The Deep Structure of Biology

Is Convergence Sufficiently Ubiquitous to Give a Directional Signal

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599471388

Category: Religion

Page: 243

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Twelve renowned scientists and theologians offer penetrating insights into the evolution dialogue in The Deep Structure of Biology. Each considers whether the orthodox model of evolution is sufficient and offers his/her own perspective on evolution and biology. Essays include: •Chance and Necessity in Evolution •Green Plants as Intelligent Organisms •Canny Corvoids and Political Primates: A Case for Convergent Evolution in Intelligence •Social and Cultural Evolution in the Ocean: Convergences and Contrasts with Terrestrial Systems •Purpose in Nature: On the Possibility of a Theology of Evolution Editor Simon Conway Morris provides the introduction and an overview of the issues as well as an essay on evolution and convergence. Other contributors are: Richard Lenski, George McGhee, Karl Niklas, Anthony Trewavas, Nigel Franks, Nicola Clayton, Nathan Emery, HalWhitehead, Robert Foley, Michael Ruse, Celia Deane-Drummond, and John Haught. The discussion of biology and evolution in these essays broadens the scope of the traditional evolution discussion as it aims to stimulate the development of further research programs. Scholars in the science and religion field will find this book a valuable resource.

The Runes of Evolution

How the Universe became Self-Aware

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599474654

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 8590

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How did human beings acquire imaginations that can conjure up untrue possibilities? How did the Universe become self-aware? In The Runes of Evolution, Simon Conway Morris revitalizes the study of evolution from the perspective of convergence, providing us with compelling new evidence to support the mounting scientific view that the history of life is far more predictable than once thought. A leading evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge, Conway Morris came into international prominence for his work on the Cambrian explosion (especially fossils of the Burgess Shale) and evolutionary convergence, which is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. In The Runes of Evolution, he illustrates how the ubiquity of convergence hints at an underlying framework whereby many outcomes, not least brains and intelligence, are virtually guaranteed on any Earth-like planet. Conway Morris also emphasizes how much of the complexity of advanced biological systems is inherent in microbial forms. By casting a wider net, The Runes of Evolution explores many neglected evolutionary questions. Some are remarkably general. Why, for example, are convergences such as parasitism, carnivory, and nitrogen fixation in plants concentrated in particular taxonomic hot spots? Why do certain groups have a particular propensity to evolve toward particular states? Some questions lead to unexpected evolutionary insights: If bees sleep (as they do), do they dream? Why is that insect copulating with an orchid? Why have sponges evolved a system of fiber optics? What do mantis shrimps and submarines have in common? If dinosaurs had not gone extinct what would have happened next? Will a saber-toothed cat ever re-evolve? Cona Morris observes: “Even amongst the mammals, let alone the entire tree of life, humans represent one minute twig of a vast (and largely fossilized) arborescence. Every living species is a linear descendant of an immense string of now-vanished ancestors, but evolution itself is the very reverse of linear. Rather it is endlessly exploratory, probing the vast spaces of biological hyperspace. Indeed this book is a celebration of how our world is (and was) populated by a riot of forms, a coruscating tapestry of life.” The Runes of Evolution is the most definitive synthesis of evolutionary convergence to be published to date.

Life's Solution

Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe

Author: Simon Conway Morris

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521603256

Category: Science

Page: 488

View: 909

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Life's Solution builds a persuasive case for the predictability of evolutionary outcomes. The case rests on a remarkable compilation of examples of convergent evolution, in which two or more lineages have independently evolved similar structures and functions. The examples range from the aerodynamics of hovering moths and hummingbirds to the use of silk by spiders and some insects to capture prey. Going against the grain of Darwinian orthodoxy, this book is a must read for anyone grappling with the meaning of evolution and our place in the Universe. Simon Conway Morris is the Ad Hominen Professor in the Earth Science Department at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John's College and the Royal Society. His research focuses on the study of constraints on evolution, and the historical processes that lead to the emergence of complexity, especially with respect to the construction of the major animal body parts in the Cambrian explosion. Previous books include The Crucible of Creation (Getty Center for Education in the Arts, 1999) and co-author of Solnhofen (Cambridge, 1990). Hb ISBN (2003) 0-521-82704-3

