Genetics and the Logic of Evolution

  • ID: 2172602
  • Book
  • 560 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Darwinian theory, with genes at its center, still frames our discussion of evolution. Yet now the picture within the frame a portrait rendered in detail at the cellular and molecular level contains the real stuff of today’s big questions about living organisms. Genetics and molecular biology have revealed a new realm of complexity in life, with major implications for how we understand evolution.

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.

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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

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.

References.

Index.

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Kenneth M. Weiss
Anne V. Buchanan
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