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Improbable Destinies

Author : Jonathan B. Losos
ISBN : 9780399184932
Genre : Science
File Size : 54.85 MB
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A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that exist today, and we humans ourselves, inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? And what does that say about life on other planets? Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be. Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution. Losos's insights into natural selection and evolutionary change have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria. This compelling narrative offers a new understanding of ourselves and our role in the natural world and the cosmos.
Category: Science

Improbable Destinies

Author : Jonathan Losos
ISBN : 9780241201947
Genre : Science
File Size : 40.95 MB
Format : PDF
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A dazzling tour of evolution in action that sheds light on one of the greatest debates in science The natural world is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. Convergence suggests that evolution is predictable, and if we could replay the tape of life, we would get the same outcome. But there are also many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change - a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze - caused evolution to take a completely different course. So are we humans, and all the plants and animals in the world today, inevitabilities or evolutionary freaks? What role does chance play in evolution? And what could it tell us about life on other planets? In Improbable Destinies, renowned researcher Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. Evolution can occur far more rapidly than Darwin expected, which has opened the door to something that was previously thought impossible: experimental studies of evolution in nature. Drawing on his own work with anole lizards on the Caribbean islands, as well as studies of guppies, foxes, field mice and others being conducted around the world, Losos reveals just how rapid and predictable evolution can be. By charting the discoveries of the scientists who are rewriting our understanding of evolutionary biology, Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution.
Category: Science

The Equations Of Life

Author : Charles Cockell
ISBN : 9781786493057
Genre : Science
File Size : 70.13 MB
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One of Britain's foremost astrobiologists offers an accessible and game-changing account of life on Earth. __________________ Why is all life based on carbon rather than silicon? And beyond Earth, would life - if it exists - look like our own? __________________ The puzzles of life astound and confuse us like no other mystery. But in this groundbreaking book, Professor Charles Cockell reveals how nature is far more understandable and predictable than we would think. Breathing new life into Darwin's theory of natural selection, The Equations of Life puts forward an elegant account of why evolution has taken the paths it has. In a captivating journey into the forces that shape living things on Earth, Cockell explains that the fundamental laws of physics constrain nature at every turn. Fusing the latest in scientific research with fascinating accounts of the creatures that surround us, this is a compelling argument about what life can - and can't - be.
Category: Science

This Idea Is Brilliant

Author : John Brockman
ISBN : 9780062698223
Genre : Science
File Size : 90.7 MB
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Brilliant but overlooked ideas you must know, as revealed by today’s most innovative minds What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of the acclaimed science salon (“The world’s smartest website”—The Guardian), presented to 205 of the world’s most influential thinkers from across the intellectual spectrum—award-winning physicists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, novelists, artists, and more. From the origins of the universe to the order of everyday life, This Idea Is Brilliant takes readers on a tour of the bold, exciting, and underappreciated scientific concepts that will enrich every mind. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND on the lost brilliance of common sense * Oxford evolutionary biologist RICHARD DAWKINS on how The Genetic Book of the Dead could reconstruct ecological history * philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN on how to extend our grasp of reality beyond what we can see and touch * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI on the interconnected fabric of information * Booker Prize–winning novelist IAN McEWAN on the Navier-Stokes equations, which govern everything from weather prediction to aircraft design and blood flow * cosmologist LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS on the hidden blessings of uncertainty * psychologist STEVEN PINKER on the fight against entropy * Nobel Prize–winning economist RICHARD THALER on the visionary power of the “premortem” * Grammy Award–winning musician BRIAN ENO on confirmation bias in the Internet age * advertising guru RORY SUTHERLAND on the world-changing power of sex appeal * Harvard physicist LISA RANDALL on the power of the obvious * Wired founding editor KEVIN KELLY on how to optimize your chances at success * Nobel Prize winner FRANK WILCZEK on the creative potential of complementarity * Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter JOHN MARKOFF on the synthetic metamaterials that soon will transform industry and technology * euroscientist SAM HARRIS on the lost art of intellectual honesty *Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNIK on the role of life history in the human story, and many others.
Category: Science

Los Angeles

Author : David Rieff
ISBN : 9781439143315
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 72.86 MB
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David Rieff looks at a city that was long the epitome of the American Dream and is now, for many, the emblem of the American urban nightmare. Writing before the riots of 1992, Rieff found not a city of dreams but a city of bitter contradictions. A city that, like the United States itself, was being transformed by immigrants and refugees from Latin America and East Asia from an extension of Europe to a diverse patchwork of the peoples of the world. This is an L.A. that has never been described before. With a new afterword.
Category: Fiction

The Godfather S Revenge

Author : Mark Winegardner
ISBN : 9781448135875
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 83.18 MB
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It is 1963 in New York, and things have never been better for the Corleones. They've taken out their Mafia rivals, and legitimised the Family. Outside the fortified building owned by Michael Corleone, newly undisputed Boss of Bosses, a parade of people - among them former mob rivals and an emissary from the Mayor of New York - wait to ask the great man for favours. Only one thing remains to be done. Traitorous former Corleone capo Nick Geraci has powerful friends and far too much to say, and needs to be brought in. But then everything changes. As fireworks explode over First Avenue, news arrives that Jimmy Shea, President of the United States and an old friend of the Corleone's, has been assassinated...
Category: Fiction

Perfecting Holiness

Author : Edward Lewes Cutts
ISBN : OXFORD:590278882
Genre : Christian life
File Size : 58.29 MB
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Category: Christian life

The Visitor

Author :
ISBN : UCAL:B4429767
Genre : Agricultural education
File Size : 83.94 MB
Format : PDF
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Category: Agricultural education

The Silencing Of Emily Mullen And Other Essays

Author : Fred Hobson
ISBN : 0807130974
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 52.10 MB
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Perhaps the preeminent contemporary scholar of southern letters, Fred Hobson is adept at cutting through the many myths and self-illusions spun about the South and exposing a far more intriguing reality. In his inaugural collection of essays, Hobson offers both an astute and deeply personal take on American and southern life. He touches on history, literature, religion, family, race, and sports as he ponders various famous and obscure biographical and autobiographical figures. Rife with stimulating writing and thought, The Silencing of Emily Mullen informs, moves, and entertains all at once. Hobson's own great-grandmother inspires the title essay, in which he investigates the whispered family rumor that Emily Mullen Gregory committed suicide by jumping down a well in the late nineteenth century. Besides the facts of Mullen's death, Hobson inquires into the plight of southern middle-class women's lives generally in that era. A happier female relative animates another absorbing chapter: Hobson's great aunt who left the benighted South with the intent of bringing enlightenment to China as a missionary and teacher from 1909 to 1941, and who became both friend and critic of Madame Chiang Kai-shek. Ruminative appraisals of H. L. Mencken, W. J. Cash, progressive journalist Gerald W. Johnson, social critic James McBride Dabbs, man of letters Louis D. Rubin, Jr., African American author Mary Mebane, novelist Richard Ford, and twentieth-century southern literature add incrementally to the collection's overall intellectual pleasures. Hobson's concluding three pieces take a more intimate turn. He reflects on his connection to the hills of North Carolina, the impact the book The Mind of the South had on him, and the love of college basketball he shared with his father. The Silencing of Emily Mullen captures both the richness and deficiencies of the South within the American society at large. It is a book that makes for exceptionally rewarding and enjoyable reading.
Category: Literary Criticism