THIS revision of the foundations of mechanics, A extending to the very question of what may be meant by a physical explanation, has not only been essential, however, for the elucidation of the situation in atomic theory, but has also created a new background for the discussion of the relation of physics to the problems of biology. This must certainly not be taken to mean that in actual atomic phenomena we meet with features which show a closer resemblance to the properties of living organisms than do ordinary physical effects. At first sight, the essentially statistical character of atomic mechanics might even seem difficult to reconcile with an explanation of the marvellously refined organisation, which every living being possesses, and which permits it to implant all the characteristics of its species into a minute germ cell.
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Journal of the History of Biology (1985)