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Evolution

See below for a selection of the latest books from Evolution category. Presented with a red border are the Evolution books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Evolution books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Evolution's Witness

Evolution's Witness

With predation and carnivory as catalysts, the first known eye appeared in a trilobite during the Cambrian explosion approximately 543 million years ago. This period was a crucible of evolution and teemed with anatomic creativity although the journey to formed vision actually began billions of years before that. The Cambrian period, however, spawned nearly all morphologic forms of the eye, followed by descent over hundreds of millions of years providing an unimaginable variety of eyes with at least ten different designs. Some eyes display spectacular creativity with mirror, scanning or telephoto optics. Some of these ocular designs are merely curiosities, while others offer the finest visual potential packed into a small space, limited only by the laws of diffraction or physiological optics. For example, some spiders developed tiny, well-formed eyes with scanning optics and three visual pigments; scallops have 40-100 eyes circling their mantle, each of which has mirror optics and contains two separate retinae per eye; deep ocean fish have eyes shaped like tubes containing yellow lenses to break camouflage; and some birds have vision five times better than ours; but this is only part of the story. Each animal alive today has an eye that fits is niche perfectly demonstrating the intimacy of the evolutionary process as no other organ could. The evolution of the eye is one of the best examples of Darwinian principles. Although few eyes fossilize in any significant manner, many details of this evolution are known and understood. From initial photoreception 3.75 billion years ago to early spatial recognition in the first cupped eyespot in Euglena to fully formed camera style eyes the size of beach balls in ichthyosaurs, animals have processed light to compete and survive in their respective niches. It is evolution's greatest gift and its greatest triumph. This is the story of the evolution of the eye.

Origins and Species

Origins and Species

Author: MJS Hodge Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/08/2020

Originally published in 1991, Origins and Species seeks to understand the historical origins of Darwinism. The book analyses the explanatory problem to which Darwinian theory was a response, while contrasting the Darwinian with two other traditions in the interpretation of organic diversity. The book looks in detail at both Charles Darwin's theories and Alfred Russell Wallace's theories of about plant and animal species and raises the question of the context of Darwinism and that of Plato's and Aristotle's understanding of species.

Understanding Evolution

Understanding Evolution

Author: Kostas (Universite de Geneve) Kampourakis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/08/2020

Why do the debates about evolution persist, despite the plentiful evidence for it? Breaking down the notion that public resistance to evolution is strictly due to its perceived conflict with religion, this concise book shows that evolution is in fact a counterintuitive idea that is difficult to understand. Kostas Kampourakis, an experienced science educator, takes an insightful, interdisciplinary approach, providing an introduction to evolutionary theory written with clarity and thoughtful reasoning. Topics discussed include evolution in the public sphere, evolution and religion, the conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution, the development of Darwin's theory, the most important evolutionary concepts, as well as evolution and the nature of science. Understanding Evolution presents evolutionary theory with a lucidity and vision that readers will quickly appreciate, and is intended for anyone wanting an accessible and concise guide to evolution.

Evolution

Evolution

Author: Robin Dunbar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/2020

Evolution is one of the most important processes in life. It not only explains the detailed history of life on earth, but its scope also extends into many aspects of our own contemporary behavior-who we are and how we got to be here, our psychology, our cultures-and greatly impacts modern advancements in medicine and conservation biology. Perhaps its most important claim for science is its ability to provide an overarching framework that integrates the many life sciences into a single unified whole. Yet, evolution-evolutionary biology in particular-has been, and continues to be, regarded with suspicion by many. Understanding how and why evolution works, and what it can tell us, is perhaps the single most important contribution to the public perception of science. This book provides an overview of the basic theory and showcases how widely its consequences reverberate across the life sciences, the social sciences and even the humanities. In this book, Robin Dunbar uses examples drawn from plant life, animals and humans to illustrate these processes. Evolutionary science has important advantages. Most of science deals with the microscopic world that we cannot see and invariably have difficulty understanding, but evolution deals with the macro-world in which we live and move. That invariably makes it much easier for the lay audience to appreciate, understand and enjoy. Evolution: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) takes a broad approach to evolution, dealing both with the core theory itself and its impact on different aspects of the world we live in, from the iconic debates of the nineteenth century, to viruses and superbugs, to human evolution and behavior.

Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

How universal are our moral obligations? Should we attempt to communicate with life beyond our planet? What is life ? Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology explores the most important questions related to the field of astrobiology, and the resulting book is the most comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach focused on the humanistic issues of the multidisciplinary science of astrobiology to date. Questions surrounding life on other planets have troubled humankind for centuries; this volume outlines the questions for the next decade of research in the field of astrobiology. Kelly C. Smith and Carlos Mariscal have assembled the top scholars from fields spanning history, communication, philosophy, law, and theology to consider the implications of life elsewhere. The perspectives supplied by this expansive group of contributors have never before been collected in book a book focused on astrobiology. This book sets a benchmark for future work in astrobiology, giving readers the groundwork from which to base the continuous scholarship coming from this ever-growing scientific field.

