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The Vital Question

Author : Nick Lane
ISBN : 0393352978
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 77 MB
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One of the deepest, most illuminating books about the history of life to have been published in recent years. The Economist"

The Vital Question

Author : Nick Lane
ISBN : 9781847658807
Genre : Science
File Size : 83. 70 MB
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Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth-and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all? This is ground-breaking science in an accessible form, in the tradition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.

Perspectives

Author : William F Brown
ISBN : 9781460270301
Genre : Education
File Size : 80. 82 MB
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From the first seconds Following the Big Bang, to our best guesses for the fate of the universe and humanity, science provides stunning new perspectives about the place of humanity in the cosmos. Humans may live on one planet in one small corner of the Milky Way, itself one of billions of other galaxies, but Earth may be unique in one respect. Earth is teaming with life, one species of which, through chance and natural selection, developed an extraordinary brain, gifted with imagination, curiosity and a compulsion to understand ourselves and the universe. Perspectives is a journey through deep time, from the creation of the universe to the beginnings of life, our human origins and later the rise of culture and religion. It explores what it means to be human, and where our technology could take us in the years and centuries to come....

Christian Ministry In The Divine Milieu

Author : Maldari, SJ, Donald, C.
ISBN : 9781608337743
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42. 2 MB
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Fr. Maldari offers a vision of Christian ministry as a community in which each member actively participates in fostering creation's evolution toward fulfillment. While ministry is ultimately cooperating with God in furthering the process of creation to its fulfillment in salvation, it also humbly recognizes human limitation and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.

Symbolism 2020

Author : Rüdiger Ahrens
ISBN : 9783110716962
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 57. 42 MB
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This special anniversary volume of Symbolism explores the nexus between symbolic signification and the future from an interdisciplinary perspective. How, contributors ask, has the future been variously rendered in symbolic terms? How do symbols and symbolic reference shape our ideas of the future? To what extent are symbols constitutive of futures, and to what extent do they restrain communication about what is possible and the imagination of fundamental change? Moreover, how have symbolic practices shaped not only artistic representations of the future, but also scientific attempts at forecasting and modelling it? What, then, is the relevance of symbolism for negotiations of the future in cultural and academic production? In essays ranging from literary and film studies to the philosophy of art and ecological modelling, the volume seeks to lay groundwork in theorizing and historicising ‘symbols of the future’ as much as ‘the future of symbolism’.

How Molecular Forces And Rotating Planets Create Life

Author : Jan Spitzer
ISBN : 9780262362597
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 13 MB
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A reconceptualization of origins research that exploits a modern understanding of non-covalent molecular forces that stabilize living prokaryotic cells. Scientific research into the origins of life remains exploratory and speculative. Science has no definitive answer to the biggest questions--"What is life?" and "How did life begin on earth?" In this book, Jan Spitzer reconceptualizes origins research by exploiting a modern understanding of non-covalent molecular forces and covalent bond formation--a physicochemical approach propounded originally by Linus Pauling and Max Delbrück. Spitzer develops the Pauling-Delbrück premise as a physicochemical jigsaw puzzle that identifies key stages in life's emergence, from the formation of first oceans, tidal sediments, and proto-biofilms to progenotes, proto-cells and the first cellular organisms.

Why Are We Here?

Author : Bruce Brodie
ISBN : 9781532067976
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 78 MB
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From the big bang, to the origin and evolution of intelligent life in a search for the meaning of human existence, Why are We Here?, by author Bruce Brodie, offers a look at evolution and the future of life on the planet. Through many years of research and study, Brodie addresses a host of questions: • How did chemistry come to life? • How did the release of oxygen by cyanobacteria change the natural history of life? • How did mass extinctions reset the clock and reshape the course of biological evolution? • Why are homo sapiens so dominant? • Why do humans build vast civilizations, while chimps, with whom we share more than 98 percent of our DNA, are confined to forests and experimental laboratories and zoos? • How will cultural and technological evolution, which have transcended the slow pace of biological evolution, shape the future of life on the planet? • Can we escape the many existential threats that hover over us? Why are We Here? offers a new perspective on how we think about the world, and our place and our purpose in the universe and the future of humanity. It presents a lasting sense of the amazing wonder and mystery of life.