Convergent Evolution

Limited Forms Most Beautiful

Author: George R. McGhee

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262016427

Category: Science

Page: 322

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Charles Darwin famously concluded On the Origin of Species with a vision of "endless forms most beautiful" continually evolving. More than 150 years later many evolutionary biologists see not endless forms but the same, or very similar, forms evolving repeatedly in many independent species lineages. A porpoise's fishlike fins, for example, are not inherited from fish ancestors but are independently derived convergent traits. In this book, George McGhee describes the ubiquity of the phenomenon of convergent evolution and connects it directly to the concept of evolutionary constraint--the idea that the number of evolutionary pathways available to life are not endless, but quite limited. Convergent evolution occurs on all levels, from tiny organic molecules to entire ecosystems of species. McGhee demonstrates its ubiquity in animals, both herbivore and carnivore; in plants; in ecosystems; in molecules, including DNA, proteins, and enzymes; and even in minds, describing problem-solving behavior and group behavior as the products of convergence. For each species example, he provides an abbreviated list of the major nodes in its phylogenetic classification, allowing the reader to see the evolutionary relationship of a group of species that have independently evolved a similar trait by convergent evolution. McGhee analyzes the role of functional and developmental constraints in producing convergent evolution, and considers the scientific and philosophical implications of convergent evolution for the predictability of the evolutionary process.

Fitness of the Cosmos for Life

Biochemistry and Fine-Tuning

Author: John D. Barrow

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521871026

Category: Science

Page: 501

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An interdisciplinary book for scientists interested in the origin and existence of life in our universe, first published in 2007.

The Dome of Eden

A New Solution to the Problem of Creation and Evolution

Author: Stephen H. Webb

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630874221

Category: Religion

Page: 374

View: 3449

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What would biology look like if it took the problem of natural evil seriously? This book argues that biological descriptions of evolution are inherently moral, just as the biblical story of creation has biological implications. A complete account of evolution will therefore require theological input. The Dome of Eden does not try to harmonize evolution and creation. Harmonizers typically begin with Darwinism and then try to add just enough religion to make evolution more palatable, or they begin with Genesis and pry open the creation account just wide enough to let in a little bit of evolution. By contrast, Stephen Webb provides a theory of how evolution and theology fit together, and he argues that this kind of theory is required by the internal demands of both theology and biology. The Dome of Eden also develops a theological account of evolution that is distinct from the intelligent design movement. Webb shows how intelligent design properly discerns the inescapable dimension of purpose in nature but, like Darwinism itself, fails to make sense of the problem of natural evil. Finally, this book draws on the work of Karl Barth to advance a new reading of the Genesis narrative and the theology of Duns Scotus to provide the necessary metaphysical foundation for evolutionary thought.

Deep Life

The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

Author: Tullis C. Onstott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884241

Category: Science

Page: 512

View: 384

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Deep Life takes readers to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth's crust in search of life in extreme environments and reveals how astonishing new discoveries by geomicrobiologists are helping the quest to find life in the solar system. Tullis Onstott, named one of the 100 most influential people in America by Time magazine, provides an insider’s look at the pioneering fieldwork that is shining vital new light on Earth’s hidden biology—a thriving subterranean biosphere that scientists once thought to be impossible. Come along on epic descents two miles underground into South African gold mines to experience the challenges that Onstott and his team had to overcome. Join them in their search for microbes in the ancient seabed below the desert floor in the American Southwest, and travel deep beneath the frozen wastelands of the Arctic tundra to discover life as it could exist on Mars. Blending cutting-edge science with thrilling scientific adventure, Deep Life features rare and unusual encounters with exotic life forms, including a bacterium living off radiation and a hermaphroditic troglodytic worm that has changed our understanding of how complex subsurface life can really be. This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

What Technology Wants

Author: Kevin Kelly

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101444467

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 416

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From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Inevitable— a sweeping vision oftechnology as a living force that can expand our individual potential This provocative book introduces a brand-new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kevin Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover "what it wants." He uses vivid examples from the past to trace technology's long course and then follows a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed. This new theory of technology offers three practical lessons: By listening to what technology wants we can better prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitable technologies to come. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles. And by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts. Written in intelligent and accessible language, this is a fascinating, innovative, and optimistic look at how humanity and technology join to produce increasing opportunities in the world and how technology can give our lives greater meaning. From the Hardcover edition.

The Biology of the Deep Ocean

Author: Peter Herring

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198549563

Category: Science

Page: 314

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Erratum: Table 11.1 on page 241 has been mis-set. The entries for the phyla Annelida, Bryozoa, Cnidaria, Echiura, Mollusca, Placozoa, Porifera and Rotifera should all be moved one column to the right. The deep sea environment is the most extensive on our planet. Its denizens are normally unseen but whenever they are exposed to view they are regarded as bizarre aliens from a different world. The Biology of the Deep Ocean takes a close look at this apparently hostile world and explains how its inhabitants are exquisitely adapted to survive and flourish within it.

