In the Light of Evolution: Volume 1. Adaptation and Complex Design

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In December 2006, the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a colloquium (featured as part of the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia series) on "Adaptation and Complex Design" to synthesize recent empirical findings and conceptual approaches toward understanding the evolutionary origins and maintenance of complex adaptations. Darwin's elucidation of natural selection as a creative natural force was a monumental achievement in the history of science, but a century and a half later some religious believers still contend that biotic complexity registers conscious supernatural design. In this book, modern scientific perspectives are presented on the evolutionary origin and maintenance of complex phenotypes including various behaviors, anatomies, and physiologies. After an introduction by the editors and an opening historical and conceptual essay by Francisco Ayala, this book includes 14 papers presented by distinguished evolutionists at the colloquium. The papers are organized into sections covering epistemological approaches to the study of biocomplexity, a hierarchy of topics on biological complexity ranging from ontogeny to symbiosis, and case studies explaining how complex phenotypes are being dissected in terms of genetics and development.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309104050
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2007
  • Series: Sackler Colloquium Series
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Arthur M. Sackler Biography     vii
Preface to the In the Light of Evolution Series     xiii
Preface to In the Light of Evoluion I: Adaptation and Complex Design     xv
Introductory Essay     1
Darwin's Greatest Discovery: Design Without Designer   Francisco J. Ayala     3
Epistemological Approaches to Biocomplexity Assessment     23
Functional Information and the Emergence of Biocomplexity   Robert M. Hazen   Patrick L. Griffin   James M. Carothers   Jack W. Szostak     25
The Theory of Facilitated Variation   John Gerhart   Marc Kirschner     45
Between "Design" and "Bricolage": Genetic Networks, Levels of Selection, and Adaptive Evolution   Adam S. Wilkins     65
The Frailty of Adaptive Hypotheses for the Origins of Organismal Complexity   Michael Lynch     83
From Individual Ontogeny to Symbiosis: A Hierarchy of Complexity     105
Emerging Principles of Regulatory Evolution   Benjamin Prud'homme   Nicolas Gompel   Sean B. Carroll     109
Evolution of Individuality During the Transition from Unicellular to Multicellular Life   Richard E. Michod     129
Insect Societies as Divided Organisms: The Complexities of Purpose andCross-Purpose   Joan E. Strassmann   David C. Queller     145
Symbiosis as an Adaptive Process and Source of Phenotypic Complexity   Nancy A. Moran     165
Case Studies: Dissecting Complex Phenotypes     183
Adaptive Evolution of Color Vision as Seen Through the Eyes of Butterflies   Francesca D. Frentiu   Gary D. Bernard   Cristina I. Cuevas   Marilou P. Sison-Mangus   Kathleen L. Prudic   Adriana D. Briscoe     187
Plant Domestication, a Unique Opportunity to Identify the Genetic Basis of Adaptation   Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra   Peter L. Morrell   Brandon S. Gaut     205
An Experimental Test of Evolutionary Trade-Offs During Temperature Adaptation   Albert F. Bennett   Richard E. Lenski     225
Two Routes to Functional Adaptation: Tibetan and Andean High-Altitude Natives   Cynthia M. Beall     239
On the Origin and Evolutionary Diversification of Beetle Horns   Douglas J. Emlen   Laura Corley Lavine   Ben Ewen-Campen     257
Concluding Essay     283
Biological Design in Science Classrooms   Eugenie C. Scott   Nicholas J. Matzke     285
References     305
Index     345
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