Music of Life2020-11-09T03:46:46+00:00

NEWPodcast on BigBiology

The monkey on the typewriter — click below

Video Lectures/debates: click on images below

The Emperor’s New Genes

Was the Watchmaker completely blind?


Book Launch at The Physiological Society in London November 2016


Reactions to launch lecture

“Naturally magisterial delivery”

“Absolutely superb”

“What a joy it was”

“the lions met a brick wall”


Podcasts on THETHINEND

New Trends in Evolutionary Biology

Evolution and the one-eyed watchmaker

Podcast on BigBiology

Video review on youtube


“Wonderful, wonderful, clearly summarized, clearly well-thought-through & substantiated”

PDF Download Link to The Music of Life-sourcebook 

Links for book purchase:  OUP (Global)   Amazon UK   Amazon USA

Accolade for best review goes to a customer on

Noble, an internationally renowned physiologist, sets out to put the gene-centric and reductionist obsessions of modern biology into their proper context. This conceptual shift has wide implications including how for how claims of medical breakthroughs and personalised healthcare should be viewed, and the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory. It is a thoughtful exposition which, although jargon is largely avoided, may be challenging for readers who are not professional biologists. However, as with The Selfish Gene, attempting the challenge is worth the effort as there is much to be learned even from a cursory reading.


What is Life? Decades of research have resulted in the full mapping of the human genome – three billion pairs of code whose functions are only now being understood. The gene’s eye view of life, advocated by evolutionary biology, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of the genetic codes. But for a physiologist, working with the living organism, the view is a very different one. Denis Noble is a world renowned physiologist, and sets out an alternative view to the question – one that becomes deeply significant in terms of the living, breathing organism. The genome is not life itself. Noble argues that far from genes building organisms, they should be seen as prisoners of the organism. The view of life presented in this little, modern, post-genome project reflection on the nature of life, is that of the systems biologist: to understand what life is, we must view it at a variety of different levels, all interacting with each other in a complex web. It is that emergent web, full of feedback between levels, from the gene to the wider environment, that is life. It is a kind of music.Including stories from Noble’s own research experience, his work on the heartbeat, musical metaphors, and elements of linguistics and Chinese culture, this very personal and at times deeply lyrical book sets out the systems biology view of life.