The Biology of the Deep Ocean

Author: Peter Herring

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198549563

Category: Science

Page: 314

View: 1931

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Erratum: Table 11.1 on page 241 has been mis-set. The entries for the phyla Annelida, Bryozoa, Cnidaria, Echiura, Mollusca, Placozoa, Porifera and Rotifera should all be moved one column to the right. The deep sea environment is the most extensive on our planet. Its denizens are normally unseen but whenever they are exposed to view they are regarded as bizarre aliens from a different world. The Biology of the Deep Ocean takes a close look at this apparently hostile world and explains how its inhabitants are exquisitely adapted to survive and flourish within it.

Biological Evolution

Facts and Theories : a Critical Appraisal 150 Years After "The Origin of Species"

Author: Auletta Gennaro,Leclerc Marc,Martínez Rafael A.

Publisher: Gregorian Biblical BookShop

ISBN: 8878391808

Category: Religion

Page: 747

View: 7398

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As a well-established scientific fact, biological evolution still provokes heated debates all over the world about its compatibility with religious beliefs. Moreover, the Darwinian theory, although remaining the general framework of life sciences, is in itself undergoing a sort of evolution by virtue of recent advancements in different biological disciplines, which lead to better assess the ideas that Darwin introduced more than 150 years ago. Finally, both the scientific fact of evolution and the Darwinian theory are concerns of philosophy and theology in relation to difficult issues such as the teleology ascribable to the realm of life, the meaning and relevance of ontological emergence, the mechanist and reductionist view of living beings, the level of complexity peculiar to biological systems, the relationships between evolution and Creation, the presence of contingency in nature, the ontological discontinuity between animals and the human being, and so on. The Conference held at the Pontifical Gregorian University represented a multidisciplinary attempt at dealing with such a cluster of intellectual problems, and this volume of proceedings testifies not only the event in its uniqueness but also the efforts made in order to establish a true dialogue beyond any kind of cheap agreement or ideological closure. The volume gathers the contributions provided by 37 prominent scholars - scientists, philosophers and theologians - coming from major academic institutions like the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Stanford University, the College de France, the University of California, the University of Arizona, the Institute Catholique de Toulouse, the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and the University of Notre Dame that also participated to the organization of the Conference. Even if a lot of work is still to be done, this volume shows that important steps have been made towards a critical view of biological evolution, in which an appropriate philosophical mediation allows scientific knowledge and theological reflection to profitably interact. This seems crucial for establishing a culture that is both updated and an appropriate context for the human development of future generations.

The Use and Abuse of Biology

An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology

Author: Marshall David Sahlins

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472766000

Category: Social Science

Page: 120

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A criticism of sociobiology by one of the world's foremost anthropologists

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Author: Bruce Alberts

Publisher: Garland Science

ISBN: 1317563743

Category: Science

Page: 1464

View: 1559

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As the amount of information in biology expands dramatically, it becomes increasingly important for textbooks to distill the vast amount of scientific knowledge into concise principles and enduring concepts.As with previous editions, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Sixth Edition accomplishes this goal with clear writing and beautiful illustrations. The Sixth Edition has been extensively revised and updated with the latest research in the field of cell biology, and it provides an exceptional framework for teaching and learning. The entire illustration program has been greatly enhanced.Protein structures better illustrate structure–function relationships, icons are simpler and more consistent within and between chapters, and micrographs have been refreshed and updated with newer, clearer, or better images. As a new feature, each chapter now contains intriguing openended questions highlighting “What We Don’t Know,” introducing students to challenging areas of future research. Updated end-of-chapter problems reflect new research discussed in the text, and these problems have been expanded to all chapters by adding questions on developmental biology, tissues and stem cells, pathogens, and the immune system.

Out Of Control

The New Biology Of Machines, Social Systems, And The Economic World

Author: Kevin Kelly

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 078674703X

Category: Science

Page: 528

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Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development

Author: Usha Goswami

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444351737

Category: Psychology

Page: 816

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This definitive volume is the result of collaboration by top scholars in the field of children's cognition. New edition offers an up-to-date overview of all the major areas of importance in the field, and includes new data from cognitive neuroscience and new chapters on social cognitive development and language Provides state-of-the-art summaries of current research by international specialists in different areas of cognitive development Spans aspects of cognitive development from infancy to the onset of adolescence Includes chapters on symbolic reasoning, pretend play, spatial development, abnormal cognitive development and current theoretical perspectives

What Makes Biology Unique?

Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline

Author: Ernst Mayr

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521700344

Category: Psychology

Page: 232

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This book, a collection of essays written by the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century, explores biology as an autonomous science, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the contributions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major ongoing issues in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its own history, trajectory and impact. Natural selection is a separate idea from common descent, and from geographic speciation, and so on. A number of the perennial Darwinian controversies may well have been caused by the confounding of the five separate theories into a single composite. Those interested in evolutionary theory, or the philosophy and history of science will find useful ideas in this book, which should appeal to virtually anyone with a broad curiosity about biology.

Other Minds

The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith

Publisher: William Collins

ISBN: 9780008226275

Category: Animal communication

Page: 272

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'Brilliant' Guardian 'Fascinating and often delightful' The Times What if intelligent life on Earth evolved not once, but twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how nature became aware of itself - a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind's fitful development from unruly clumps of seaborne cells to the first evolved nervous systems in ancient relatives of jellyfish, he explores the incredible evolutionary journey of the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous molluscs who would later abandon their shells to rise above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so - a journey completely independent from the route that mammals and birds would later take. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually 'think for themselves'? By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind - and on our own.

The Great Mosaic Eye

Embodied Language Evolution and Society

Author: Robin Allott

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 1469146304

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 600

View: 1272

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This is a revised and extended version of the Great Mosaic Eye originally published in 2001. There have been major changes in neuroscience and in language research since then. Apparently disparate segments of research have started to come together and it is necessary to recast both the structure and the content of the book. The extended title of the book with the addition of the word Society reflects this. Another important change is that the book as originally published fell into two halves, part 1 being the text of the book and part 2 an inserted CD which included a great deal of additional material that made possible important graphical and video content not easily presented in text form. This new edition attempts to integrate all the material contained in the earlier edition but relying on links to the Internet for material in place of that contained in the inserted CD. This new book, as indeed was the case for the earlier version, was intended to bring together a mass of material which had been published separately over more than 40 years under the titles The Physical Foundation of Language (first published 1973 and recently reprinted), The Motor Theory of Language (1989), The Natural Origin of Language: The Structural Inter-relation of Language Vision and Action, The Child and the World: How the child acquires language - How language mirrors the world (2005). All these are now in print so that it is not necessary to repeat in this book much of the extensive discussion in the earlier books - all supplemented by other recent material readily accessible on the Internet at

Deep-Sea Biology

A Natural History of Organisms at the Deep-Sea Floor

Author: John D. Gage,Paul A. Tyler

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521336659

Category: Nature

Page: 504

View: 4242

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Deep-Sea Biology provides a comprehensive account of the natural history of the organisms associated with the deep-sea floor, and examines their relationship with this remote and inhospitable environment. In the initial chapters, the authors describe the physico-chemical nature of the deep-sea floor and the methods used to collect and study its fauna. They then go on to discuss the ecological framework by exploring spatial patterns of diversity, biomass, vertical zonation and large-scale distributions. Subsequent chapters review current knowledge of feeding, respiration, reproduction and growth processes in these communities. The unique fauna of hydrothermal vents and seeps are considered separately. Finally, there is a discussion of man's exploitation of deep-sea resources and his use of this environment for waste disposal on the fauna of this, the earth's largest ecosystem.

Plant Behaviour and Intelligence

Author: Anthony Trewavas

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191028916

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 4779

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This book provides a convincing argument for the view that whole cells and whole plants growing in competitive wild conditions show aspects of plant behaviour that can be accurately described as 'intelligent'. Trewavas argues that behaviour, like intelligence, must be assessed within the constraints of the anatomical and physiological framework of the organism in question. The fact that plants do not have centralized nervous systems for example, does not exclude intelligent behaviour. Outside the human dimension, culture is thought largely absent and fitness is the biological property of value. Thus, solving environmental problems that threaten to reduce fitness is another way of viewing intelligent behaviour and has a similar meaning to adaptively variable behaviour. The capacity to solve these problems might be considered to vary in different organisms, but variation does not mean absence. By extending these ideas into a book that allows a critical and amplified discussion, the author hopes to raise an awareness of the concept of purposive behaviour in plants.