Evolution

Evolution

Author: Robin Dunbar Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/08/2020

Evolution is one of the most important processes in life. It not only explains the detailed history of life on earth, but its scope also extends into many aspects of our own contemporary behavior-who we are and how we got to be here, our psychology, our cultures-and greatly impacts modern advancements in medicine and conservation biology. Perhaps its most important claim for science is its ability to provide an overarching framework that integrates the many life sciences into a single unified whole. Yet, evolution-evolutionary biology in particular-has been, and continues to be, regarded with suspicion by many. Understanding how and why evolution works, and what it can tell us, is perhaps the single most important contribution to the public perception of science. This book provides an overview of the basic theory and showcases how widely its consequences reverberate across the life sciences, the social sciences and even the humanities. In this book, Robin Dunbar uses examples drawn from plant life, animals and humans to illustrate these processes. Evolutionary science has important advantages. Most of science deals with the microscopic world that we cannot see and invariably have difficulty understanding, but evolution deals with the macro-world in which we live and move. That invariably makes it much easier for the lay audience to appreciate, understand and enjoy. Evolution: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) takes a broad approach to evolution, dealing both with the core theory itself and its impact on different aspects of the world we live in, from the iconic debates of the nineteenth century, to viruses and superbugs, to human evolution and behavior.

Understanding Evolution

Understanding Evolution

Author: Kostas (Universite de Geneve) Kampourakis Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2020

Why do the debates about evolution persist, despite the plentiful evidence for it? Breaking down the notion that public resistance to evolution is strictly due to its perceived conflict with religion, this concise book shows that evolution is in fact a counterintuitive idea that is difficult to understand. Kostas Kampourakis, an experienced science educator, takes an insightful, interdisciplinary approach, providing an introduction to evolutionary theory written with clarity and thoughtful reasoning. Topics discussed include evolution in the public sphere, evolution and religion, the conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution, the development of Darwin's theory, the most important evolutionary concepts, as well as evolution and the nature of science. Understanding Evolution presents evolutionary theory with a lucidity and vision that readers will quickly appreciate, and is intended for anyone wanting an accessible and concise guide to evolution.

Cladistics

Cladistics

This new edition of a foundational text presents a contemporary review of cladistics, as applied to biological classification. It provides a comprehensive account of the past fifty years of discussion on the relationship between classification, phylogeny and evolution. It covers cladistics in the era of molecular data, detailing new advances and ideas that have emerged over the last twenty-five years. Written in an accessible style by internationally renowned authors in the field, readers are straightforwardly guided through fundamental principles and terminology. Simple worked examples and easy-to-understand diagrams also help readers navigate complex problems that have perplexed scientists for centuries. This practical guide is an essential addition for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in taxonomy, systematics, comparative biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology.

Cladistics

Cladistics

This new edition of a foundational text presents a contemporary review of cladistics, as applied to biological classification. It provides a comprehensive account of the past fifty years of discussion on the relationship between classification, phylogeny and evolution. It covers cladistics in the era of molecular data, detailing new advances and ideas that have emerged over the last twenty-five years. Written in an accessible style by internationally renowned authors in the field, readers are straightforwardly guided through fundamental principles and terminology. Simple worked examples and easy-to-understand diagrams also help readers navigate complex problems that have perplexed scientists for centuries. This practical guide is an essential addition for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in taxonomy, systematics, comparative biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology.

Collecting Evolution

Collecting Evolution

In 1905, eight men from the California Academy of Sciences set sail from San Francisco for a scientific collection expedition in the Galapagos Islands, and by the time they were finished in 1906, they had completed one of the most important expeditions in the history of both evolutionary and conservation science. These scientists collected over 78,000 specimens during their time on the islands, validating the work of Charles Darwin and laying the groundwork for foundational evolution texts like Darwin's Finches. Despite its significance, almost nothing has been written on this voyage, lost amongst discussion of Darwin's trip on the Beagle and the writing of David Lack. In Collecting Evolution, author Matthew James finally tells the story of the 1905 Galapagos expedition. James follows these eight young men aboard the Academy to the Galapagos and back, and reveals the reasons behind the groundbreaking success they had. A current Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, James uses his access to unpublished writings and photographs to provide unprecedented insight into the expedition. We learn the voyagers' personal stories, and how, for all the scientific progress that was made, just as much intense personal drama unfolded on the trip. This book shares a watershed moment in scientific history, crossed with a maritime adventure. There are four tangential suicides and controversies over credit and fame. Collecting Evolution also explores the personal lives and scientific context that preceded this voyage, including what brought Darwin to the Galapagos on the Beagle voyage seventy years earlier. James discusses how these men thought of themselves as collectors before they thought of themselves as scientists, and the implications this had on their approach and their results. In the end, the voyage of the Academy proved to be crucial in the development of evolutionary science as we know it. It is the longest expedition in Galapagos history, and played a critical role in cementing Darwin's legacy. Collecting Evolution brings this extraordinary story of eight scientists and their journey to life.

Convergent Evolution

Convergent Evolution

Author: George R McGhee (Rutgers University) Jr. Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2020

An analysis of convergent evolution from molecules to ecosystems, demonstrating the limited number of evolutionary pathways available to life. 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.

Extinction

Extinction

Author: Michael Boulter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/07/2020

Sixty-five million years ago the dinosaurs were destroyed in a mass extinction that remains unexplained. Out of that devastation, new life developed and the world regained its equilibrium. Until now. Employing radically new perspectives on the science of life, scientists are beginning to uncover signs of a similar event on the horizon: the end of man. In telling the story of the last sixty-five million years, Michael Boulter reveals extraordinary new insights that scientists are only now beginning to understand about the fossil record, the rise and fall of species, and the nature of life. According to Boulter, nature is a self-organizing system in which the whole is more important than its parts. The system is self-correcting, and one of its tools is extinction. If the system is disrupted, it will do what it must to restore balance. This book is a thoroughly researched introduction to the new developments in the science of life and a chilling account of the effects that humans have had on the planet. The world will adapt and survive; humanity most probably will not.