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In this fascinating book, John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary present an original picture of evolution. They propose that during evolution there have been a number of major transitions in the way in which information is passed between generations. These transitions include the appearance of the first replicating molecules, the emergence of co-operative animal societies, and the unique language ability of humans. Containing many new ideas, this book is contemporary biology on the grandest scale, from the birth of life to the origin of language.