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Evolutionary Worlds without End$
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Henry Plotkin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199544950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544950.001.0001

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The Rutherford dictum and its meaning for biology

The Rutherford dictum and its meaning for biology

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Rutherford dictum and its meaning for biology
Evolutionary Worlds without End

Henry Plotkin

Oxford University Press

Rutherford's assertion that all science is physics and stamp collecting is considered in terms of what he might have meant, and what it means for other scientists, specifically biolgists and social scientists. It is concluded that Rutherford was simply wrong, but it does raise the issue of how general theory is in biology at large, including the social sciences. There is a brief review of some possible candidates for general theories in biology, and the importance of the differences between process and mechanism is stressed.

Keywords:   the role of theories in science, are there general theories in biology

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