As a student of both biology and computer science, I found this comparison to be fascinating. Certainly parts of the analogy could be pushed further, thus I view this paper as a starting point and not definitive, but definitely worth the read for generating ideas about designing your systems.
Two themes that stuck out to me are:
On page 11, “The problem with correctness” is really interesting to me. I think it boils down to that “provably correct” programs only increase the robustness of a system if the system itself is purely functional, such as a compiler. So it would behove us to isolate the purely functional parts of our programs and apply a proof to them, while the other non-purely functional parts could be more dynamic. Ofc, this could be done with gradual typing, or by combining e.g. Haskell and Common Lisp into a larger system (of microservices, for example).
About 2/3 of the way through, the paper completely diverges away from the biology analogies, so I don’t really know what’s going on there..
If you’re interested primarily in this idea of “sytematic robustness”, you might want to check out Nassim Taleb’s writings on Antifragility