Darwin's Blind Spot

Darwin's Blind Spot

Evolution Beyond Natural Selection

Book - 2002
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Houghton
While Charles Darwin's vision of evolution was brilliant, natural selection ignores a crucial force that helps to explain the diversity and wonder of life: symbiosis. In Darwin's Blind Spot, Frank Ryan shows how the blending of life forms through symbiosis has resulted in gigantic leaps in evolution. The dependence of many flowering plants on insects and birds for pollination is an important instance of symbiosis. More surprising may be the fact that our cells have incorporated bacteria that allow us to breathe oxygen. And the equivalent of symbiosis within a species -- cooperation -- has been a vital, although largely ignored, force in human evolution. In Ryan's view, cooperation, not competition, lies at the heart of human society.
Ryan mixes stories of the many strange and beautiful results of symbiosis with accounts of the dramatic historic rivalries over the expansion of Darwin's theory. He also examines controversial research being done today, including studies suggesting that symbiosis among viruses led to the evolution of mammals and thus of humans. Too often Darwin's interpreters have put excessive emphasis on competition and struggle as the only forces in evolution. But the idea of "survival of the fittest" does not always reign. Symbiosis is critically important to the richness of Earth's life forms.


Baker & Taylor
The author explores the role of interaction among species in promoting the diversity of life, examining key examples of symbiosis and demonstrating that huge leaps in evolution have arisen from the blending of life forms.

Book News
Challenging Darwin's emphasis on "survival of the fittest," this update of evolutionary theory credits cooperation and interaction between viruses, bacteria, and other living organisms with giant leaps in evolution. Focusing on the mechanism of symbiosis, Frank (a physician and science writer) reviews the history of evolutionary theory, introduces modern viewpoints, and proposes novel theories on unresolved issues about the origins of life. Written for a general scientific audience. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Taking a close-up look at the complexities of evolution, the author of Virus X and The Forgotten Plague explores the role of interaction among species in promoting the diversity of life, examining key examples of symbiosis and demonstrating that huge leaps in evolution have arisen from the blending of life forms.

Publisher: Boston : Houghlin Mifflin, 2002
ISBN: 9780618118120
0618118128
Characteristics: p. ; cm

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spindlewit
Nov 12, 2009

A well-written and concise book which explores and questions all facets of evolution. Certainly a book to read twice.

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