Endless Forms Most Beautiful

The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom
Author: Sean B. Carroll
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1849166862
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 8056

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We not only share nearly 99% of our genes with chimps, we also have some 35% in common with daffodils. Throughout much of the animal and even plant kingdoms, almost the same ancient genes code for almost the same proteins. And further, to everyone's astonishment, the genes involved in making the complex eyes of fruitflies are close matches to those involved in making the very different eyes of octopuses and people. So what leads to the nature's 'endless forms most beautiful'? The key to this mystery is being unravelled by 'Evo Devo' or the new science of evolutionary development biology. By looking at how a single-celled egg gives rise to a complex, multi-billion celled animal, Evo Devo is illuminating exactly how new species - butterflies and zebras, trilobites and dinosaurs, apes and humans - are made and evolved. The key, it turns out, is all about location and timing... For anyone who has ever pondered 'where did I come from', Endless Forms Most Beautiful explores our history, both the journey we have all made from egg to adult, and the long trek from the origin of life to the very recent origin of our species.

Язык Адама. Как люди создали язык, как язык создал людей


Author: Дерек Бикертон
Publisher: Litres
ISBN: 5457349861
Category: Education
Page: 652
View: 5462

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Дерек Бикертон – всемирно известный ученый, прославившийся изучением пиджинов и креольских языков, почетный профессор Гавайского университета. Его открытие, что креольские языки могут создаваться детьми из неструктурированного инпута в течение одного поколения, привело Бикертона к вопросу, откуда исходно берется язык.Книга «Язык Адама» (2009) – это междисциплинарное исследование предпосылок возникновения языка. Она ставит этот вопрос в рамках новой эволюционной теории – теории «возникновения ниш», предполагающей активность животных в построении ниш: животные их формируют и сами формируются, адаптируясь к ним. На этой основе строятся гипотезы, почему и как могла возникнуть потребность в языке, каков был первый шаг от коммуникативных систем животных к «языку Адама».Книга адресована лингвистам, психологам, специалистам в области когнитивных наук и тем читателям, кому интересны вопросы происхождения разумного поведения и языка.

The Physics of Theism

God, Physics, and the Philosophy of Science
Author: Jeffrey Koperski
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118932773
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 4331

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The Physics of Theism provides a timely, critical analysis of the ways in which physics intertwines with religion. Koperski brings clarity to a range of arguments including the fine-tuning argument, naturalism, the laws of nature, and the controversy over Intelligent Design. A single author text providing unprecedented scope and depth of analysis of key issues within the Philosophy of Religion and the Philosophy of Science Critically analyses the ways in which physics is brought into play in matters of religion Self-contained chapters allow readers to directly access specific areas of interest The area is one of considerable interest, and this book is a timely and well-conceived contribution to these debates Written by an accomplished scholar working in the philosophy of physics in a style that renders complex arguments accessible

Philosophy of Biology

An Anthology
Author: Alex Rosenberg,Robert Arp
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405183179
Category: Science
Page: 464
View: 5842

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By combining excerpts from key historical writings with editors’ introductions and further reading material, Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology offers a comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date collection of the field’s most significant works. Addresses central questions such as ‘What is life?’ and ‘How did it begin?’, and the most current research and arguments on evolution and developmental biology Editorial notes throughout the text define, clarify, and qualify ideas, concepts and arguments Includes material on evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental biology not found in other standard philosophy of biology anthologies Further reading material assists novices in delving deeper into research in philosophy of biology

The Engine of Complexity

Evolution as Computation
Author: John E. Mayfield
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231535287
Category: Science
Page: 416
View: 5070

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The concepts of evolution and complexity theory have become part of the intellectual ether permeating the life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and, more recently, management science and economics. In this book, John E. Mayfield elegantly synthesizes core concepts from multiple disciplines to offer a new approach to understanding how evolution works and how complex organisms, structures, organizations, and social orders can and do arise based on information theory and computational science. Intended for the intellectually adventuresome, this book challenges and rewards readers with a nuanced understanding of evolution and complexity that offers consistent, durable, and coherent explanations for major aspects of our life experiences. Numerous examples throughout the book illustrate evolution and complexity formation in action and highlight the core function of computation lying at the work's heart.

The Custom-Made Brain

Cerebral Plasticity, Regeneration, and Enhancement
Author: Jean-Didier Vincent,Pierre-Marie Lledo
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231534213
Category: Medical
Page: 224
View: 3713

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Two leading neuroscientists introduce the concepts of "cerebral plasticity" and the "regenerating brain," describing what we know now about the processes through which the brain constantly reconstructs itself and the potential benefits this knowledge could have in addressing concerns for neurological, cognitive, and emotional health. The authors begin with a survey of the fundamental scientific developments that led to our current understanding of the regenerative mind, elucidating the breakthrough neurobiological studies that paved the way for our present understanding of the brain's plasticity and regenerative capabilities. They then discuss the application of these findings to such issues as depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and cognitive therapy, incorporating the latest technologies in neuroimaging, optogenetics, and nanotechnology. Their work shows the brain is anything but a static organ, ceasing to grow as human beings become adults. Rather, the brain is dynamic, evolving organically in relation to physical, cultural, historical, and affective stimuli, a plasticity that provides early hope to survivors of trauma and degenerative disorders.

