Are self-organizing biochemical networks emergent?C. Malaterre
Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, Institut d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et Techniques, France
Published online: 17 September 2009
Biochemical networks are often called upon to illustrate emergent properties of living systems. In this contribution, I question such emergentist claims by means of theoretical work on genetic regulatory models and random Boolean networks. If the existence of a critical connectivity Kc of such networks has often been coined “emergent” or “irreducible”, I propose on the contrary that the existence of a critical connectivity Kc is indeed mathematically explainable in network theory. This conclusion also applies to many other types of formal networks and weakens the emergentist claim attached to bio-molecular networks, and by extension to living systems.
© EDP Sciences 2009