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Books, Journals, New Media
April 5, 2000

Molecular BiologyProteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

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JAMA. 2000;283(13):1754. doi:10.1001/jama.283.13.1754-JBK0405-2-1

In a famous article entitled "Cause and Effect in Biology," which appeared in the journal Science in 1961, Ernst Mayr first drew the distinction between the two kinds of biological science: the biology of proximate causation, which dealt with functional biology and included biological sciences like physiology and biochemistry; and the biology of ultimate causation, which dealt with historical biological sciences like evolutionary biology. The former were the sciences that could potentially answer "how" questions dealing with matters of life, the latter could potentially answer "why" questions.

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