Endless Forms Most Beautiful

The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom

Author: Sean B. Carroll

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1849166862

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 1329

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We not only share nearly 99% of our genes with chimps, we also have some 35% in common with daffodils. Throughout much of the animal and even plant kingdoms, almost the same ancient genes code for almost the same proteins. And further, to everyone's astonishment, the genes involved in making the complex eyes of fruitflies are close matches to those involved in making the very different eyes of octopuses and people. So what leads to the nature's 'endless forms most beautiful'? The key to this mystery is being unravelled by 'Evo Devo' or the new science of evolutionary development biology. By looking at how a single-celled egg gives rise to a complex, multi-billion celled animal, Evo Devo is illuminating exactly how new species - butterflies and zebras, trilobites and dinosaurs, apes and humans - are made and evolved. The key, it turns out, is all about location and timing... For anyone who has ever pondered 'where did I come from', Endless Forms Most Beautiful explores our history, both the journey we have all made from egg to adult, and the long trek from the origin of life to the very recent origin of our species.
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Philosophy of Biology

An Anthology

Author: Alex Rosenberg,Robert Arp

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1405183179

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 5748

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By combining excerpts from key historical writings with editors’ introductions and further reading material, Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology offers a comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date collection of the field’s most significant works. Addresses central questions such as ‘What is life?’ and ‘How did it begin?’, and the most current research and arguments on evolution and developmental biology Editorial notes throughout the text define, clarify, and qualify ideas, concepts and arguments Includes material on evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental biology not found in other standard philosophy of biology anthologies Further reading material assists novices in delving deeper into research in philosophy of biology
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The Physics of Theism

God, Physics, and the Philosophy of Science

Author: Jeffrey Koperski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118932773

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 3532

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The Physics of Theism provides a timely, critical analysis of the ways in which physics intertwines with religion. Koperski brings clarity to a range of arguments including the fine-tuning argument, naturalism, the laws of nature, and the controversy over Intelligent Design. A single author text providing unprecedented scope and depth of analysis of key issues within the Philosophy of Religion and the Philosophy of Science Critically analyses the ways in which physics is brought into play in matters of religion Self-contained chapters allow readers to directly access specific areas of interest The area is one of considerable interest, and this book is a timely and well-conceived contribution to these debates Written by an accomplished scholar working in the philosophy of physics in a style that renders complex arguments accessible
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The Engine of Complexity

Evolution as Computation

Author: John E. Mayfield

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231535287

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 9084

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The concepts of evolution and complexity theory have become part of the intellectual ether permeating the life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and, more recently, management science and economics. In this book, John E. Mayfield elegantly synthesizes core concepts from multiple disciplines to offer a new approach to understanding how evolution works and how complex organisms, structures, organizations, and social orders can and do arise based on information theory and computational science. Intended for the intellectually adventuresome, this book challenges and rewards readers with a nuanced understanding of evolution and complexity that offers consistent, durable, and coherent explanations for major aspects of our life experiences. Numerous examples throughout the book illustrate evolution and complexity formation in action and highlight the core function of computation lying at the work's heart.
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On the Origin of Autonomy

A New Look at the Major Transitions in Evolution

Author: Bernd Rosslenbroich

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 331904141X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 297

View: 9308

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This volume describes features of autonomy and integrates them into the recent discussion of factors in evolution. In recent years ideas about major transitions in evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. They include questions about the origin of evolutionary innovation, their genetic and epigenetic background, the role of the phenotype and of changes in ontogenetic pathways. In the present book, it is argued that it is likewise necessary to question the properties of these innovations and what was qualitatively generated during the macroevolutionary transitions. The author states that a recurring central aspect of macroevolutionary innovations is an increase in individual organismal autonomy whereby it is emancipated from the environment with changes in its capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior. The first chapters define the concept of autonomy and examine its history and its epistemological context. Later chapters demonstrate how changes in autonomy took place during the major evolutionary transitions and investigate the generation of organs and physiological systems. They synthesize material from various disciplines including zoology, comparative physiology, morphology, molecular biology, neurobiology and ethology. It is argued that the concept is also relevant for understanding the relation of the biological evolution of man to his cultural abilities. Finally the relation of autonomy to adaptation, niche construction, phenotypic plasticity and other factors and patterns in evolution is discussed. The text has a clear perspective from the context of systems biology, arguing that the generation of biological autonomy must be interpreted within an integrative systems approach.
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The Custom-Made Brain

