Abstract and Keywords
Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology by providing a basis for explaining a wide variety of phenomena. Philosophical discussion concerning this discovery can be organized around two opposing views: theoretical reductionism and layer-cake antireductionism. The view about genetics that emerges from “theoretical reductionism” is of a two-tiered science: an upper tier of theoretical principles associated with the classical theory of genetics and a lower tier of theoretical principles about molecular processes involving DNA. The view about genetics that emerges from antireductionist view is also of a two-tiered science: an upper tier of theoretical principles aimed at explaining transmission phenomena and a lower tier of theoretical principles aimed at explaining phenomena of replication and expression of the genetic material.
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