By Brian Goodwin

ISBN-10: 0691088098

ISBN-13: 9780691088099

Do genes clarify existence? Can advances in evolutionary and molecular biology account for what we glance like, how we behave, and why we die? during this strong intervention into present organic considering, Brian Goodwin argues that such genetic reductionism has very important limits.

Drawing at the sciences of complexity, the writer exhibits how an figuring out of the self-organizing styles of networks is critical for making experience of nature. Genes are very important, yet basically as a part of a technique restricted via surroundings, actual legislation, and the common traits of complicated adaptive platforms. In a brand new preface for this version, Goodwin displays at the advances in either genetics and the sciences of complexity because the book's unique publication.

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Additional info for How the Leopard Changed Its Spots : The Evolution of Complexity

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The woolly mammoth was believed to be a result of adaptive changes in this property: as the climate gets colder during a glacial age, parents grow more hair and transmit extra hereditary potential for hair growth to their offspring, so they can produce even more hair. This is known as Lamarckian inheritance after Lamarck, who made the idea prominent in the early years of the last century. It was a view that Darwin came to accept. So this could explain adaptation. But Darwin needed an idea to account for extinction.

Mivart produced a host of such examples. However, it so happened that he had undergone conversion from the Anglican to the Roman Catholic Church. Although this was hardly an issue of significance in relation to whether or not organisms are adapted to their habitats, Huxley argued that Mivart's objections to Darwinism arose 23 How the Leopard Changed Its Spots from his opposition to evolution as a matter of theological principle, thus disqualifying his views on adaptation. There is more to scientific debate than facts and theories.

And the miracle of the eye that allows it to spot the movement of a vole at five hundred feet? Paley provided copious material on this theme, over a great range of species, and Darwin accepted the phenomenon of adaptation as one of the primary facts of biology. He had studied theology at Cambridge in preparation for taking Anglican orders, so this worldview was utterly familiar to him, deeply embedded in his psyche. However, invoking a transcendental God to create these forms was not an acceptable scientific solution to how they came into existence, as Darwin was fully aware from lively conversations with free thinkers and from reading the works of iconoclastic French biologists such as Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Jean Baptiste de Lamarck.

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How the Leopard Changed Its Spots : The Evolution of Complexity by Brian Goodwin

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