Cowen S History Of Life

Author : Michael J. Benton
ISBN : 9781119482208
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 50 MB
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A newly revised and fully updated edition of the market-leading introduction to paleontology Designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet, the new edition of this classic text describes the biological evolution of Earth’s organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations and the ecology and environments in which they functioned. Cowen's History of Life, 6th Edition includes major updates, including substantial rewrites to chapters on the origins of eukaryotes, the Cambrian explosion, the terrestrialization of plants and animals, the Triassic recovery of life, the origin of birds, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and human evolution. It also features new chapters on plants, soils and transformation of the land; the Mesozoic marine revolution; and the evolution of oceans and climates. Beginning with the origin of the Earth and the earliest life on earth, the book goes on to offer insightful contributions covering: the evolution of Metazoans; the early vertebrates; life of vertebrates on land; and early amniotes and thermoregulation. The book also looks at: dinosaur diversity, as well as their demise; early mammals; the rise of modern mammals; the Neogene Savannas; primates; life in the ice ages; and more. Covers the breadth of the subject in a concise yet specific way for undergrads with no academic background in the topic Reorganizes all chapters to reflect the geological series of events, enabling a new focus on big events Updated with three brand new chapters and numerous revised ones Put together by a new editorial team internationally recognized as the global leaders in paleontology Filled with illustrations and photographs throughout Includes diagrams to show internal structures of organisms, cladograms, time scales and events, and paleogeographic maps Supplemented with a dedicated website that explores additional enriching information and discussion, and which features images for use in visual presentations Cowen's History of Life, 6th Edition is an ideal book for undergraduate students taking courses in introductory paleontology, as well those on global change and earth systems.

Principles Of Thermal Ecology Temperature Energy And Life

Author : Andrew Clarke
ISBN : 9780192538789
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 49 MB
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Temperature affects everything. It influences all aspects of the physical environment and governs any process that involves a flow of energy, setting boundaries on what an organism can or cannot do. This novel textbook reveals the key principles behind the complex relationship between organisms and temperature, namely the science of thermal ecology. It starts by providing a rigorous framework for understanding the flow of energy in and out of the organism, before describing the influence of temperature on what organisms can do and how fast they can do it. With these fundamental principles covered, the bulk of the book explores thermal ecology itself, incorporating the important extra dimension of interactions with other organisms. An entire chapter is devoted to the crucially important subject of how organisms are responding to climate change. Indeed, the threat of rapid climatic change on a global scale is a stark reminder of the challenges that remain for evolutionary thermal biologists, and adds a sense of urgency to this book's mission.

Assembling Life

Author : David W. Deamer
ISBN : 9780190646387
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 62 MB
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In Assembling Life, David Deamer addresses questions that are the cutting edge of research on the origin of life. For instance, how did non-living organic compounds assemble into the first forms of primitive cellular life? What was the source of those compounds and the energy that produced the first nucleic acids? Did life begin in the ocean or in fresh water on terrestrial land masses? Could life have begun on Mars? The book provides an overview of conditions on the early Earth four billion years ago and explains why fresh water hot springs are a plausible alternative to salty seawater as a site where life can begin. Deamer describes his studies of organic compounds that were likely to be available in the prebiotic environment and the volcanic conditions that can drive chemical evolution toward the origin of life. The book is not exclusively Earth-centric, but instead considers whether life could begin elsewhere in our solar system. Deamer does not propose how life did begin, because we can never know that with certainty. Instead, his goal is to understand how life can begin on any habitable planet, with Earth so far being the only known example.

Mitonuclear Ecology

Author : Geoffrey E. Hill
ISBN : 9780198818250
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 65 MB
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This novel text provides a concise synthesis of how the interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear genes have played a major role in shaping the ecology and evolution of eukaryotes. The foundation for this new focus on mitonuclear interactions originated from research in biochemistry and cell biology laboratories, although the broader ecological and evolutionary implications have yet to be fully explored. The imperative for mitonuclear coadaptation is proposed to be a major selective force in the evolution of sexual reproduction and two mating types in eukaryotes, in the formation of species, in the evolution of ornaments and sexual selection, in the process of adaptation, and in the evolution of senescence. The book highlights the importance of mitonuclear coadaptation to the evolution of complex life and champions mitonuclear ecology as an important subdiscipline in ecology and evolution.

