task is to] offer an alternative vision of living systems, a vision
which recognizes the power and role of genes without subscribing to
genetic determinism, and which recaptures an understanding of living
organisms and their trajectories through time and space as lying at
the centre of biology. It is these trajectories that I call lifelines.
Far from being determined, or needing to invoke some non-material concept
of free will to help us escape the determinist trap, it is in the nature
of living systems to be radically indeterminate, to continually construct
their-our-own futures, albeit in circumstances not of our own choosing."
STEVEN ROSE, neurobiologist, is Professor of Biology and Director, Brain
and Behaviour Research Group, The Open University; author of
Lifelines: Biology Beyond Determinism; The
Making Of Memory; coauthor of Not In Our Genes; editor
Brains To Consciousness.
Further reading on Edge: "The Two Steves"- Pinker vs. Rose - A Debate (Part I);"The Two Steves"- Pinker vs. Rose - A Debate (Part II)