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Modern biology is not in a position to display the results of systematic research in a system of concepts, or to represent the orderly behavior which is common to its objects in a general theory. The place of theoretical science is taken rather by a heterogeneous multitude of facts, problems, views and interpretations... Such a state of affairs cannot be improved upon by the piling up of new facts and opinions upon the old ones, but only by a fundamental re-organization.
-- Schaxel, 1922
This { i.e., Schaxel's } view sees the essential feature of life in its character as a system, and the chief task for biology in the future is the establishment of the laws of biological systems.
-- Bertalanffy, 1933
70 years later, we have a ways to go.

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Department to Bioengineering University of Washington