Cambridge University Press published our book, Understanding Living Systems, in July. We were pleased to be guests on Perry Marshall’s podcast to discuss the book. This episode encapsulates our extraordinary enthusiasm and creativity when writing our book Understanding Living Systems. Why did we write it? What is it about? Why is it necessary? Thank you, Perry Marshall, for guiding us through this exciting discussion.
Life is definitively purposive and creative. Organisms use genes in controlling their destiny. This book presents a paradigm shift in understanding living systems. The genome is not a code, blueprint or set of instructions. It is a tool orchestrated by the system. This book shows that gene-centrism misrepresents what genes are and how living systems use them. It demonstrates how organisms make choices, influencing their behaviour, development and evolution, and acting as agents of natural selection. It presents a novel approach to fundamental philosophical and cultural issues, such as free will. Reading this book will make you see life in a new light, as a marvellous phenomenon and in some sense, a triumph of evolution. We are not in our genes; our genes are in us.