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Numerous scholarly articles and books have been written about biologic and social evolution, compassion, life’s meaning, violence and predictions of future outcomes. However, what is not often addressed, but is increasingly desperately needed, is the realization of the evolutionary survival value of caring for others. This book strives to link our humanities and religious philosophies to a scientific understanding of human destiny, and provide a key to meaning in our lives. Though this idea has incubated for over two decades, recent extremism in Charlottesville and global threats of inhumanity and violence make this more timely than ever for all who care about who we are and our children’s future. Furthermore, our capacity for benefit or destruction of Homo sapiens or civilization as we know it sets a ticking timer on the urgency of this realization and focused action; we don’t have ‘forever’ to ‘get it!’
All of Sewall Wright's published papers on evolution up to 1950, and a few published later, are gathered in this volume. William Provine's introductions to each paper include pertinent references to related portions of Provine's Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology and Wright's four-volume masterwork, Evolution and the Genetics of Populations. By comparing the papers in this volume with the corresponding topics in the larger work, it is possible to determine the respects in which Wright extended, changed, or remained constant in his ideas over a period of sixty years. Wright's shifting-balance theory of evolution, first conceived in 1925, has proved enormously useful in modern evolutionary biology. Wright's international prestige has never been higher than it is currently, and the time is ripe for a rereading of his seminal papers. These papers are not only historically important for understanding the period of the "evolutionary synthesis" of the 1930s and 1940s, but continue to be stimulating and useful to working evolutionary biologists today.
Joseph Le Conte was the first geologist, natural historian and botanist to be appointed to the University of California in 1869. He founded the successful palaeontology program at Berkeley and acquired important collections of fossils. He also lectured and wrote on evolution, of which he was the leading American proponent. This book, first published in 1888 but revised and expanded in the second edition reissued here, is his attempt to reconcile his evolutionist convictions with his religious faith. Such a synthesis, he felt, was impeded by dogmatism on both sides, and he makes a case for 'a combining, reconciling and rational view.' He considers three questions: What is evolution? Is it true? and What then?, intending to address 'the intelligent general reader' without being superficial or unscientific. Concepts such as 'neo-Darwinism', 'materialism', and 'design' make their appearance in this wide-ranging book, whose concerns remain surprisingly topical today.
An introduction to evolutionary biology spans evolutionary science from its inception to its latest findings, covering discoveries, philosophy, and history.
Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
A collection of essays which discuss the historical background of the theory of evolution and current controversies surrounding the origin of life.
This edition of Evolution: The History of an Idea is augmented by the most recent contributions to the history and study of evolutionary theory. It includes an updated bibliography that offers an unparalleled guide to further reading. As in the original edition, Bowler's evenhanded approach not only clarifies the history of his controversial subject but also adds significantly to our understanding of contemporary debates over it. The idea of evolution continued to evolve. - Back cover.
Charles Darwin is a towering figure in the history of science, who changed the direction of modern thought by establishing the basis of evolutionary biology. With a Foreword by Sir David Attenborough, this is a fascinating insight into Darwin's life as he first directly addressed the issues of humanity's place in nature, and the consequences of his ideas for religious belief. Incorporating previously unpublished material, this volume includes letters written by Darwin, and also those written to him by friends and scientific colleagues world-wide, by critics who tried to stamp out his ideas, and admirers who helped them to spread. They take up the story of Darwin's life in 1860, in the immediate aftermath of the publication of On the Origin of Species, and carry it through one of the most intense and productive decades of his career, to the eve of publication of Descent of Man in 1871.
Mark Ridley's Evolution has become the premier undergraduate text in the study of evolution. Readable and stimulating, yet well-balanced and in-depth, this text tells the story of evolution, from the history of the study to the most revent developments in evolutionary theory. The third edition of this successful textbook features updates and extensive new coverage. The sections on adaptation and diversity have been reorganized for improved clarity and flow, and a completely updated section on the evolution of sex and the inclusion of more plant examples have all helped to shape this new edition. Evolution also features strong, balanced coverage of population genetics, and scores of new applied plant and animal examples make this edition even more accessible and engaging. Dedicated website – provides an interactive experience of the book, with illustrations downloadable to PowerPoint, and a full supplemental package complementing the book – www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley. Margin icons – indicate where there is relevant information included in the dedicated website. Two new chapters – one on evolutionary genomics and one on evolution and development bring state-of-the-art information to the coverage of evolutionary study. Two kinds of boxes – one featuring practical applications and the other related information, supply added depth without interrupting the flow of the text. Margin comments – paraphrase and highlight key concepts. Study and review questions – help students review their understanding at the end of each chapter, while new challenge questions prompt students to synthesize the chapter concepts to reinforce the learning at a deeper level.
