The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma

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Yale University Press, 2006 - Science - 314 pages
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Offering daring new ideas about evolution, two highly respected biologists here tackle the central, unresolved question in the field--how have living organisms on Earth developed with such astounding variety and complexity? Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart draw on cutting-edge biological and medical research to provide an original solution to this longstanding puzzle.

"In this terrific new book, molecular systems meet evolution. The result is a wealth of stimulating ideas set among clear explanations drawn from a revelatory decade in biology."--Andrew H. Knoll, author of Life on a Young Planet

"Thought-provoking and lucidly written. . . . The Plausibility of Life will help readers understand not just the plausibility of evolution, but its remarkable, inventive powers." --Sean Carroll, author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo

"Remarkably lucid and comprehensive, this new theoretical synthesis will . . . shift the grounds for debate in the controversy surrounding organic evolution."--Booklist (starred review)
 

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The plausibility of life: resolving Darwin's dilemma

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Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has itself evolved to encompass various complementary theories in a "grand synthesis" of thought, which remains, however, incomplete. Typically ... Read full review

Contents

TWO Conserved Cells Divergent Organisms
38
THREE Physiological Adaptability and Evolution
71
FOUR Weak Regulatory Linkage
109
FIVE Behavior
143
SIX Invisible Anatomy
177
SEVEN Facilitated Variation
219
EIGHT Is Life Plausible?
244
Glossary
275
Notes
293
Index
303
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About the author (2006)

Marc W. Kirschner is professor and chair, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School. John C. Gerhart is professor in the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley.

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