Religion and Science: The Basics


Author: Philip Clayton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136640665
Category: Religion
Page: 196
View: 8814

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Religion and science are arguably the two most powerful social forces in the world today. But where religion and science were once held to be compatible, most people now perceive them to be in conflict. This unique book provides the best available introduction to the burning debates in this controversial field. Examining the defining questions and controversies, renowned expert Philip Clayton presents the arguments from both sides, asking readers to decide for themselves where they stand: science or religion, or science and religion? Intelligent Design vs. New Atheism the role of scientific and religious ethics – designer drugs, AI and stem cell research the future of science vs. the future of religion. Viewpoints from a range of world religions and different scientific perspectives are explored, making this book essential reading for all those wishing to come to their own understanding of some of the most important debates of our day.

Character and Environment

A Virtue-Oriented Approach to Environmental Ethics
Author: Ronald L. Sandler
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511868
Category: Philosophy
Page: 216
View: 2853

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Virtue ethics is now widely recognized as an alternative to Kantian and consequentialist ethical theories. However, moral philosophers have been slow to bring virtue ethics to bear on topics in applied ethics. Moreover, environmental virtue ethics is an underdeveloped area of environmental ethics. Although environmental ethicists often employ virtue-oriented evaluation (such as respect, care, and love for nature) and appeal to role models (such as Henry Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson) for guidance, environmental ethics has not been well informed by contemporary work on virtue ethics. With Character and Environment, Ronald Sandler remedies each of these deficiencies by bringing together contemporary work on virtue ethics with contemporary work on environmental ethics. He demonstrates the many ways that any ethic of character can and should be informed by environmental considerations. He also develops a pluralistic virtue-oriented environmental ethic that accommodates the richness and complexity of our relationship with the natural environment and provides effective and nuanced guidance on environmental issues. These projects have implications not only for environmental ethics and virtue ethics but also for moral philosophy more broadly. Ethical theories must be assessed on their theoretical and practical adequacy with respect to all aspects of the human ethical situation: personal, interpersonal, and environmental. To the extent that virtue-oriented ethical theory in general, and Sandler's version of it in particular, provides a superior environmental ethic to other ethical theories, it is to be preferred not just as an environmental ethic but also as an ethical theory. Character and Environment will engage any reader with an interest in environmental ethics, virtue ethics, or moral philosophy.

Evolution and the Victorians

Science, Culture and Politics in Darwin's Britain
Author: Jonathan Conlin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441126139
Category: History
Page: 224
View: 9981

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Charles Darwin's discovery of evolution by natural selection was the greatest scientific discovery of all time. The publication of his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, is normally taken as the point at which evolution erupted as an idea, radically altering how the Victorians saw themselves and others. This book tells a very different story. Darwin's discovery was part of a long process of negotiation between imagination, faith and knowledge which began long before 1859 and which continues to this day. Evolution and the Victorians provides historians with a survey of the thinkers and debates implicated in this process, from the late 18th century to the First World War. It sets the history of science in its social and cultural context. Incorporating text-boxes, illustrations and a glossary of specialist terms, it provides students with the background narrative and core concepts necessary to engage with specialist historians such as Adrian Desmond, Bernard Lightman and James Secord. Conlin skilfully synthesises material from a range of sources to show the ways in which the discovery of evolution was a collaborative enterprise pursued in all areas of Victorian society, including many that do not at first appear "scientific".

Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology


Author: Francisco J. Ayala,Francisco José Ayala,John C. Avise
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421413051
Category: Science
Page: 576
View: 3262

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Traces scholarly thought from the nineteenth-century birth of evolutionary biology to the mapping of the human genome through forty-eight essays, arranged in chronological order, each preceded by a one-page essay that explains the significance of the chosen work.

DNA: A Graphic Guide to the Molecule that Shook the World


Author: Israel Rosenfield,Edward Ziff,Borin Van Loon
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512317
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 5390

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With humor, depth, and philosophical and historical insight, DNA reaches out to a wide range of readers with its graphic portrayal of a complicated science. Suitable for use in and out of the classroom, this volume covers DNA's many marvels, from its original discovery in 1869 to early-twentieth-century debates on the mechanisms of inheritance and the deeper nature of life's evolution and variety. Even readers who lack a background in science and philosophy will learn a tremendous amount from this engaging narrative. The book elucidates DNA's relationship to health and the cause and cure of disease. It also covers the creation of new life forms, nanomachines, and perspectives on crime detection, and considers the philosophical sources of classical Darwinian theory and recent, radical changes in the understanding of evolution itself. Already these developments have profoundly affected our notions about living things. Borin Van Loon's humorous illustrations recount the contributions of Gregor Mendel, Frederick Griffith, James Watson, and Francis Crick, among other biologists, scientists, and researchers, and vividly depict the modern controversies surrounding the Human Genome Project and cloning.

