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The Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

By: Publication details: United Kingdom; Oneworld Publications; 06 Nov 2014Description: 304 Pages; HardbackISBN:
  • 9781780745169
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 576.8
Summary: The power of Darwin's theory of natural selection is beyond doubt, it explains how useful adaptations are preserved over generations. But evolution's biggest mystery eluded Darwin: how those adaptations arise in the first place. Can random mutations over a 3.8 billion years be solely responsible for wings, eyeballs, knees, photosynthesis, and the rest of nature's creative marvels? And by calling these mutations 'random', are we not just admitting our own ignorance? What if we could now uncover the wellspring of all biological innovation? Renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner presents the missing piece in Darwin's theory. Using cutting-edge experimental and computational technologies, he has found that adaptations are in fact driven by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take. Consider the Arctic cod, a fish that lives in waters cold enough to turn the internal fluids of most organisms into ice crystals. And yet the Arctic cod survives by producing 'natural anti-freeze', proteins that lower the freezing temperature of its body fluids. The invention of those proteins is an archetypal example of nature's enormous powers of creativity. Meticulously researched, carefully argued, and full of fascinating examples from the animal kingdom, Arrival of the Fittest offers up the final puzzle piece in the mystery of life's rich diversity.
Holdings
Item type Current library Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Book Adult and Young Adult 15-17 Karachi Science 576.8 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available PKLC007415
Book Adult and Young Adult 15-17 Lahore Science 576.8 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available PKLC011794
Total holds: 0

The power of Darwin's theory of natural selection is beyond doubt, it explains how useful adaptations are preserved over generations. But evolution's biggest mystery eluded Darwin: how those adaptations arise in the first place. Can random mutations over a 3.8 billion years be solely responsible for wings, eyeballs, knees, photosynthesis, and the rest of nature's creative marvels? And by calling these mutations 'random', are we not just admitting our own ignorance? What if we could now uncover the wellspring of all biological innovation? Renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner presents the missing piece in Darwin's theory. Using cutting-edge experimental and computational technologies, he has found that adaptations are in fact driven by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take. Consider the Arctic cod, a fish that lives in waters cold enough to turn the internal fluids of most organisms into ice crystals. And yet the Arctic cod survives by producing 'natural anti-freeze', proteins that lower the freezing temperature of its body fluids. The invention of those proteins is an archetypal example of nature's enormous powers of creativity. Meticulously researched, carefully argued, and full of fascinating examples from the animal kingdom, Arrival of the Fittest offers up the final puzzle piece in the mystery of life's rich diversity.

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