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Biological variability and physico-mathematical reasoning

In this presentation, we will contrast the articulation between mathematics and phenomena that is performed in physical theorizing with the situation in biology.short, physical theorizing is grounded on stable mathematical structures, defined by theoretical symmetries and corresponding conservation principles. By contrast, itfair to postulate that biological organizations exhibit changes of such structures over time.
This will enable us to define a strong notion of variability, which differs from quantitative variations. Variability will then play the role of a fundamental principle for biology. We will also discuss the consequences of these ideas on the form that a general theory of biological organization may have.

Montévil, M. 2015. “Biological Variability and Physico-Mathematical Reasoning.” In Workshop on Approaches to Variation and Stability in Contemporary Biology
Program of the event.