Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

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9781591846468: Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle
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Reseña del editor:

Natural selection can preserve innovations, but it cannot create them. Nature’s many innovationssome uncannily perfectcall for natural principles that accelerate life’s ability to innovate.”

Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains how useful adaptations are preserved over time. But the biggest mystery about evolution eluded him. As genetics pioneer Hugo de Vries put it, natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”

Can random mutations over a mere 3.8 billion years really be responsible for wings, eyeballs, knees, camouflage, lactose digestion, photosynthesis, and the rest of nature’s creative marvels? And if the answer is no, what is the mechanism that explains evolution’s speed and efficiency?

In Arrival of the Fittest, renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner draws on over fifteen years of research to present the missing piece in Darwin's theory. Using experimental and computational technologies that were heretofore unimagined, he has found that adaptations are not just driven by chance, but 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 and thrives within six degrees of the North Pole, in waters that regularly fall below 0 degrees. At that temperature, the internal fluids of most organisms turn into ice crystals. And yet, the arctic cod survives by producing proteins that lower the freezing temperature of its body fluids, much like antifreeze does for a car’s engine coolant. The invention of those proteins is an archetypal example of nature’s enormous powers of creativity.

Meticulously researched, carefully argued, evocatively written, 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.

Biografía del autor:

Andreas Wagner is a professor in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He lectures worldwide and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

Andreas Wagner is a professor in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He lectures worldwide and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Andreas Wagner
Publicado por Current (2014)
ISBN 10: 1591846463 ISBN 13: 9781591846468
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Descripción Current, 2014. Hardcover. Condición: New. Although Darwin could explain how evolution preserves useful adaptations over time, the mechanisms behind its speed and efficiency eluded him. In this radical rethinking of Darwinian evolution, Wagner offers a solution to that enduring mystery. He draws on 15 years of research using the latest experimental and computational technologies to uncover the ?principles of innovability? that allow the creation of such complicated adaptations as lactose digestion, camouflage and the ?antifreeze proteins? produced by Arctic cod. Nº de ref. del artículo: 504650

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Wagner, Andreas
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Wagner, Andreas
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Descripción Current. Hardcover. Condición: New. 1591846463 New Condition. Nº de ref. del artículo: NEW33.1224896

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