Improbable Destinies

How Predictable is Evolution?

Author: Jonathan Losos

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241201942

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 4616

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A dazzling tour of evolution in action that sheds light on one of the greatest debates in science The natural world is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. Convergence suggests that evolution is predictable, and if we could replay the tape of life, we would get the same outcome. But there are also many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change - a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze - caused evolution to take a completely different course. So are we humans, and all the plants and animals in the world today, inevitabilities or evolutionary freaks? What role does chance play in evolution? And what could it tell us about life on other planets? In Improbable Destinies, renowned researcher Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. Evolution can occur far more rapidly than Darwin expected, which has opened the door to something that was previously thought impossible: experimental studies of evolution in nature. Drawing on his own work with anole lizards on the Caribbean islands, as well as studies of guppies, foxes, field mice and others being conducted around the world, Losos reveals just how rapid and predictable evolution can be. By charting the discoveries of the scientists who are rewriting our understanding of evolutionary biology, Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution.
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Improbable Destinies

Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

Author: Jonathan B. Losos

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184937

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 9497

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A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that exist today, and we humans ourselves, inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? And what does that say about life on other planets? Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be. Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution. Losos's insights into natural selection and evolutionary change have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria. This compelling narrative offers a new understanding of ourselves and our role in the natural world and the cosmos.
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The Equations of Life

How Physics Shapes Evolution

Author: Charles Cockell

Publisher: Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1786493055

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 7337

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One of Britain's foremost astrobiologists offers an accessible and game-changing account of life on Earth. __________________ Why is all life based on carbon rather than silicon? And beyond Earth, would life - if it exists - look like our own? __________________ The puzzles of life astound and confuse us like no other mystery. But in this groundbreaking book, Professor Charles Cockell reveals how nature is far more understandable and predictable than we would think. Breathing new life into Darwin's theory of natural selection, The Equations of Life puts forward an elegant account of why evolution has taken the paths it has. In a captivating journey into the forces that shape living things on Earth, Cockell explains that the fundamental laws of physics constrain nature at every turn. Fusing the latest in scientific research with fascinating accounts of the creatures that surround us, this is a compelling argument about what life can - and can't - be.
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God's Goal In Creation

Author: Derek J White

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 0359683762

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 7580

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The idea that an omnipotent and benevolent deity would have created a universe in which physical laws dictate outcomes that necessarily produce deleterious effects on sentient creatures 'begs the question' of omnipotence. A biosphere in which predation, parasitism, plague etc. prevail brings into question both omnipotence and benevolence. And causes consternation among the alleged 'brights' of the world who deny the existence of any other ?mind? than that of naturalism or monism. The apostle Paul refers to a creation that is ?groaning? (Romans 8)?that the creation had been subjugated, by its creator and sustainer (not by natural forces) to a state of affairs that is nothing like the best possible world?even ?Heaven?. God's Goal in Creation? offers a fresh perspective on the reason for God's subjugation of the creation, for the problem of Evil as well as the perceived problem of an evolutionary system that is often labeled as ?Natural Evil?. God is 'The Good'. Derek J. White (2019)
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A Symposium on Slavoj Žižek

Faith and the Real

Author: Elizabeth Wright,Edmond Wright

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780748616220

Category:

Page: 166

View: 7454

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This volume of Paragraphrepresents the first collection of critical responses to be made to the work of Slavoj Žižek. It draws from a variety of engaged readers of his prolific output, judging it from philosophical, political, cultural and psychoanalytical viewpoints.
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