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, 9 (2), 69-79

On the Epistemological Crisis in Genomics


On the Epistemological Crisis in Genomics

Edward R Dougherty. Curr Genomics.


There is an epistemological crisis in genomics. At issue is what constitutes scientific knowledge in genomic science, or systems biology in general. Does this crisis require a new perspective on knowledge heretofore absent from science or is it merely a matter of interpreting new scientific developments in an existing epistemological framework? This paper discusses the manner in which the experimental method, as developed and understood over recent centuries, leads naturally to a scientific epistemology grounded in an experimental-mathematical duality. It places genomics into this epistemological framework and examines the current situation in genomics. Meaning and the constitution of scientific knowledge are key concerns for genomics, and the nature of the epistemological crisis in genomics depends on how these are understood.


Fig. (1)
Fig. (1)
Regression of the true error on the estimated error.
Fig. (2)
Fig. (2)
Regression of the permutation p value on the estimated error: Top part: p value as a function of the estimated error for actual data. Bottom part: error distribution,

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