A 'codificação genética' reconsiderada: uma análise de seu uso atual

sexta-feira, agosto 19, 2016

‘Genetic Coding’ Reconsidered: An Analysis of Actual Usage

Ulrich E. Stegmann

- Author Affiliations

School of Divinity History and Philosophy University of Aberdeen Aberdeen, UK



This article reconsiders the theoretical role of the genetic code. By drawing on published and unpublished sources from the 1950s, I analyse how the code metaphor was actually employed by the scientists who first promoted its use. The analysis shows that the term ‘code’ picked out mechanism sketches, consisting of more or less detailed descriptions of ordinary molecular components, processes, and structural properties of the mechanism of protein synthesis. The sketches provided how-possibly explanations for the ordering of amino acids by nucleic acids (the ‘coding problem’). I argue that employing the code metaphor was justified in virtue of its descriptive-denotational and explanatory roles, and because it highlighted a similarity with conventional codes that was particularly salient at the time.

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.