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Evidence And Evolution

Author : Elliott Sober
ISBN : 9781139470117
Genre : Science
File Size : 68. 7 MB
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How should the concept of evidence be understood? And how does the concept of evidence apply to the controversy about creationism as well as to work in evolutionary biology about natural selection and common ancestry? In this rich and wide-ranging book, Elliott Sober investigates general questions about probability and evidence and shows how the answers he develops to those questions apply to the specifics of evolutionary biology. Drawing on a set of fascinating examples, he analyzes whether claims about intelligent design are untestable; whether they are discredited by the fact that many adaptations are imperfect; how evidence bears on whether present species trace back to common ancestors; how hypotheses about natural selection can be tested, and many other issues. His book will interest all readers who want to understand philosophical questions about evidence and evolution, as they arise both in Darwin's work and in contemporary biological research.

The Evidence For Evolution

Author : Alan R. Rogers
ISBN : 9780226723853
Genre : Science
File Size : 51. 41 MB
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According to polling data, most Americans doubt that evolution is a real phenomenon. And it’s no wonder that so many are skeptical: many of today’s biology courses and textbooks dwell on the mechanisms of evolution—natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow—but say little about the evidence that evolution happens at all. How do we know that species change? Has there really been enough time for evolution to operate? With The Evidence for Evolution, Alan R. Rogers provides an elegant, straightforward text that details the evidence for evolution. Rogers covers different levels of evolution, from within-species changes, which are much less challenging to see and believe, to much larger ones, say, from fish to amphibian, or from land mammal to whale. For each case, he supplies numerous lines of evidence to illustrate the changes, including fossils, DNA, and radioactive isotopes. His comprehensive treatment stresses recent advances in knowledge but also recounts the give and take between skeptical scientists who first asked “how can we be sure” and then marshaled scientific evidence to attain certainty. The Evidence for Evolution is a valuable addition to the literature on evolution and will be essential to introductory courses in the life sciences.

Science Evolution And Creationism

Author : Committee on Revising Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences
ISBN : 0309105862
Genre : Science
File Size : 53. 56 MB
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How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable. In the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes. Mindful of school board battles and recent court decisions, Science, Evolution, and Creationism shows that science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. For educators, students, teachers, community leaders, legislators, policy makers, and parents who seek to understand the basis of evolutionary science, this publication will be an essential resource.

The Blind Watchmaker

Author : Richard Dawkins
ISBN : 0393315703
Genre : Science
File Size : 84. 83 MB
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Clarifies the seemingly implausible aspects of Darwin's theory, drawing on the famous watch comparison argued by William Paley, the eighteenth-century theologian

Why Darwin Matters

Author : Michael Shermer
ISBN : 1429900903
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 93 MB
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A creationist-turned-scientist demonstrates the facts of evolution and exposes Intelligent Design's real agenda Science is on the defensive. Half of Americans reject the theory of evolution and "Intelligent Design" campaigns are gaining ground. Classroom by classroom, creationism is overthrowing biology. In Why Darwin Matters, bestselling author Michael Shermer explains how the newest brand of creationism appeals to our predisposition to look for a designer behind life's complexity. Shermer decodes the scientific evidence to show that evolution is not "just a theory" and illustrates how it achieves the design of life through the bottom-up process of natural selection. Shermer, once an evangelical Christian and a creationist, argues that Intelligent Design proponents are invoking a combination of bad science, political antipathy, and flawed theology. He refutes their pseudoscientific arguments and then demonstrates why conservatives and people of faith can and should embrace evolution. He then appraises the evolutionary questions that truly need to be settled, building a powerful argument for science itself. Cutting the politics away from the facts, Why Darwin Matters is an incisive examination of what is at stake in the debate over evolution.

Human Evolution

Author : Bernard Grant Campbell
ISBN : 0202020428
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 72 MB
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In this new fourth edition, Campbell has revised and updated his classic introduction to the field. Human Evolution synthesizes the major findings of modern research and theory and presents a complete and integrated account of the evolution of human beings. New developments in microbiology and recent fossil records are incorporated into the enormous range of this volume, with the resulting text as lucid and comprehensive as earlier editions. The fourth edition retains the thematic structure and organization of the third, with its cogent treatment of human variability and speciation, primate locomotion, and nonverbal communication and the evolution of language, supported by more than 150 detailed illustrations and an expanded and updated glossary and bibliography. As in prior editions, the book treats evolution as a concomitant development of the main behavioral and functional complexes of the genus Homo among them motor control and locomotion, mastication and digestion, the senses and reproduction. It analyzes each complex in terms of its changing function, and continually stresses how the separate complexes evolve interdependently over the long course of the human journey. All these aspects are placed within the context of contemporary evolutionary and genetic theory, analyses of the varied extensions of the fossil record, and contemporary primatology and comparative morphology. The result is a primary text for undergraduate and graduate courses, one that will also serve as required reading for anthropologists, biologists, and nonspecialists with an interest in human evolution. "Synthesizes the conventional academic thought into a textbook or detailed account for lay readers. Along the chronological narrative are discussions of progress in homeostasis, the primate radiation, locomotion and the hindlimb, function and structure of the head, reproduction and social structure, and culture and society." Book News Bernard Campbell has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard and Cambridge, and has taught and conducted research in Eastern and Southern Africa. He was professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1970-76. Dr. Campbell is author/coauthor of Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man; Human Ecology (second edition, Aldine); Humankind Emerging and the definitive three-volume Catalogue of Fossil Hominids.

