Principles of Evolution Systems Species and the History of Life

Author: Jonathan Bard
Publisher: Garland Science
ISBN: 1351854771
Format: PDF, Docs
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Principles of Evolution considers evolution in the context of systems biology, a contemporary approach for handling biological complexity. Evolution needs this systems perspective for three reasons. First, most activity in living organisms is driven by complex networks of proteins and this has direct implications, particularly for understanding evo-devo and for seeing how variation is initiated. Second, it provides the natural language for discussing phylogenetic trees. Third, evolutionary change involves events at levels ranging from the genome to the ecosystem and systems biology provides a context for integrating material of this complexity. Understanding evolution means, on the one hand, describing the history of life and, on the other, making sense of the principles that drove that history. The solution adopted here is to make the science of evolution the primary focus of the book and place the various parts of the history of life in the context of the research that unpicks it. This means that the history is widely distributed across the text. This concise textbook assumes that the reader has a fair amount of biological knowledge and gives equal weight to all the major themes of evolution: the fossil record, phylogenetics, evodevo, and speciation. Principles of Evolution will therefore be an interesting and thought-provoking read for honors-level undergraduates, and graduates working in the biological sciences.

Adaptation and Natural Selection

Author: George Christopher Williams
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400820108
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Biological evolution is a fact--but the many conflicting theories of evolution remain controversial even today. In 1966, simple Darwinism, which holds that evolution functions primarily at the level of the individual organism, was threatened by opposing concepts such as group selection, a popular idea stating that evolution acts to select entire species rather than individuals. George Williams's famous argument in favor of the Darwinists struck a powerful blow to those in opposing camps. His Adaptation and Natural Selection, now a classic of science literature, is a thorough and convincing essay in defense of Darwinism; its suggestions for developing effective principles for dealing with the evolution debate and its relevance to many fields outside biology ensure the timelessness of this critical work.

Ecology and Evolution of Cancer

Author: Beata Ujvari
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128043806
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Ecology and Evolution of Cancer is a timely work outlining ideas that not only represent a substantial and original contribution to the fields of evolution, ecology, and cancer, but also goes beyond by connecting the interfaces of these disciplines. This work engages the expertise of a multidisciplinary research team to collate and review the latest knowledge and developments in this exciting research field. The evolutionary perspective of cancer has gained significant international recognition and interest, which is fully understandable given that somatic cellular selection and evolution are elegant explanations for carcinogenesis. Cancer is now generally accepted to be an evolutionary and ecological process with complex interactions between tumor cells and their environment sharing many similarities with organismal evolution. As a critical contribution to this field of research the book is important and relevant for the applications of evolutionary biology to understand the origin of cancers, to control neoplastic progression, and to prevent therapeutic failures. Covers all aspects of the evolution of cancer, appealing to researchers seeking to understand its origins and effects of treatments on its progression, as well as to lecturers in evolutionary medicine Functions as both an introduction to cancer and evolution and a review of the current research on this burgeoning, exciting field, presented by an international group of leading editors and contributors Improves understanding of the origin and the evolution of cancer, aiding efforts to determine how this disease interferes with biotic interactions that govern ecosystems Highlights research that intends to apply evolutionary principles to help predict emergence and metastatic progression with the aim of improving therapies

At Home in the Universe

Author: Stuart Kauffman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019976185X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science--and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.

Metaphysics and the Origin of Species

Author: Michael T. Ghiselin
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780791434673
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In explaining his individuality thesis, Michael T. Ghiselin provides extended discussions of such philosophical topics as definition, the reality of various kinds of groups, and how we classify traits and processes. He develops and applies the implications for general biology and other sciences and makes the case that a better understanding of species and of classification in general puts biologists and paleontologists in a much better position to understand nature in general, and such processes as extinction in particular.

The Theory of Evolution

Author: John Maynard Smith
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521451284
Format: PDF, Mobi
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All living plants and animals, including man, are the modified descendants of one or a few simple living things. A hundred years ago Darwin and Wallace in their theory of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, explained how evolution could have happened, in terms of processes known to take place today. In this book John Maynard Smith describes how their theory has been confirmed, but at the same time transformed, by recent research, and in particular by the discovery of the laws of inheritance.

Evolution

Author: Michael Denton
Publisher: Adler & Adler Pub
ISBN: 9780917561528
Format: PDF, ePub
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Explains how rapidly accumulating evidence is threatening the basic assumptions of orthodox Darwinism

Earth System History

Author: Steven M. Stanley
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780716739074
Format: PDF, ePub
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Designed for a new generation of readers, Stanley's Earth System History is a reforging of his Exploring Earth and Life Through Time. Adopting an earth system approach throughout, Earth System History shows students how Earth's ecosystem has developed over time and how events in the past provide a perspective for dealing with present and future changes. Clear and concise, the new Second Edition of this introduction to historical geology is perfect for one-term non-majors courses and contains lots of new content and improved visuals.

Principles of Biology

Author: Robert Brooker
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
ISBN: 0077497066
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Principles of Biology is reflective of the shift taking place in the majors biology course from large and detail rich to short and conceptual. A succinct and inviting text focused on central concepts, Principles of Biology helps students connect fundamental principles while challenging them to develop and hone critical thinking skills. Based on recommendations from the AAAS Vision and Change Report, content has been streamlined to assist students in connecting broad themes and key ideas across biology. Beginning in Chapter 1, twelve principles of biology are introduced and revisited throughout the text to help students understand stay focused on core ideas. New BioConnections features and Check Your Understanding questions ask students to be self-aware learners, analyzing what they’re learning and making connections. To help students understand the key theme in biology – evolution – new Evolutionary Connections features reveal the ways in which the theory of evolution connects and informs our studies. New Quantitative Reasoning skills boxes encourage students to focus on developing reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Principles of Life

Author: David M. Hillis
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1429257210
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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For sample chapters, a video interview with David Hillis, and more information, visit www.whfreeman.com/hillispreview. Sinauer Associates and W.H. Freeman are proud to introduce Principles of Life. Written in the spirit of the reform movement that is reinvigorating the introductory majors course, Principles of Life cuts through the thicket of excessive detail and factual minutiae to focus on what matters most in the study of biology today. Students explore the most essential biological ideas and information in the context of the field’s defining experiments, and are actively engaged in analyzing research data. The result is a textbook that is hundreds of pages shorter (and significantly less expensive) than the current majors introductory books.