How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity

How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity

by Brian Goodwin
     
 

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Do genes explain life? Can advances in evolutionary and molecular biology account for what we look like, how we behave, and why we die? In this powerful intervention into current biological thinking, Brian Goodwin argues that such genetic reductionism has important limits.

Drawing on the sciences of complexity, the author shows how an understanding of the

Overview

Do genes explain life? Can advances in evolutionary and molecular biology account for what we look like, how we behave, and why we die? In this powerful intervention into current biological thinking, Brian Goodwin argues that such genetic reductionism has important limits.

Drawing on the sciences of complexity, the author shows how an understanding of the self-organizing patterns of networks is necessary for making sense of nature. Genes are important, but only as part of a process constrained by environment, physical laws, and the universal tendencies of complex adaptive systems. In a new preface for this edition, Goodwin reflects on the advances in both genetics and the sciences of complexity since the book's original publication.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - David Papineau
[Goodwin's] book genuinely illuminates the mysteries of biological development.
From the Publisher
"[Goodwin's] book genuinely illuminates the mysteries of biological development."—David Papineau, New York Times
New York Times
[Goodwin's] book genuinely illuminates the mysteries of biological development.
— David Papineau
David Papineau
[Goodwin's] book genuinely illuminates the mysteries of biological development.
New York Times
Booknews
"Survival of the fittest" has become a popular modern slogan. Ever since the publication of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, this perspective has dominated biology and influenced corporate planning, politics, and other arenas. Goodwin, a biologist, demonstrates the flaws in the quasi-religious fervous with which Darwin's theory is defended and elucidates its weaknesses, proposing a sophisticated alternative which synthesizes biology with dynamic theories from other sciences. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691088099
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/29/2001
Series:
Princeton Science Library Series
Edition description:
With a New preface by the author
Pages:
275
Sales rank:
930,842
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.59(d)

What People are saying about this

Simon Levin
This is a brilliant book,wonderfully written. . . . Goodwin is a real scholar,of great breadth and insight. He writes beautifully,conveying difficult themes in an exciting manner.

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