Relics Of Eden

Author : Daniel J. Fairbanks
ISBN : 9781615920099
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 35 MB
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Since the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s Origin of Species, debate over the theory of evolution has been continuous and often impassioned. In recent years, opponents of "Darwin’s dangerous idea" have mounted history’s most sophisticated and generously funded attack, claiming that evolution is "a theory in crisis." Ironically, these claims are being made at a time when the explosion of information from genome projects has revealed the most compelling and overwhelming evidence of evolution ever discovered. Much of the latest evidence of human evolution comes not from our genes, but from so-called "junk DNA," leftover relics of our evolutionary history that make up the vast majority of our DNA. Relics of Eden explores this powerful DNA-based evidence of human evolution. The "relics" are the millions of functionally useless but scientifically informative remnants of our evolutionary ancestry trapped in the DNA of every person on the planet. For example, the analysis of the chimpanzee and Rhesus monkey genomes shows indisputable evidence of the human evolutionary relationship with other primates. Over 95 percent of our genome is identical with that of chimpanzees and we also have a good deal in common with other animal species. Author Daniel J. Fairbanks also discusses what DNA analysis reveals about where humans originated. The diversity of DNA sequences repeatedly confirms the archeological evidence that humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa (the "Eden" of the title) and from there migrated through the Middle East and Asia to Europe, Australia, and the Americas. In conclusion, Fairbanks confronts the supposed dichotomy between evolution and religion, arguing that both science and religion are complementary ways to seek truth. He appeals to the vast majority of Americans who hold religious convictions not to be fooled by the pseudoscience of Creationists and Intelligent Design advocates and to abandon the false dichotomy between religion and real science. This concise, very readable presentation of recent genetic research is completely accessible to the nonspecialist and makes for enlightening and fascinating reading.

Niche Construction

Author : F. John Odling-Smee
ISBN : 9781400847266
Genre : Science
File Size : 48. 32 MB
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The seemingly innocent observation that the activities of organisms bring about changes in environments is so obvious that it seems an unlikely focus for a new line of thinking about evolution. Yet niche construction--as this process of organism-driven environmental modification is known--has hidden complexities. By transforming biotic and abiotic sources of natural selection in external environments, niche construction generates feedback in evolution on a scale hitherto underestimated--and in a manner that transforms the evolutionary dynamic. It also plays a critical role in ecology, supporting ecosystem engineering and influencing the flow of energy and nutrients through ecosystems. Despite this, niche construction has been given short shrift in theoretical biology, in part because it cannot be fully understood within the framework of standard evolutionary theory. Wedding evolution and ecology, this book extends evolutionary theory by formally including niche construction and ecological inheritance as additional evolutionary processes. The authors support their historic move with empirical data, theoretical population genetics, and conceptual models. They also describe new research methods capable of testing the theory. They demonstrate how their theory can resolve long-standing problems in ecology, particularly by advancing the sorely needed synthesis of ecology and evolution, and how it offers an evolutionary basis for the human sciences. Already hailed as a pioneering work by some of the world's most influential biologists, this is a rare, potentially field-changing contribution to the biological sciences.

Climbing Mount Improbable

Author : Richard Dawkins
ISBN : 9780393070521
Genre : Science
File Size : 63. 53 MB
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A brilliant book celebrating improbability as the engine that drives life, by the acclaimed author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. The human eye is so complex and works so precisely that surely, one might believe, its current shape and function must be the product of design. How could such an intricate object have come about by chance? Tackling this subject—in writing that the New York Times called "a masterpiece"—Richard Dawkins builds a carefully reasoned and lovingly illustrated argument for evolutionary adaptation as the mechanism for life on earth. The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time. Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.

A Devil S Chaplain

Author : Richard Dawkins
ISBN : 9780547416526
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 81 MB
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Essays on morality, mortality, and much more from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. This early collection of essays from renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is an enthusiastic declaration, a testament to the power of rigorous scientific examination to reveal the wonders of the world. In these essays, Dawkins revisits the meme, the unit of cultural information that he named and wrote about in his groundbreaking work, The Selfish Gene. Here also are moving tributes to friends and colleagues, including a eulogy for novelist Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; correspondence with fellow biologist Stephen Jay Gould; commentary on the events of 9/11; and visits with the famed paleoanthropologists Richard and Meave Leakey at their African wildlife preserve. Ending with a vivid note to Dawkins’s ten-year-old daughter, reminding her to remain curious, ask questions, and live the examined life, A Devil’s Chaplain is a fascinating read by “a man of firm opinions, which he expresses with clarity and punch” (Scientific American).

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