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The Major Transitions In Evolution

Author: John Maynard Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198502944
Size: 57.14 MB
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During evolution there have been several major changes in the way genetic information is organized and transmitted from one generation to the next. These transitions include the origin of life itself, the first eukaryotic cells, reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies. This is the first book to discuss all these major transitions and their implications for our understanding of evolution.Clearly written and illustrated with many original diagrams, this book will be welcomed by students and researchers in the fields of evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics.

The Major Transitions In Evolution Revisited

Author: Brett Calcott
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262294539
Size: 14.20 MB
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In 1995, John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry published their influential book The Major Transitions in Evolution. The "transitions" that Maynard Smith and Szathmáry chose to describe all constituted major changes in the kinds of organisms that existed but, most important, these events also transformed the evolutionary process itself. The evolution of new levels of biological organization, such as chromosomes, cells, multicelled organisms, and complex social groups radically changed the kinds of individuals natural selection could act upon. Many of these events also produced revolutionary changes in the process of inheritance, by expanding the range and fidelity of transmission, establishing new inheritance channels, and developing more open-ended sources of variation. Maynard Smith and Szathmáry had planned a major revision of their work, but the death of Maynard Smith in 2004 prevented this. In this volume, prominent scholars (including Szathmáry himself) reconsider and extend the earlier book's themes in light of recent developments in evolutionary biology. The contributors discuss different frameworks for understanding macroevolution, prokaryote evolution (the study of which has been aided by developments in molecular biology), and the complex evolution of multicellularity.

On The Origin Of Autonomy

Author: Bernd Rosslenbroich
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 331904141X
Size: 67.93 MB
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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.

Major Transitions In Vertebrate Evolution

Author: Jason S. Anderson
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 25.18 MB
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New discoveries of ancient vertebrates, filling in gaps in the fossil record, are quickly eroding the traditionally recognized differences between the principal groups of vertebrates—for example, between dinosaurs and birds—and radically changing our understanding of the evolutionary history of the major group of animals to which our species belongs. This book describes this changing scientific landscape and contributes to the revolution in our knowledge of the developmental mechanisms that underlie evolutionary transformation.

The Origins Of Life

Author: Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401734151
Size: 76.17 MB
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Life appears ungraspable, yet its understanding lies at the heart of current preoccupations. In our attempt to understand life through its origins, the ambition of the present collection is to unravel the network of the origin of the various spheres of sense that carry it onwards. The primogenital matrix of generation (Tymieniecka), elaborated as the fulcrum of this collection, elucidates the main riddles of the scientific / philosophical controversies concerning the status of various spheres that seek to make sense of life.

The Origins Of Life

Author: John Maynard Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019286209X
Size: 14.13 MB
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'I can recommend this book as a thoroughly interesting read' -Biologist 01/02/2002'exhilarating reading... challenging... stimulates the reader to think deeply on the many issues it raises.' -Margaret Ginzburg, Science and Christian belief, Vol.13, No.1, April 2001'...the authors provide a clear-eyed review of a large part of modern biology.' -Scientific American'...the book is well written, stimulating, and full of information nuggets.' -Choice

Cancer

Author: Mel Greaves
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780192628343
Size: 19.35 MB
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In this lucid and entertaining book, Mel Greaves argues that evolutionary biology offers a new perspective that can help us unravel the riddle of cancer. Why, for example, have women always had such a raw deal in the cancer stakes? And why are some cancers, such as prostate cancer, increasing in incidence? Greaves argues that Darwinian selection millions of years ago has endowed our genes and cells with inherently cancerous credentials, and this is exacerbated by our rapid social evolution and exotic behavioural traits that outpace genetic adaptation. The book is full of novel insights, the latest scientific discoveries, and wonderful historical anecdotes. It provides a unique portrait of cancer, past, present, and future.

Darwinian Populations And Natural Selection

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191609552
Size: 45.65 MB
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In 1859 Darwin described a deceptively simple mechanism that he called "natural selection," a combination of variation, inheritance, and reproductive success. He argued that this mechanism was the key to explaining the most puzzling features of the natural world, and science and philosophy were changed forever as a result. The exact nature of the Darwinian process has been controversial ever since, however. Godfrey-Smith draws on new developments in biology, philosophy of science, and other fields to give a new analysis and extension of Darwin's idea. The central concept used is that of a "Darwinian population," a collection of things with the capacity to undergo change by natural selection. From this starting point, new analyses of the role of genes in evolution, the application of Darwinian ideas to cultural change, and "evolutionary transitions" that produce complex organisms and societies are developed. Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection will be essential reading for anyone interested in evolutionary theory

Evolution And Transitions In Complexity

Author: Gerard A.J.M Jagers op Akkerhuis
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319438026
Size: 59.42 MB
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This book discusses several recent theoretic advancements in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary integration in the field of evolution. While exploring novel views, the text maintains a close link with one of the most broadly held views on evolution, namely that of “Darwinian evolution.” This work puts forth a new point of view which allows researchers to define in detail the concept of evolution. To create this conceptual definition, the text applies a stringent object-based focus. With this focus, the editor has been able to develop an object-based pattern of evolution at the smallest scale. Subsequently, this smallest scale pattern is used as an innovative basis for generalizations. These generalizations create links between biological Darwinism and generalized Darwinism. The object-based approach that was used to suggest innovations in the field of Darwinian evolution also allowed for contributions to other topics, such as major evolutionary transitions theory, the definition of life and the relationships between evolution, self-organization and thermodynamics. Together, the chapters of this book and the multidisciplinary reflections and comments of various specialists on these chapters offer an exciting palette of innovative ideas.