Modern Humans

Author : John F. Hoffecker
ISBN : 9780231543743
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 97 MB
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Modern Humans is a vivid account of the most recent—and perhaps the most important—phase of human evolution: the appearance of anatomically modern people (Homo sapiens) in Africa less than half a million years ago and their later spread throughout the world. Leaving no stone unturned, John F. Hoffecker demonstrates that Homo sapiens represents a “major transition” in the evolution of living systems in terms of fundamental changes in the role of non-genetic information. Modern Humans synthesizes recent findings from genetics (including the rapidly growing body of ancient DNA), the human fossil record, and archaeology relating to the African origin and global dispersal of anatomically modern people. Hoffecker places humans in the broad context of the evolution of life, emphasizing the critical role of genetic and non-genetic forms of information in living systems as well as how changes in the storage, transmission, and translation of information underlie major transitions in evolution. He also draws on information and complexity theory to explain the emergence of Homo sapiens in Africa several hundred thousand years ago and the rapid and unprecedented spread of our species into a variety of environments in Australia and Eurasia, including the Arctic and Beringia, beginning between 75,000 and 60,000 years ago. This magisterial work will appeal to all with an interest in the ever-fascinating field of human evolution.

Nature Strange And Beautiful

Author : Egbert Giles Leigh
ISBN : 9780300249163
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 48 MB
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A beautifully written exploration of how cooperation shaped life on earth, from its single-celled beginnings to complex human societies In this rich, wide-ranging, beautifully illustrated volume, Egbert Leigh explores the results of billions of years of evolution at work. Leigh, who has spent five decades on Panama’s Barro Colorado Island reflecting on the organization of various amazingly diverse tropical ecosystems, now shows how selection on “selfish genes” gives rise to complex modes of cooperation and interdependence. With the help of such artists as the celebrated nature photographer Christian Ziegler, natural history illustrator Deborah Miriam Kaspari, and Damond Kyllo, Leigh explains basic concepts of evolutionary biology, ranging from life’s single-celled beginnings to the complex societies humans have formed today. The book covers a range of topics, focusing on adaptation, competition, mutualism, heredity, natural selection, sexual selection, genetics, and language. Leigh’s reflections on evolution, competition, and cooperation show how the natural world becomes even more beautiful when viewed in the light of evolution.

Evolution And Human Behaviour

Author : John Cartwright
ISBN : 9781137348012
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 19 MB
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This comprehensive book offers a compelling synthesis of key ideas and concepts, and addresses in fundamental evolutionary terms the way humans think, feel and behave. This revised, updated and expanded edition includes new material on epigenetics, life history and error management theories, homosexuality, disease and gene-culture co-evolution.

To Make The World Intelligible

Author : Franklin M. Harold
ISBN : 9781525500206
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76. 4 MB
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To Make the World Intelligible: A Scientist’s Journey is both a book about a life of science and about the science of life. In it, Franklin M. Harold shares the story of his life as a German immigrant, who lived in the Middle East before coming to America and finding his place in life as a scientist. But Harold’s story does not stand in isolation. It is set against the heyday of biochemistry and molecular biology: a time when the staid science of biology was being transformed from a descriptive study of animals and plants into an intense inquiry into how living things work at the level of cells and molecules. Harold then builds on this backdrop by sharing some of his research and that of his mentor and Nobel Prizewinner Peter Mitchell, as well as his insights and reflections on life as a phenomenon of nature. The accessible, comprehensive, and yet lyrical way that Harold accomplishes this is a testament to his belief that a scientist’s raison d’être is to make the world intelligible.

Life In The Cosmos

Author : Manasvi Lingam
ISBN : 9780674259942
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 3 MB
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A rigorous and scientific analysis of the myriad possibilities of life beyond our planet. “Are we alone in the universe?” This tantalizing question has captivated humanity over millennia, but seldom has it been approached rigorously. Today the search for signatures of extraterrestrial life and intelligence has become a rapidly advancing scientific endeavor. Missions to Mars, Europa, and Titan seek evidence of life. Laboratory experiments have made great strides in creating synthetic life, deepening our understanding of conditions that give rise to living entities. And on the horizon are sophisticated telescopes to detect and characterize exoplanets most likely to harbor life. Life in the Cosmos offers a thorough overview of the burgeoning field of astrobiology, including the salient methods and paradigms involved in the search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence. Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb tackle three areas of interest in hunting for life “out there”: first, the pathways by which life originates and evolves; second, planetary and stellar factors that affect the habitability of worlds, with an eye on the biomarkers that may reveal the presence of microbial life; and finally, the detection of technological signals that could be indicative of intelligence. Drawing on empirical data from observations and experiments, as well as the latest theoretical and computational developments, the authors make a compelling scientific case for the search for life beyond what we can currently see. Meticulous and comprehensive, Life in the Cosmos is a master class from top researchers in astrobiology, suggesting that the answer to our age-old question is closer than ever before.

