\n\nI fully appreciate what Dov Henis is trying to say, and in fact I agree that living systems, even (perhaps especially) at the cellular and subcellular level, possess the remarkable "life property" of adaptation to environmental ("environmental" broadly writ) signals which results in reprogramming of gene expression (sometimes with irreversible consequences). This has been described experimentally in cell culture systems where such processes would not have been expected based on current paradigms by several reports from different labs over the past several years. And of course it happens in every organism in the process of differentiation (even bacteria undergo differentiation, e.g., in response to quorum sensing). \n\nHowever, while the genome ("the genes") do not dictate a static situation for the cell or the organism, they do provide the overarching information from which the cell draws upon. Thus, the emphasis on the genome and on the "genes" at this point in our scientific inquiry is well justified and worthwhile. And we should not forget that some of our genome does not necessarily code for proteins but rather "codes" for expression-related functions and also for ____ (yet to be discovered, fill in the blank!). And some of the proteins are themselves agents of gene expression reprogramming, such as transcription factors, histones, or proteins involved in signal transduction mechanisms. Once we understand the genetic material, and once we understand the molecular and physical-chemical interactions that turn them on or off, or even cause them to undergo somatic recombination (a phenomenon well understood for higher vertebrate immmunology, but not yet not well understood or even yet recognized for other systems), then we can begin to ask good, meaningful questions based on the issues raised by Dov Henis. \n\nBTW, mathematical modeling (including chaos theory, which has already proved useful for biological systems) and "systems analysis" methodologies will be increasingly useful for this purpose.