This book is primarily concerned with the “Three-Man Paper” or the 3MP. Though its particular scientific conclusions would not stand the test of time, the 3MP was an important stimulus in the development of the new molecular biology, both methodologically and conceptually. Through a novel mixture of experimental genetics and chemistry with the most current theoretical physics, used to model the gene as a specifically molecular structure, and utilizing X-ray technology and contemporary “target” theory, the paper demonstrated the potential of such cross-disciplinary collaboration to provide detailed, physicalistic explanations of biological phenomena. Though its historical importance has never been in doubt, the paper has been largely inaccessible, due to its manner of publication. In presenting the first English translation, accompanied by analyses of its historical and philosophical significance, this book aims to provide access to this celebrated work and to contextualize its origins.
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