So You Think You Know What a Gene Is?

So you think you know what a gene is. Nature has given us some problematic cases, though, and two philosophers of science, Karola Stotz and Paul Griffiths, have spearheaded a discussion of what exactly does constitute a gene. To see these problematic cases and to take part in their survey, click here.

This is an example of iquantitative philosophy of science,i where philosophers are trying to find out what scientists think and how divergent their opinions are. Moreover, philosophers and historians have made competing claims about the conceptual structures that underlie the many different usages of the term igenei in different fields of contemporary biology. These studies, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, should be able to determine whether geneticists, developmental biologists, evolutionary biologists, and cell biologists have identical or overlapping views of what a gene is, and if so, where these overlaps occur. Have fun figuring out which sequences are genes.