In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision Sparked the Big Bang of Evolution

In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision Sparked the Big Bang of Evolution

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by Andrew Parker
     
 


About 550 million years ago, there was literally an explosion of life forms, as all the major animal groups suddenly and dramatically appeared. Although several books have been written about this surprising event, known as the Cambrian explosion, none has explained why it occurred. Indeed, none was able to. Here, for the first time, Oxford zoologist Andrew Parker…  See more details below

Overview


About 550 million years ago, there was literally an explosion of life forms, as all the major animal groups suddenly and dramatically appeared. Although several books have been written about this surprising event, known as the Cambrian explosion, none has explained why it occurred. Indeed, none was able to. Here, for the first time, Oxford zoologist Andrew Parker reveals his theory of this great flourishing of life. Parker's controversial but increasingly accepted "Light Switch Theory" holds that it was the development of vision in primitive animals that caused the explosion. Drawing on evidence not just from biology, but also from geology, physics, chemistry, history, and art, In the Blink of an Eye is the fascinating account of a young scientist's intellectual journey, and a celebration of the scientific method.

Editorial Reviews

The Cambrian Explosion was one of the great mysteries of evolution. The sudden proliferation of life forms 550 million years ago baffled even Darwin, who, in The Origin of Species, admitted that such rapid diversification presented a valid argument against his theory. But now, a century and a half later, 34-year-old Oxford University researcher Andrew Parker advances a new explanation of the Cambrian Explosion so compelling that many prominent scientists have accepted its plausibility. Parker contends that it was the development of sight in animals that caused biology's Big Bang. His account of how he solved the problem of the origin of biodiversity unfolds with the excitement of a topnotch whodunit.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465054381
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/12/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
4.80(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.74(d)

Meet the Author


Andrew Parker is a Royal Society Research Fellow at Oxford University's Department of Zoology. He has been named by the London Times as one of the three most important young scientists in the world for his work in investigating and answering the great riddle of the Cambrian explosion. He lives in Oxfordshire, England.

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In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision Sparked the Big Bang of Evolution 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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