Cerebral Plasticity, Regeneration, and Enhancement

Author: Jean-Didier Vincent,Pierre-Marie Lledo

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231534213

Category: Medical

Page: 224

View: 3521

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Two leading neuroscientists introduce the concepts of "cerebral plasticity" and the "regenerating brain," describing what we know now about the processes through which the brain constantly reconstructs itself and the potential benefits this knowledge could have in addressing concerns for neurological, cognitive, and emotional health. The authors begin with a survey of the fundamental scientific developments that led to our current understanding of the regenerative mind, elucidating the breakthrough neurobiological studies that paved the way for our present understanding of the brain's plasticity and regenerative capabilities. They then discuss the application of these findings to such issues as depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and cognitive therapy, incorporating the latest technologies in neuroimaging, optogenetics, and nanotechnology. Their work shows the brain is anything but a static organ, ceasing to grow as human beings become adults. Rather, the brain is dynamic, evolving organically in relation to physical, cultural, historical, and affective stimuli, a plasticity that provides early hope to survivors of trauma and degenerative disorders.
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Evolution and the Victorians

Science, Culture and Politics in Darwin's Britain

Author: Jonathan Conlin

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441126139

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 9618

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Charles Darwin's discovery of evolution by natural selection was the greatest scientific discovery of all time. The publication of his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, is normally taken as the point at which evolution erupted as an idea, radically altering how the Victorians saw themselves and others. This book tells a very different story. Darwin's discovery was part of a long process of negotiation between imagination, faith and knowledge which began long before 1859 and which continues to this day. Evolution and the Victorians provides historians with a survey of the thinkers and debates implicated in this process, from the late 18th century to the First World War. It sets the history of science in its social and cultural context. Incorporating text-boxes, illustrations and a glossary of specialist terms, it provides students with the background narrative and core concepts necessary to engage with specialist historians such as Adrian Desmond, Bernard Lightman and James Secord. Conlin skilfully synthesises material from a range of sources to show the ways in which the discovery of evolution was a collaborative enterprise pursued in all areas of Victorian society, including many that do not at first appear "scientific".
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Character and Environment

A Virtue-Oriented Approach to Environmental Ethics

Author: Ronald L. Sandler

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511868

Category: Philosophy

Page: 216

View: 4724

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Virtue ethics is now widely recognized as an alternative to Kantian and consequentialist ethical theories. However, moral philosophers have been slow to bring virtue ethics to bear on topics in applied ethics. Moreover, environmental virtue ethics is an underdeveloped area of environmental ethics. Although environmental ethicists often employ virtue-oriented evaluation (such as respect, care, and love for nature) and appeal to role models (such as Henry Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson) for guidance, environmental ethics has not been well informed by contemporary work on virtue ethics. With Character and Environment, Ronald Sandler remedies each of these deficiencies by bringing together contemporary work on virtue ethics with contemporary work on environmental ethics. He demonstrates the many ways that any ethic of character can and should be informed by environmental considerations. He also develops a pluralistic virtue-oriented environmental ethic that accommodates the richness and complexity of our relationship with the natural environment and provides effective and nuanced guidance on environmental issues. These projects have implications not only for environmental ethics and virtue ethics but also for moral philosophy more broadly. Ethical theories must be assessed on their theoretical and practical adequacy with respect to all aspects of the human ethical situation: personal, interpersonal, and environmental. To the extent that virtue-oriented ethical theory in general, and Sandler's version of it in particular, provides a superior environmental ethic to other ethical theories, it is to be preferred not just as an environmental ethic but also as an ethical theory. Character and Environment will engage any reader with an interest in environmental ethics, virtue ethics, or moral philosophy.
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DNA: A Graphic Guide to the Molecule that Shook the World

Author: Israel Rosenfield,Edward Ziff,Borin Van Loon

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231512317

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 1604

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With humor, depth, and philosophical and historical insight, DNA reaches out to a wide range of readers with its graphic portrayal of a complicated science. Suitable for use in and out of the classroom, this volume covers DNA's many marvels, from its original discovery in 1869 to early-twentieth-century debates on the mechanisms of inheritance and the deeper nature of life's evolution and variety. Even readers who lack a background in science and philosophy will learn a tremendous amount from this engaging narrative. The book elucidates DNA's relationship to health and the cause and cure of disease. It also covers the creation of new life forms, nanomachines, and perspectives on crime detection, and considers the philosophical sources of classical Darwinian theory and recent, radical changes in the understanding of evolution itself. Already these developments have profoundly affected our notions about living things. Borin Van Loon's humorous illustrations recount the contributions of Gregor Mendel, Frederick Griffith, James Watson, and Francis Crick, among other biologists, scientists, and researchers, and vividly depict the modern controversies surrounding the Human Genome Project and cloning.
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Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology

Author: Francisco J. Ayala,Francisco José Ayala,John C. Avise

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421413051

Category: Science

Page: 576

View: 1046

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Traces scholarly thought from the nineteenth-century birth of evolutionary biology to the mapping of the human genome through forty-eight essays, arranged in chronological order, each preceded by a one-page essay that explains the significance of the chosen work.
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