The Major Transitions in Evolution


Author: John Maynard Smith,Eors Szathmary
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198502944
Category: Nature
Page: 346
View: 2508
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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,Kim Sterelny
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262294539
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 6003
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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

A New Look at the Major Transitions in Evolution
Author: Bernd Rosslenbroich
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 331904141X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 297
View: 9061
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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.

The Origins of Life

The Primogenital Matrix of Life and Its Context
Author: Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401734151
Category: Philosophy
Page: 386
View: 2716
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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

From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
Author: John Maynard Smith,Eörs Szathmáry
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019286209X
Category: Science
Page: 180
View: 1986
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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

Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection


Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191609552
Category: Philosophy
Page: 218
View: 5333
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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

Cancer

The Evolutionary Legacy
Author: Mel Greaves
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780192628343
Category: Medical
Page: 276
View: 328
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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.

Evolution and Transitions in Complexity

The Science of Hierarchical Organization in Nature
Author: Gerard A.J.M Jagers op Akkerhuis
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319438026
Category: Science
Page: 295
View: 4331
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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.

Darwinian Dynamics

Evolutionary Transitions in Fitness and Individuality
Author: Richard E. Michod
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691050119
Category: Science
Page: 280
View: 4183
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The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role. Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

Animal Signals


Author: John Maynard Smith,David Harper
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198526858
Category: Nature
Page: 166
View: 7692
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Why are animal signals reliable? This is the central problem for evolutionary biologists interested in signals. Of course, not all signals are reliable; but most are, otherwise receivers of signals would ignore them. A number of theoretical answers have been proposed and empirical studies made, but there still remains a considerable amount of confusion. The authors, one a theoretician the other a fieldworker, introduce a sense of order to this chaos. A significant cause of confusion has been the tendency for different researchers to use either the same term with different meanings, or different terms with the same meaning. The authors attempt to clarify these differences. A second cause of confusion has arisen because many biologists continue to assume that there is only one correct explanation for signal reliability. The authors argue that the reliability of signals is maintained in several ways, relevant in different circumstances, and that biologists must learn to distinguish between them. In this book they explain the different theories, give examples of signalling systems to which one or another theory applies, and point to the many areas where further work, both theoretical and empirical, is required.

Major Transitions in Vertebrate Evolution


Author: Jason S. Anderson,Hans-Dieter Sues
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Science
Page: 417
View: 2303
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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 Theory of Evolution


Author: John Maynard Smith
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521451284
Category: Science
Page: 354
View: 7409
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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.

Cooperation and Its Evolution


Author: Kim Sterelny
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262018535
Category: Science
Page: 577
View: 8497
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This collection reports on the latest research on an increasingly pivotal issue for evolutionary biology: cooperation. The chapters are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and utilize research tools that range from empirical survey to conceptual modeling, reflecting the rich diversity of work in the field. They explore a wide taxonomic range, concentrating on bacteria, social insects, and, especially, humans. Part I ("Agents and Environments") investigates the connections of social cooperation in social organizations to the conditions that make cooperation profitable and stable, focusing on the interactions of agent, population, and environment. Part II ("Agents and Mechanisms") focuses on how proximate mechanisms emerge and operate in the evolutionary process and how they shape evolutionary trajectories. Throughout the book, certain themes emerge that demonstrate the ubiquity of questions regarding cooperation in evolutionary biology: the generation and division of the profits of cooperation; transitions in individuality; levels of selection, from gene to organism; and the "human cooperation explosion" that makes our own social behavior particularly puzzling from an evolutionary perspective.

Cloning, Branching Patterns, the Major Transitions of Evolution, & Other writings


Author: Christopher Portosa Stevens
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 0359003907
Category: Education
Page: 130
View: 1877
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Sample: "What does language do? Or, what does culture do? Language and culture are non-genetic mechanisms for increasing the number of qualities across individuals, and language and culture also increase the capacity for intraspecific assortative mating across individuals in the human species (by increasing the number of dissimilarities and categories of similarities across individuals in the human species). It is interesting to consider functional analogies amongst animals and plants: Birdsong and feather colors in bird species, and the colors and shapes of angiosperm flowering plant species play similar functions in these species, i.e., they increase the number and differentiation of characteristics across individual organisms, thus increasing the capacity for assortative mating across individual organisms in bird species (intraspecific assortative mating), and increasing the capacity for assortative mating across angiosperm species and insect, bee, and bird species (interspecific assortative mating).""

Did Darwin Get It Right?

