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Example text

Mechanisms is not determinism, because it is more general than classical physics (quantum theory is mechanism, and so is non-equilibrium thermodynamics, chaos theory and the like). 3. Mechanism is not physicalism, because it is not limited to physical quantities (natural selection, the Turing machine and Godel’s theorem are mechanistic models that are not based on physical quantities). 4. Finally, and most importantly, mechanism is made of models and models do not coincide with reality, a concept that Count Alfred Korzybski (1996) vividly expressed with the maxim “the map is not the territory”.

Modern biology has readily accepted the concept of information but has carefully avoided the concept of meaning, and yet organic information and organic meaning are both the result of natural processes. Just as it is an act of copying that creates organic information, so it is an act of coding that creates organic meaning. Copying and coding are the processes; copymakers and codemakers are their agents; organic information and organic meaning are their results. But the parallel goes even further.

The metaphor of the aperiodic crystal was used by Schrödinger to convey the idea that the atoms of the genetic material must be arranged in a unique pattern in every individual organism, an idea that later was referred to as biological specificity. The metaphor of the code-script was used to express the concept that there must be a miniature code in the hereditary substance, a code that Schrödinger compared to “a Morse code with many characters”, that was supposed to carry “the highly complicated plan of development of the entire organism” (Schrödinger 1944).

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