life s solution inevitable humans in a lonely universe

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Life S Solution

Author : Simon Conway Morris
ISBN : 0521827043
Genre : Science
File Size : 55. 89 MB
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Contends that randomness in the universe is limited by the rules of physics and chemistry, resulting in repeated examples of evolutionary convergence that demonstrate life's ability to arrive at a single solution in different ways.

The Runes Of Evolution

Author : Simon Conway Morris
ISBN : 9781599474656
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 96 MB
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How did human beings acquire imaginations that can conjure up untrue possibilities? How did the Universe become self-aware? In The Runes of Evolution, Simon Conway Morris revitalizes the study of evolution from the perspective of convergence, providing us with compelling new evidence to support the mounting scientific view that the history of life is far more predictable than once thought. A leading evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge, Conway Morris came into international prominence for his work on the Cambrian explosion (especially fossils of the Burgess Shale) and evolutionary convergence, which is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. In The Runes of Evolution, he illustrates how the ubiquity of convergence hints at an underlying framework whereby many outcomes, not least brains and intelligence, are virtually guaranteed on any Earth-like planet. Conway Morris also emphasizes how much of the complexity of advanced biological systems is inherent in microbial forms. By casting a wider net, The Runes of Evolution explores many neglected evolutionary questions. Some are remarkably general. Why, for example, are convergences such as parasitism, carnivory, and nitrogen fixation in plants concentrated in particular taxonomic hot spots? Why do certain groups have a particular propensity to evolve toward particular states? Some questions lead to unexpected evolutionary insights: If bees sleep (as they do), do they dream? Why is that insect copulating with an orchid? Why have sponges evolved a system of fiber optics? What do mantis shrimps and submarines have in common? If dinosaurs had not gone extinct what would have happened next? Will a saber-toothed cat ever re-evolve? Cona Morris observes: “Even amongst the mammals, let alone the entire tree of life, humans represent one minute twig of a vast (and largely fossilized) arborescence. Every living species is a linear descendant of an immense string of now-vanished ancestors, but evolution itself is the very reverse of linear. Rather it is endlessly exploratory, probing the vast spaces of biological hyperspace. Indeed this book is a celebration of how our world is (and was) populated by a riot of forms, a coruscating tapestry of life.” The Runes of Evolution is the most definitive synthesis of evolutionary convergence to be published to date.

Convergent Evolution

Author : George R. McGhee
ISBN : 9780262016421
Genre : Science
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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.

Fitness Of The Cosmos For Life

Author : John D. Barrow
ISBN : 9780521871020
Genre : Science
File Size : 90. 28 MB
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An interdisciplinary book for scientists interested in the origin and existence of life in our universe, first published in 2007.

The Deep Structure Of Biology

Author : Simon Conway Morris
ISBN : 9781599471389
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42. 88 MB
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Twelve renowned scientists and theologians offer penetrating insights into the evolution dialogue in The Deep Structure of Biology. Each considers whether the orthodox model of evolution is sufficient and offers his/her own perspective on evolution and biology. Essays include: •Chance and Necessity in Evolution •Green Plants as Intelligent Organisms •Canny Corvoids and Political Primates: A Case for Convergent Evolution in Intelligence •Social and Cultural Evolution in the Ocean: Convergences and Contrasts with Terrestrial Systems •Purpose in Nature: On the Possibility of a Theology of Evolution Editor Simon Conway Morris provides the introduction and an overview of the issues as well as an essay on evolution and convergence. Other contributors are: Richard Lenski, George McGhee, Karl Niklas, Anthony Trewavas, Nigel Franks, Nicola Clayton, Nathan Emery, HalWhitehead, Robert Foley, Michael Ruse, Celia Deane-Drummond, and John Haught. The discussion of biology and evolution in these essays broadens the scope of the traditional evolution discussion as it aims to stimulate the development of further research programs. Scholars in the science and religion field will find this book a valuable resource.

Humans In Outer Space Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Author : Ulrike Landfester
ISBN : 9783709102800
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 85. 51 MB
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Following the first comprehensive transdisciplinary dialogue on humans in outer space which resulted in "Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Odysseys", the European Science Foundation (ESF), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) have continued and deepened this transdisciplinary dialogue, which can now be found in Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Going further than regarding humans as better-than-robot tools for exploration, it investigates the human quest for odysseys beyond Earth's atmosphere and reflects on arising issues related to Europe's role among the States conducting human exploration. It provides perspectives related to governance, management of space exploration, space settlements, the role of astronauts in the future as well as related to the encounter of extraterrestrial life.

Rare Earth

Author : Peter D. Ward
ISBN : 9780387218489
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 39 MB
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What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.

What S The Least I Can Believe And Still Be A Christian New Edition With Study Guide

Author : Martin Thielen
ISBN : 161164092X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 64. 20 MB
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Pastor and author Martin Thielen has compiled a list of ten things people need to believe, and ten things they don't, in order to be a Christian. This lively and engaging book will be a help to seekers as well as a comfort to believers who may find themselves questioning some of the assumptions they grew up with. With an accessible, storytelling style that's grounded in solid biblical scholarship, Thielen shows how Christians don't need to believe that sinners will be "left behind" to burn in hell or that it's heresy to believe in evolution. And while we must always take the Bible seriously, we don't always have to take it literally. At the same time, Christians do need to believe in Jesus--his life, his teachings, his death and resurrection, and his vision for the world. A great benefit of those beliefs is that they provide promising answers to life's most profound questions, including: Where is God? What matters most? What brings fulfillment? What about suffering? Is there hope? Thielen articulates centrist, mainline Christianity in a way that's fresh and easy to understand, and offers authentic Christian insights that speak to our deepest needs. This new edition includes a leader's guide, previously only available online, and a new introduction from the author that reflects on the book's reception. The leader's guide features unique and easily implemented aids for carrying out a seven-week, congregation-wide initiative that will help local churches reach out to their communities. More information is available at thielen.wjkbooks.com.

Richard Dawkins

Author : Alan Grafen
ISBN : 9780191500770
Genre : Science
File Size : 31. 92 MB
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This sparkling collection explores the impact of Richard Dawkins as scientist, rationalist, and one of the most important thinkers alive today. Specially commissioned pieces by leading figures in science, philosophy, literature, and the media, such as Daniel C. Dennett, Matt Ridley, Steven Pinker, Philip Pullman, and the Bishop of Oxford, highlight the breadth and range of Dawkins' influence on modern science and culture, from the gene's eye view of evolution to his energetic engagement in public debates on science, rationalism, and religion. The volume includes personal reminiscences and critical debate as well as accessible discussions of science - it provides a stimulating tribute to a remarkable intellectual.

Fundamental Planetary Science

Author : Jack J. Lissauer
ISBN : 9781107354616
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 42 MB
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A quantitative introduction to the Solar System and planetary systems science for advanced undergraduate students, this engaging new textbook explains the wide variety of physical, chemical and geological processes that govern the motions and properties of planets. The authors provide an overview of our current knowledge and discuss some of the unanswered questions at the forefront of research in planetary science and astrobiology today. They combine knowledge of the Solar System and the properties of extrasolar planets with astrophysical observations of ongoing star and planet formation, offering a comprehensive model for understanding the origin of planetary systems. The book concludes with an introduction to the fundamental properties of living organisms and the relationship that life has to its host planet. With more than 200 exercises to help students learn how to apply the concepts covered, this textbook is ideal for a one-semester or two-quarter course for undergraduate students.

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