Essays on Games, Sex and Evolution
Author: John Maynard Smith
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1468478621
Category: Science
Page: 147
View: 6984
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Now in paperback, Did Darwin Get It Right discusses some of the hottest issues in biology today. Its author, the eminently quotable John Maynard Smith, discusses such fascinating conundrums as how life began, whether the brain works like a computer, why most animals and plants reproduce sexually, and how social behavior evolved out of the context of natural selection--a process which would seem to favor selfishness. A humorous and insightful writer, John Maynard Smith has the special ability to convey the excitement of science, its complexity and fascination, without baffling or boring his readers. In these 28 brief and accessible essays, Maynard ranges widely over such issues as science and the media, the birth of sociobiology, the evolution of animal intelligence and the limitations of evolutionary theory. For his work on the evolution of sex, Smith won the Darwin medal from the Royal Society, and he has pioneered the application of game theory to animal behavior.

Evolution

Essays in Honour of John Maynard Smith
Author: Paul J. Greenwood,Paul H. Harvey,Montgomery Slatkin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521348973
Category: Science
Page: 340
View: 8888
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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.

Principles of Social Evolution


Author: Andrew F.G. Bourke
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019923115X
Category: Science
Page: 280
View: 9478
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Investigates and sets out the common principles of social evolution operating across all taxa and levels of biological organisation.

Multicellularity

Origins and Evolution
Author: Karl J. Niklas,Stuart A. Newman,John T. Bonner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262333759
Category: Science
Page: 328
View: 3533
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The evolution of multicellularity raises questions regarding genomic and developmental commonalities and discordances, selective advantages and disadvantages, physical determinants of development, and the origins of morphological novelties. It also represents a change in the definition of individuality, because a new organism emerges from interactions among single cells. This volume considers these and other questions, with contributions that explore the origins and consequences of the evolution of multicellularity, addressing a range of topics, organisms, and experimental protocols.Each section focuses on selected topics or particular lineages that present a significant insight or challenge. The contributors consider the fossil record of the paleontological circumstances in which animal multicellularity evolved; cooptation, recurrent patterns, modularity, and plausible pathways for multicellular evolution in plants; theoretical approaches to the amoebozoa and fungi (cellular slime molds having long provided a robust model system for exploring the evolution of multicellularity), plants, and animals; genomic toolkits of metazoan multicellularity; and philosophical aspects of the meaning of individuality in light of multicellular evolution. ContributorsMaja Adamska, Argyris Arnellos, Juan A. Arias, Eugenio Azpeitia, Mariana Benítez, Adriano Bonforti, John Tyler Bonner, Peter L. Conlin, A. Keith Dunker, Salva Duran-Nebreda, Ana E. Escalante, Valeria Hernández-Hernández, Kunihiko Kaneko, Andrew H. Knoll, Stephan G. König, Daniel J. G. Lahr, Ottoline Leyser, Alan C. Love, Raul Montañez, Emilio Mora van Cauwelaert, Alvaro Moreno, Vidyanand Nanjundiah, Aurora M. Nedelcu, Stuart A. Newman, Karl J. Niklas, William C. Ratcliff, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Ricard Solé

At the Water's Edge

Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore But Then Went Back to Sea
Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684856239
Category: Science
Page: 304
View: 976
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AT THE WATER'S EDGE is a beautifully-written, accessible account of the greatest evolutionary mystery of all. We all know about evolution but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. How did we ever get ashore? How did we make legs, arms and our extremely complex intelligence? Darwin's natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution - microevolution - but it could only point us to an explanation still to come of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Carl Zimmer takes the reader on a fascinating quest to understand their beginnings, from pre-Darwinian scientists struggling to interpret early fossil discoveries to latter day geneticists, from whale graveyards in the deserts of Egypt to an amazing find in a forgotten specimen drawer at Oxford University. Including all the latest scientific research, AT THE WATER'S EDGE reveals how macroevolution works and, in doing so, provides a comprehensive, lucid and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.

Sequence — Evolution — Function

Computational Approaches in Comparative Genomics
Author: Eugene Koonin,Michael Y. Galperin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475737831
Category: Science
Page: 462
View: 6897
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Sequence - Evolution - Function is an introduction to the computational approaches that play a critical role in the emerging new branch of biology known as functional genomics. The book provides the reader with an understanding of the principles and approaches of functional genomics and of the potential and limitations of computational and experimental approaches to genome analysis. Sequence - Evolution - Function should help bridge the "digital divide" between biologists and computer scientists, allowing biologists to better grasp the peculiarities of the emerging field of Genome Biology and to learn how to benefit from the enormous amount of sequence data available in the public databases. The book is non-technical with respect to the computer methods for genome analysis and discusses these methods from the user's viewpoint, without addressing mathematical and algorithmic details. Prior practical familiarity with the basic methods for sequence analysis is a major advantage, but a reader without such experience will be able to use the book as an introduction to these methods. This book is perfect for introductory level courses in computational methods for comparative and functional genomics.