Difficult Concepts in Systems Biology: Emergence

System Biology is very much in the vogue, but is also reality in that full modelling of biological systems is now a possibility. The literature of systems biology have elements that are very well defined, such as different forms of high throughput data, knowledge of biological structures and dynamical modelling. However, the literature is also dominated by concepts that can only be described as elusive and in many contexts unnecessary. Such concepts are “Function”, “Emergence”, “Purpose”, “Modularity”, “Level”, “Reduction”, “Analyzability”, “Cause” and “Machine as metaphor in biology”. There are most likely others. These concepts are problematic since they are easily used by the majority of the bio-science community, but there is no consensus about their definition or even the necessity of these concepts. We will define a series of projects that hopefully will clarify these concepts.