Cells to Civilizations

The Principles of Change That Shape Life
Author: Enrico Coen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841658
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 8168

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Cells to Civilizations is the first unified account of how life transforms itself--from the production of bacteria to the emergence of complex civilizations. What are the connections between evolving microbes, an egg that develops into an infant, and a child who learns to walk and talk? Award-winning scientist Enrico Coen synthesizes the growth of living systems and creative processes, and he reveals that the four great life transformations--evolution, development, learning, and human culture--while typically understood separately, actually all revolve around shared core principles and manifest the same fundamental recipe. Coen blends provocative discussion, the latest scientific research, and colorful examples to demonstrate the links between these critical stages in the history of life. Coen tells a story rich with genes, embryos, neurons, and fascinating discoveries. He examines the development of the zebra, the adaptations of seaweed, the cave paintings of Lascaux, and the formulations of Alan Turing. He explores how dogs make predictions, how weeds tell the time of day, and how our brains distinguish a Modigliani from a Rembrandt. Locating commonalities in important findings, Coen gives readers a deeper understanding of key transformations and provides a bold portrait for how science both frames and is framed by human culture. A compelling investigation into the relationships between our biological past and cultural progress, Cells to Civilizations presents a remarkable story of living change.

Darwin and His Children

His Other Legacy
Author: Tim M. Berra
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199309469
Category: Science
Page: 200
View: 4448

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While much has been written about the life and works of Charles Darwin, the lives of his ten children remain largely unexamined. Most "Darwin books" consider his children as footnotes to the life of their famous father and close with the death of Charles Darwin. This is the only book that deals substantially with the lives of his children from their birth to their death, each in his or her own chapter. Tim Berra's Darwin and His Children: His Other Legacy explores Darwin's marriage to his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood, a devout Unitarian, who worried that her husband's lack of faith would keep them apart in eternity, and describes the early death of three children of this consanguineous marriage. Many of the other children rose to prominence in their own fields. William Darwin became a banker and tended the Darwin family's substantial wealth. Henrietta Darwin edited Charles' books and wrote a biography of her mother. Three of Darwin's sons were knighted and elected Fellows of the Royal Society: Sir George Darwin was the world's expert on tides, Sir Francis Darwin developed the new field of plant physiology, and Sir Horace Darwin founded the world-class Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company. Major Leonard Darwin was a military man, Member of Parliament, and patron of early genetic research. This book, richly illustrated with photographs of the Darwin family, demonstrates the intellectual atmosphere whirling about the Darwin household, portrays loving family relationships, and explores entertaining vignettes from their lives.

Sociality, Hierarchy, Health

Comparative Biodemography: A Collection of Papers
Author: National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Committee on Population
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309306647
Category: Social Science
Page: 400
View: 2823

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Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography is a collection of papers that examine cross-species comparisons of social environments with a focus on social behaviors along with social hierarchies and connections, to examine their effects on health, longevity, and life histories. This report covers a broad spectrum of nonhuman animals, exploring a variety of measures of position in social hierarchies and social networks, drawing links among these factors to health outcomes and trajectories, and comparing them to those in humans. Sociality, Hierarchy, Health revisits both the theoretical underpinnings of biodemography and the empirical findings that have emerged over the past two decades.

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: 1816

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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 Tangled Bank

An Introduction to Evolution
Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Roberts & Company
ISBN: 9780981519470
Category: Science
Page: 385
View: 2710

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The Tangled Bank is the first textbook about evolution intended for the general reader. Zimmer, an award-winning science writer, takes readers on a fascinating journey into the latest discoveries about evolution. In the Canadian Arctic, paleontologists unearth fossils documenting the move of our ancestors from sea to land. In the outback of Australia, a zoologist tracks some of the world's deadliest snakes to decipher the 100-million-year evolution of venom molecules. In Africa, geneticists are gathering DNA to probe the origin of our species. In clear, non-technical language, Zimmer explains the central concepts essential for understanding new advances in evolution, including natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. He demonstrates how vital evolution is to all branches of modern biology--from the fight against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the analysis of the human genome. Richly illustrated with 285 illustrations and photographs, The Tangled Bank is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of life on Earth.

In Quest of Freedom

The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World
Author: Philip Clayton
Publisher: Ruprecht Gmbh & Company
ISBN: N.A
Category: Religion
Page: 178
View: 1010

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Science deeply challenges classical descriptions of the human person as free and as spirit. This survey of contemporary neuroscience and evolutionary biology explores why these challenges have arisen. At the same time it finds in the religious dimension of human existence powerful resources for speaking of the Emergenz des Geistes and of a deeper sense of human freedom.