Handbook Of Astrobiology

Author : Vera M. Kolb
ISBN : 9781351661102
Genre : Science
File Size : 71. 77 MB
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Read an exclusive interview with Professor Vera Kolb here. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth. This exciting and significant field of research also investigates the potential existence and search for extra-terrestrial life in the Solar System and beyond. This is the first handbook in this burgeoning and interdisciplinary field. Edited by Vera Kolb, a highly respected astrobiologist, this comprehensive resource captures the history and current state of the field. Rich in information and easy to use, it assumes basic knowledge and provides answers to questions from practitioners and specialists in the field, as well as providing key references for further study. Features: Fills an important gap in the market, providing a comprehensive overview of the field Edited by an authority in the subject, with chapters written by experts in the many diverse areas that comprise astrobiology Contains in-depth and broad coverage of an exciting field that will only grow in importance in the decades ahead

Introduction To Paleobiology And The Fossil Record

Author : Michael J. Benton
ISBN : 9781119272861
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 74 MB
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This book presents a comprehensive overview of the science of the history of life. Paleobiologists bring many analytical tools to bear in interpreting the fossil record and the book introduces the latest techniques, from multivariate investigations of biogeography and biostratigraphy to engineering analysis of dinosaur skulls, and from homeobox genes to cladistics. All the well-known fossil groups are included, including microfossils and invertebrates, but an important feature is the thorough coverage of plants, vertebrates and trace fossils together with discussion of the origins of both life and the metazoans. All key related subjects are introduced, such as systematics, ecology, evolution and development, stratigraphy and their roles in understanding where life came from and how it evolved and diversified. Unique features of the book are the numerous case studies from current research that lead students to the primary literature, analytical and mathematical explanations and tools, together with associated problem sets and practical schedules for instructors and students. New to this edition The text and figures have been updated throughout to reflect current opinion on all aspects New case studies illustrate the chapters, drawn from a broad distribution internationally Chapters on Macroevolution, Form and Function, Mass extinctions, Origin of Life, and Origin of Metazoans have been entirely rewritten to reflect substantial advances in these topics There is a new focus on careers in paleobiology

An Introduction To Complex Systems

Author : Joe Tranquillo
ISBN : 9783030025892
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 26. 69 MB
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This book explores the interdisciplinary field of complex systems theory. By the end of the book, readers will be able to understand terminology that is used in complex systems and how they are related to one another; see the patterns of complex systems in practical examples; map current topics, in a variety of fields, to complexity theory; and be able to read more advanced literature in the field. The book begins with basic systems concepts and moves on to how these simple rules can lead to complex behavior. The author then introduces non-linear systems, followed by pattern formation, and networks and information flow in systems. Later chapters cover the thermodynamics of complex systems, dynamical patterns that arise in networks, and how game theory can serve as a framework for decision making. The text is interspersed with both philosophical and quantitative arguments, and each chapter ends with questions and prompts that help readers make more connections.

Quarks To Culture

Author : Tyler Volk
ISBN : 9780231544139
Genre : Science
File Size : 48. 80 MB
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Our world is nested, both physically and socially, and at each level we find innovations that are necessary for the next. Consider: atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms; when people come together, they build societies. Physics has gone far in mapping the basic mechanics of the simplest things and the dynamics of the overall nesting, as have biology and the social sciences for their fields. But what can we say about this beautifully complex whole? How does one stage shape another, and what can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being? In Quarks to Culture, Tyler Volk answers these questions, revealing how a universal natural rhythm—building from smaller things into larger, more complex things—resulted in a grand sequence of twelve fundamental levels across the realms of physics, biology, and culture. He introduces the key concept of “combogenesis,” the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. He explores common themes in how physics and chemistry led to biological evolution, and biological evolution to cultural evolution. Volk also provides insights into linkages across the sciences and fields of scholarship, and presents an exciting synthesis of ideas along a sequence of things and relations, from physical to living to cultural. The resulting inclusive natural philosophy brings clarity to our place in the world, offering a roadmap for those who seek to understand big history and wrestle with questions of how we came to be.

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