Egenis Seminar with Dr Thomas Pradeu 'From an immunological point of view: delineating the heterogeneous organism'
SpeakersDr Thomas Pradeu, Sorbonne University, France
VenueUniversity of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJRoom no: GF7, Byrne House
Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PMAbstract:
Today’s philosophy of biology tends to give no special status to the organism. If one follows the fascinating – and lavish – literature on levels of selection and evolutionary transitions, the organism should be considered only as one biological individual among others – in particular genes, genomes, organelles, cells, groups. According to this view, the living world is made of a hierarchy (a Russian doll) of biological individuals, the organism being only one of them.
In contrast with this thesis, I would like to show in this talk that the organism is a very special biological individual. I suggest that biological individuality cannot be understood based on evolutionary biology alone, that what is needed is to articulate evolutionary and physiological conceptions of biological individuality. In particular, immunology is a key field to define biological individuality. Leaning on immunology, I show that every organism is heterogeneous, and that the organism exhibits the highest level of biological individuality.