DARPA Ben Mann and quantitative biology:
There is a man, Ben Mann in fact, (Jeffrey Mervis What Makes DARPA Tick?) Science vol. 351 no. 6273 February 5, 2015 page 549) who has challenged the biological sciences to come up with equations that describe the world just as the physical sciences have.  Of course I have gone some way in that direction in our paper (L. Herbert & M.G. Lewis, Fluctuation of fertility with number in a real insect population and a virtual population African Entomology 21(1): 119–125 (2013)) We are talking a computer simulation here, not an equation, but I have no doubt it could be reduced to an equation or two, with evident advantage if some sort of intervention is desired.

He was a program director at DARPA, a government branch tasked to pursue ideas far from the main stream, largely in hopes of finding things useful to defense.  I think that you can fairly dismiss such hocus pocus as remove viewing or telepathy as being possible, or anyway harnessable.  DARPA would have found it.  All Mann had to do to get resources together was persuade his boss Tony Tether.  He called his search for the fundamentals of biology FunBio. 

He didn’t find the black orchid.  That has been up to me.  He worked, of course on the mathematical description of life, but you must recall that from the oldest rocks to the first known microorganisms is only about 500 million years.  It took another three billion for complex life to form.  That was again about 500 million years.  It’s the three billion years that make up the miracle.  Maybe if he’d had longer; he had only five years and I have been at it over maybe twenty.  Or if he had started, as I did, looking at history and working backwards.  Historians are immune to the lure of that one; fortunately I am no historian.

Anyway, Mann’s a topographic mathematician, and I think he could contribute to what I’ve found.  Time pressure is very great nowadays, but maybe in a few months I’ll get ahold of him. 

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