Graduate Workshop on Philosophy of Science / Seminario de Investigación en Filosofía de la Ciencia

Date and time: March 9, Friday, 9:00 – 13:30

Location: ”Sala de Juntas” (Facultad de Educación, Filosofía y Antropología, EHU/UPV)

Opening: Alba Amilburu (EHU-UPV, IAS-Research) & Cristian Saborido (UNED)

Speakers: Alejandra Martínez Quintero (EHU-UPV), Giorgio Airoldi (UNED), Guglielmo Militello (EHU-UPV), Emilio Cáceres Vázquez (UNED)

Program: Graduate Workshop on Philosophy of Science1

17 Nov., Talk by Sara Murillo – Towards integrative compartmentalized chemical systems: a lipid-peptide rendez-vous

Towards integrative compartmentalized chemical systems: a lipid-peptide rendez-vous.

Sara Murillo Sanchez1,2, Damien Beaufils,3 Robert Pascal,3  Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo1,2,


1Biophysics Unit (CSIC, UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain; 2Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, UPV, Donostia−San Sebastián, Spain; 3IBMM, CNRS – Université de Montpellier, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Maturana and Varela’s work on the theory of autopoiesis in the seventies and eighties led to a conception of life as a form of organization, by which each living entity recursively produces itself, including the boundary with its local environment (i.e., the cellular compartment). In more recent times, we have applied a similar idea, ‘basic autonomy’ [1], to design a research agenda in the field of origins of life, proposing it as an intermediate bridge between complex self-organizing phenomena and ‘genetically-instructed metabolisms’ – i.e., minimal but already full-fledged living organisms, capable of open-ended evolution [2].

This systems view for the origin of life is grounded on the idea that biological organization should result from the functional integration of diverse autocatalytic subsystems maintained in far-from-equilibrium conditions. The authors of this work come from two different fields of research, prebiotic peptide synthesis [3, 4] and fatty acid compartment self-assembly [5], but share the aim of investigating the relevance of coupled processes that could connect both fields.

The membrane-assisted formation of oligo-peptides [6,7] or more recent endogenous synthesis of a hydrophobic peptide that gets inserted in the lipid bilayer of a protocell  [8] have opened new research pathways into the possibility that peptides could be helpful for the growth and stability of lipid vesicles.

We present here the first results of a collaborative work in which the presence of fatty acid vesicles has been demonstrated to favor the peptide bond formation, potentially leading to a prebiotic process of selection and amplification of peptide residues. In turn, the insertion of the type of peptides synthesized here into fatty acid membranes could also contribute to their stability, representing a positive feedback for vesicle self-assembly and potential growth and reproduction.


[1] K. Ruiz-Mirazo, A. Moreno, 2004, Artificial Life, 10(3), 235–2597

[2] K. Ruiz-Mirazo, J. Umerez & A. Moreno, 2008, Biology and Philosophy, 23(1), 67–85

[3] D. Beaufils, G. Danger, L. Boiteau, R. Pascal, 2014. Chem. Commun, 50 :3100–3102

[4] G. Danger, R. Plasson, R. Pascal, 2012, Chemical Society Reviews, 41:5416–29.

[5] A. Rendón, D. Gil Carton, J. Sot, M. García-Palacios, R. Montes, M. Valle, J-L. Arrondo, F.M. Goñi, K. Ruiz-Mirazo, 2012, Biophysical Journal, 102: 278-286.

[6] M. Blocher, D. Liu, P. L. Luisi, 2000, Macromolecules, 33:5787-5796

[7] H. H. Zepik, S. Rajamani, M.-C. Maurel, D. Deamer, 2007, Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 37, 495-505.

[8] K. Adamala, J. W. Szostak, 2013, Nat. Chem. 5, 495–501


10th Nov., talk by Oier Etxeberria: AITA LABURU Imágenes y palabras sobre magia y locura en el País Vasco (1933-1935)

TITLE: AITA LABURU Imágenes y palabras sobre magia y locura en el País Vasco (1933-1935)

LOCATION: Centro Carlos Santamaría Zentro B14

DATE: 10th Nov., 11:00

ABSTRACT: El padre Laburu fue uno de los primeros documentalistas del

cine vasco. Sus filmes en torno a los ritos mágicos en la medicina

popular, los experimentos perceptivos realizados con los animales, su

interes por los zoológicos y los centros de internamiento

psiquiátrico, constituyen un legado sustancial para la llamada

antropología visual y sin duda muestran a un intelectual (teologo,

medico) interesado en indagar en las zonas oscuras del pensamiento

racional y cientifico. La inclusion de estos materiales en el contexto

de Pure Data, un proyecto a la que recientemente he dedicado una

exposición[1], la presentación en el 33º festival de cine de NAFA y

ahora esta presentación ante un publico universitario constituye una

oportunidad para tratar de analizar hasta que punto la progresiva

tecnificación medica de la sociedad y su poder empirico-instumental

convive con la sacralizacion con la que paulatinamente se nos muestra

la gestión de la salud.

Prof. Alvaro Moreno: The Limits of Science as Biological Limits of Human Beings – CSM B14, 3 Nov., 11am


Alvaro Moreno

In this talk I will analyze the nature of Science considered as a specific form of human action. I will first analyze the epistemic dimension of science, its limits, and the role that philosophy could play in this domain. Second, I will consider science from a broader perspective, as a system embedded in the development of human society. From this perspective, science has caused an accelerated process of economic growth. But this process, which lacks a global regulatory control, is potentially self-destructive because it undermines the ecological logic, which is based on building sustainable cycles among species. As I will explain, a clash between the specific expansion of the human niche (as driven by science) and the induced transformations in the global ecosystem seems inevitable because the change in the forms of human interaction with other species is cultural, not genetic, and therefore its speed makes it virtually impossible a re-adaptation by most of the biological species.