Genetics and the Logic of Evolution provides a much–needed overview and analysis of general principles and patterns of evolution in light of contemporary biology. Taking a functional approach to explain how genes are used across the diverse range of species, the authors consider:
- Basic concepts and principles of biological complexity
- Alternative and supplemental principles to Darwinian theory
- Building blocks of life: how DNA, RNA, and genes work in single–cell and multi–cellular organisms
- Communication within an organism
- Detection and perception of the environment
- Evolutionary order and disorder and the sometimes fluid relationships between phenotypes and genotypes
Working outwards from the molecular level, Genetics and the Logic of Evolution moves its discourse towards a broader sense of life and how organisms live it. Written to be both scientifically rigorous and accessible to the layman, this treatment offers students and practitioners a refreshingly grand tour of the most important generalizations to emerge from recent biological research.
I. UNDERSTANDING BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY: Basic Concepts and Principles.
1. Prospect: The Basic Postulates of Life.
2. Conceptual and Analytic Approaches to Evolution.
3. Evolution By Phenotype: How Change Happens in Life.
II. BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE: A Genetic Repertoire for Evolving Complexity.
4. The Storage and Flow of Biological Information.
5. Genotypes and Phenotypes.
6. A Cell is Born.
7. A Repertoire of Basic Genetic Mechanisms.
III. AN INTERNAL AWARENESS OF SELF: Communication within Organisms.
8. Making More of Life: The Many Aspects of Reproduction.
9. Scaling Up: How Cells Build an Organism.
10. Communicating Between Cells.
11. Detecting and Destroying Internal Invaders.
IV. EXTERNAL AWARENESS: Information Transfer between Environment to Organism.
12. Detecting Physical Variability in the Environment.
13. Chemical Signaling and Sensation from the Outside World.
14. Detecting Light.
15. The Development and Structure of Nervous Systems.
16. Perceiving: Integrating Signals from the Environment.
V. FINALE: Evolutionary Order and Disorder between Phenotypes and Genotypes.
17. A Great Chain of Beings.
"for anyone who wishes to know more about genes and evolution and go beyond the classic, classroom theory––this is the book for you...[will] take you on a ride you won′t regret." (Heredity, February 2005)
For anyone who wishes to know more about genes and evolution and go beyond the classic, classroom theory – this is for you (Heredity, Vol. 94, 2005)
"This book is well written and would probably be mainly of interest to students of evolution who have a more philosophical perspective or to philosophy students interested in evolution. (American Journal of Human Genetics, September 2004)
"This book is highly suited to students and scientists in a range of fields who want to understand how evolution works through genetics. (E–STREAMS, August 2004)
"This book represents a valiant effort in expanding evolutionary thinking in many biological specialties." (Choice, June 2004, Vol. 41 No. 10)