Computational Biology

What is Life?

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting. That which is not measurable is not science." - Ernest Rutherford, known as the father of Nuclear physics.

Ernest Rutherford on a stamp. Ernest Rutherford on a stamp.

Biology as a field of study occasionally gets little respect compared to its more quantitative cousins under the umbrellas of mathematics and physics. This isn’t aided by the introduction to biology that many of us encounter early in our schooling: first comes the study of kingdoms, phyla, and species, and later the memorization of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and cellular nuclei. All in all; a pile of facts and details, some of them interesting, but disappointingly unconnected by unifying themes or quantitative principles.

But biology, the natural science that studies life and living organisms, does have a unifying principle that connects every organism that has ever existed on Earth, and even unknown organisms that may exist elsewhere in the universe.

Let's get to know the light that will guide the rest of this course.

What is Life?


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