In the 1830s, a young naturalist called Charles Darwin set out as part of a survey expedition on the HMS Beagle. The Beagle circumnavigated the Earth, taking five years and carrying out detailed surveys around the southern coast of South America. Darwin collected fossils and different species of plants and animals, and made many detailed observations which caused him to come up with an absolutely crazy idea which changed the world.
“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear. In this lively, deeply erudite work, Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J. Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea,” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace, to Watson and Crick’s stunning discovery of the DNA double helix, and to the triumphant neo-Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology today. Along the way, Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective: the social and philosophical earthquake that was the French Revolution; the development, in England, of a laissez-faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world, where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in U.S. public schools, even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directions. Throughout, Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists, explorers, and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward. Here are portraits of Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, Haeckel, Galton, Huxley, Mendel, Morgan, Fisher, Dobzhansky, Watson and Crick, W. D. Hamilton, E. O. Wilson, and many others. Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values, the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life, religion, origins, and the theory itself, and remains controversial, especially in the United States (where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision). Replete with fresh material and new insights, Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery. From the Hardcover edition.
John Maynard Smith was originally trained as an engineer but, despite important excursions into animal mechanics, ecology and ethology, he is now best known as an international authority on evolution. His pre-eminence is based in large part on original research contributions coupled with an uncanny ability for revealing simple explanations to apparently intractable problems. This wide-ranging volume contains a collection of new and original essays, all inspired by Maynard Smith's writings. The essays span the whole field of evolutionary biology: from microevolution to macroevolution; from evolutionarily stable strategies to sympatric speciation; and from population processes in plants to the arithmetic of assessment in animals.
Science writer Carl Zimmer and evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen have produced a thoroughly revised new edition of their widely praised evolution textbook. Emlen, an award-winning evolutionary biologist at the University of Montana, has infused Evolution: Making Sense of Life with the technical rigor and conceptual depth that today's biology majors require. Zimmer, an award-winning New York Times columnist, brings compelling storytelling to the book, bringing evolutionary research to life. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of evolutionary theory, such as natural selection, genetic drift, phylogeny, and coevolution. The book also drives home the relevance of evolution for disciplines ranging from conservation biology to medicine. With riveting stories about evolutionary biologists at work everywhere from the Arctic to tropical rainforests to hospital wards, the book is a reading adventure designed to grab the imagination of students, showing them exactly why it is that evolution makes such brilliant sense of life.
Evolution: Components and Mechanisms introduces the many recent discoveries and insights that have added to the discipline of organic evolution, and combines them with the key topics needed to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. Each chapter covers an important topic or factor pertinent to a modern understanding of evolutionary theory, allowing easy access to particular topics for either study or review. Many chapters are cross-referenced. Modern evolutionary theory has expanded significantly within only the past two to three decades. In recent times the definition of a gene has evolved, the definition of organic evolution itself is in need of some modification, the number of known mechanisms of evolutionary change has increased dramatically, and the emphasis placed on opportunity and contingency has increased. This book synthesizes these changes and presents many of the novel topics in evolutionary theory in an accessible and thorough format. This book is an ideal, up-to-date resource for biologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, developmental biologists, and researchers in, as well as students and academics in these areas and professional scientists in many subfields of biology. Discusses many of the mechanisms responsible for evolutionary change Includes an appendix that provides a brief synopsis of these mechanisms with most discussed in greater detail in respective chapters Aids readers in their organization and understanding of the material by addressing the basic concepts and topics surrounding organic evolution Covers some topics not typically addressed, such as opportunity, contingency, symbiosis, and progress
An accessible and spectacularly illustrated introduction to the theory of evolution, from Charles Darwin to modern-day science.