) The expression “computational paradigm” comes, as far as I can see, from Pinker, possibly also from Churchland. What is meant by this is that developments in the realm of living things can best be explained if, instead of clockwork or puppet metaphors, the computer metaphor is used as a starting point, with which programs, logical machines and algorithms, hardware / software are introduced and the notions of a mechanistic, information-free nature be disclosed. This leads to the triad of “mechanisms, procedures, functions”. I. Functions, procedures, mechanisms - the elimination of emergence This triad was sketched out by Richard Gregory, a trained physicist and perceptual psychologist, in a remarkable book called "Mind in Science" (Gregory 1981) .7 The discovery of "logical machines", ie the algorithms, the steps that have to be carried out systematically in order to achieve a certain result, which can be carried out by means of various mechanisms and which fulfill certain functions, happened hand in hand with the practical construction of machines that can carry out things that were previously " Living beings ”were reserved. A function determination - the ultimate level i.S. the evolutionary biologist - can be done without deconstructing the machine. The question of the “how” of functioning - the proximate level - however, presupposes a deconstruction of the unit that fulfills the function. The distinction between procedures and mechanisms makes it clear that such a deconstruction is not only the taking apart and separation of the physical components, but also that of the programs - the programmers call this "disassembly". And a description of the interaction of mechanisms (e.g. waves, ship, sailor, rope, bollard, quay, dock workers when mooring a ship) and procedures (the steps that the "mechanisms" have to carry out so that the ship remains at the quay). Biologists and AI / AI researchers agree that the “emergent properties” are not hidden in the individual parts, 7 p. A. Pinker 2002, p. 70 with reference to Chomsky, Marr and Tinbergen and Peter 1998, p. 67 120 as vitalism assumed. But there is a certain embarrassment in calling it “emergent properties”, a secret is given a name. Gregory sees the possible solution in describing the interface characteristics of the individual parts: that is the missing link to explain the emergent properties - he calls this the "optimistic type of emergence" (Gregory 1981, p. 86 ff) .8 II Vertical concept integration The reductionist approach made it increasingly clear that the basic mechanisms are the same in all living beings, the cell structure, the genetic code, the translation of the same and that in the reductionist view the cell is a “nanomachine”. That such “mechanistic gear” is the basis of all our trains of thought, our cultural ideas, our conflicts and our feelings, that all of this runs in this sense within physically and chemically determined paths, appeared to “common sense” and still seems incredible to him . However, since "artificial intelligence" research has increasingly transformed into "artificial life" research, it has become increasingly clear that complex programs implemented on machines that can execute correspondingly complex programs have comparatively complex, unpredictable, "irrational" behaviors can develop like living beings and humans, which are particularly complex in many ways. Since it has been experimentally possible for paralyzed people to control computer mice with their imaginations alone, the transitions from the physical to the spiritual at a central interface have become all too clear. Vertical concept integration means that sociological statements must not contradict psychological ones, the latter biological ones and these in turn not physico-chemical ones, but that a reduction of these sciences to physics is impossible (Cosmides et al. 1992, p. 4). That seems to me a good expression for the attitude of most biologists and now many psychologists. Admittedly, this transition could only be developed after the greatest simplifications had been carried out for a long time and the reductionist approach had been maintained, despite all the ridicule the researchers had to put up with from the humanities. 8 On the difference between functional and causal explanations, see also Duncker 1994, p. 301; on the criticism of the “emergence” concept also Bak 1996, p. 6 121 G. Conclusion Kurz, I believe that criminology can make great progress if it evades direct exploitation interests, conducts basic research, and that means more room for the reductionist approach admits in order to be able to investigate levels of complexity, emergent phenomena from there. If today “particular severity of guilt” can go hand in hand with an order of preventive detention, that shows how backward our science is, that it cannot effectively counteract dangerous political tendencies. 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Second, the population statistical effects expected from the widespread use of the new technologies, such as an increase in general life expectancy and postponement of the average aging process. Thirdly, the biological - and thus morally independent - determinability of evil in the biological system or in the neuronal activities of certain brain regions, which has once again been claimed by gene and brain research. In this respect, progress in the life sciences is essentially promoting a return to criminological positions that have not been adopted since LOMBROSO in this unvarnished manner: there therefore seem to be "dangerous" people who, scientifically verifiable, differ in their individual biological makeup from harmless and law-abiding. Fourthly, finally, the interference of brain research in fundamental philosophical and, among them, ethical questions of human existence: Since it seems to question the freedom of will with references to neural causation or even control of action impulses, brain research suggests an understanding of the life sciences as universal leading sciences, as it did last time for biology with the evolution theory of CHARLES DARWIN was developed. As in Darwin's time, the interplay of body and mind is interpreted monistically and traced back to body functions: In rejecting the Cartesian dualism, the 1 Federal Ministry for Education and Research: The Year of Life Sciences 2001 [http://www.bmbf.de/de /2350.php], accessed on August 13, 2007.