Life, Evolution and History Publication date : January 27, 2011
Michel Morange is a biologist, a professor at the University of Paris-VI and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and the director of the Cavaillès Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science. He is the author of, notably, La Part des gènes and La Vie expliquée?
The recent commemorations of Darwin and The Origin of Species have essentially aimed at the defence of Darwinism. The focus was on the achievements of the Darwinian revolution and on recent works by specialists on evolution. As a result, certain unanswered questions in the life sciences, as well as their long separation, have been somewhat neglected.
In this unique general survey of contemporary research, Michel Morange reveals the recent convergence that is developing between two great segments of biology: one that concentrates on mechanisms and one that uses evolutionary explanations to account for the existence of those mechanisms. What arises is a new vision of life.
Such a powerful reconnection has an additional consequence, obliging us to rethink the relation between biology and time. For the author, life is history. As a result, the biological and historical sciences, without merging, are destined to meet and enrich each other.