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Zwischen Theologie und Mechanik. Die interdisziplinäre Stellung der Biologie.


Illies,  Joachim
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Illies, J. (1975). Zwischen Theologie und Mechanik. Die interdisziplinäre Stellung der Biologie. In R. Schwarz (Ed.), Wissenschaft als interdisziplinäres Problem (pp. 257-272). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-CD98-1
Summary The author regards a reflection upon one's own discipline, upon its origin, history, goal, and self-understanding as a prerequisite for a consideration of the "in-between", the sphere of the connecting, comprising as well as the dividing aspects of the disciplines. Such a reflection is the unalterable presupposition for a prolific interdisciplinary dialogue. Biology became an independent scientific discipline only when the natural laws of its subject-matter were known and when it emancipated from theology - more precisely from a theology of creation. Only thereby evolution in nature could be discovered (Lamarck, Darwin). In the 20th century the theory of evolution was complemented and improved by the theory of mutation, the discovery of the chromosomes, and the findings of molecular biology. It is the task of biology to cope with the danger of a mere mechanistic thinking and a dependency upon ideologies, likewise to emphasize the characteristic of the living, to observe and interpret its effects in a manner which applies every possible method of interpretation, and which neither neglects any part of organic reality (the morphological structures, e.g.) nor omits the question of the meaning of structures. Thence result new starting points in describing biologically man's special position in nature. Biology again becomes a legitimate partner in the dialogue with philosophy, psychology, medicine, and sociology on the basis of this newly gained biological understanding of human individuality.