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The Extended Phenotype

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198788916
Size: 18.77 MB
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In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as theunit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals.So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extendedphenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences.The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort.Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780192860927
Size: 37.34 MB
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An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit

The Extended Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198788782
Size: 77.68 MB
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The Selfish Gene is a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. In it Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for the replication of genes. The book provoked widespread and heated debate, which in part led Dawkins to write The Extended Phenotype, in which he gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection, as well as contributing his own development of this insight. For the first time, The Extended Selfish Gene brings these two books together, by including two key chapters from The Extended Phenotype. These chapters provide Dawkins's detailed and powerful response to two issues raised by critics of The Selfish Gene: the accusations of genetic determinism (the idea that our behaviour is entirely determined by our genes), and of "adaptationism" (that all traits are indiscriminately perceived to be adaptations resulting from natural selection). While written in particular for the biology community, Dawkins's clarity of expression allows these chapters to be accessible to all who are seriously engaged with the gene's eye view and its implications. The imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant Selfish Gene not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as significant as on the day it was published. Along with the two extra chapters, The Extended Selfish Gene includes a new epilogue to The Selfish Gene from the author which highlights the relevance of the gene's eye view to evolutionary biology today.

The Oxford Book Of Modern Science Writing

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199216819
Size: 77.76 MB
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An anthology of diverse and inspiring pieces to browse and to treasure. It shows the many of the best scientists have displayed as much imagination and skill with the pen as in the laboratory.

Climbing Mount Improbable

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393070522
Size: 10.30 MB
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A brilliant book celebrating improbability as the engine that drives life, by the acclaimed author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. The human eye is so complex and works so precisely that surely, one might believe, its current shape and function must be the product of design. How could such an intricate object have come about by chance? Tackling this subject—in writing that the New York Times called "a masterpiece"—Richard Dawkins builds a carefully reasoned and lovingly illustrated argument for evolutionary adaptation as the mechanism for life on earth. The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time. Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.

Unweaving The Rainbow

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547347356
Size: 75.99 MB
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Did Newton "unweave the rainbow" by reducing it to its prismatic colors, as Keats contended? Did he, in other words, diminish beauty? Far from it, says acclaimed scientist Richard Dawkins; Newton's unweaving is the key to much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology. Mysteries don't lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution often is more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mysteries. With the wit, insight, and spellbinding prose that have made him a best-selling author, Dawkins takes up the most important and compelling topics in modern science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, combining them in a landmark statement of the human appetite for wonder. This is the book Richard Dawkins was meant to write: a brilliant assessment of what science is (and isn't), a tribute to science not because it is useful but because it is uplifting.

The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198788606
Size: 54.15 MB
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With a new epilogue to the 40th anniversary edition.

The Blind Watchmaker

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393315707
Size: 60.64 MB
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Clarifies the seemingly implausible aspects of Darwin's theory, drawing on the famous watch comparison argued by William Paley, the eighteenth-century theologian

Natural Selection In The Wild

Author: John A. Endler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691083872
Size: 14.60 MB
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Natural selection is an immense and important subject, yet there have been few attempts to summarize its effects on natural populations, and fewer still which discuss the problems of working with natural selection in the wild. These are the purposes of John Endler's book. In it, he discusses the methods and problems involved in the demonstration and measurement of natural selection, presents the critical evidence for its existence, and places it in an evolutionary perspective. Professor Endler finds that there are a remarkable number of direct demonstrations of selection in a wide variety of animals and plants. The distribution of observed magnitudes of selection in natural populations is surprisingly broad, and it overlaps extensively the range of values found in artificial selection. He argues that the common assumption that selection is usually weak in natural populations is no longer tenable, but that natural selection is only one component of the process of evolution; natural selection can explain the change of frequencies of variants, but not their origins.

River Out Of Eden

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786724260
Size: 75.91 MB
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How did the replication bomb we call ”life” begin and where in the world, or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the New York Times described his style as ”the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius”), Richard Dawkins confronts this ancient mystery.