To formalize the dynamics of living things is to search for invariants in a system that contains an irreducible aspect of “fuzziness”, because biological processes are characterized by their large statistical variability, and strong dependence on temporal and environmental factors. What is essential is the identification of what remains stable in a “living being” that is highly fluctuating.
The use of mathematics is not limited to the use of calculating tools to simulate and predict results. It also allows us to adopt a way of thinking that is founded on concepts and hypotheses, leading to their discussion and validation. Instruments of mathematical intelligibility and coherence have gradually “fashioned” the view we now have of biological systems.
Teaching and research, fundamental or applied, are now dependent on this new order known as Integrative Biology or Systems Biology.