История генетического кода как генеалогия будущего. Размышления о книге Лили Кей «Кто написал Книгу Жизни?»
This article examines the prospects for the ideas outlined in the monograph by Lily E. Kay «Who Wrote the Book of Life? History of the Genetic Code». Firstly, it is argued that this book is an important contribution to the cultural history of science. L.E. Kay connects the formation of molecular biology in the mid 20th century with the transformation of science during the Second World War and the Cold War and with the spread of information discourse in science
and society. Second, within the framework of the genre of cultural history, the author’s appeal to French «theory» (G. Canguilhem, M. Foucault, J. Derrida, J. Baudrillard) looks justified, although provocative. Third, the author manages to show the internal inconsistency of the information discourse in biology and, at the same time, the hidden possibilities of its predecessor – the discourse of organization and specificity – and thereby to indicate a possible future of biology. Fourth, Lily Kay's reasoning can be clarified using the philosophy of biology. In the 1990s and 2000s, philosophers and biologists proposed the teleosemantic concept of biological information, which allows rational discussion of semantic and linguistic metaphors in biology. It is shown that this concept, despite its popularity, faces various difficulties. Fifth, an analysis of modern literature shows that at present there are no prospects for replacing the information discourse in biology. Both scientific practice and philosophical reflection indicate only a possible correction of the information discourse, for example, in the form of a rejection of the semantic concept of information in favor of the syntactic one, including its connection with the use of the concept of specificity, or in the form of replacing idealized engineering (machine-information) metaphors to metaphors that more adequately reflect the nature of biological evolution.