What Does it Mean to be “THE SAME”? a Biological Variant of the Borsuk-Ulam Theorem

Authors: Arturo Tozzi, James F Peters, Raquel del Moral, Pedro C Marijuan

A unifying principle underlies the organization of physical and biological systems. It relates to a well-known topological theorem which succinctly states that an activity on a planar circumference projects to two activities with “matching description” into a sphere. Here we ask: What does “matching description” mean? Has it something to do with “identity”? Going through different formulations of the principle of identity, we describe diverse possible meanings of the term “matching description”. We demonstrate that the concepts of “sameness”, “equality”, “belonging together” stand for intertwined levels with mutual interactions. By showing that “matching” description is a very general and malleable concept, we provide a novel testable approach to “identity” that yields helpful insights into physical and biological matters. Indeed, we illustrate how a novel mathematical approach derived from the Borsuk-Ulam theorem, termed bio-BUT, might explain the astonishing biological “multiplicity from identity” of evolving living beings as well as the logic of their intricate biochemical arrangements.

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[v1] 2017-06-28 13:16:36

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