Life Explained

Life Explained

by Michel Morange, Matthew Cobb, Malcolm DeBevoise
     
 

In this accessible and fascinating book, Michel Morange draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find today's answers to the question of life. He begins by discussing the various answers formulated in the past, setting contemporary definitions of life within a rich philosophical and scientific… See more details below

Overview

In this accessible and fascinating book, Michel Morange draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find today's answers to the question of life. He begins by discussing the various answers formulated in the past, setting contemporary definitions of life within a rich philosophical and scientific tradition that reaches back to ancient Greece, Then, with impeccable logic and a wealth of appropriate detail, Morange lays out the fundamental characteristics that define life. The road to an understanding of life remains incompletely charted, he concludes, but the nature of its final destination is no longer an enigma.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300137323
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/25/2008
Series:
An Editions Odile Jacob Book Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 5.74(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

Michel Morange is professor of biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he directs the Centre Cavaillès for the History and Philosophy of Science. He is the author of The Misunderstood Gene and A History of Molecular Biology, and has published many articles in scientific journals. Matthew Cobb is senior lecturer in animal behavior at the University of Manchester. Malcolm DeBevoise has translated some thirty works from French in all branches of scholarship.

Table of Contents


Pt. I The Death and Resurrection of Life 1
1 The Twilight of Life 3
2 Life as Genetic Information 9
3 The Return of Life 16 Pt. II The Question in Historical Perspective 25
4 A Rich Heritage 27
5 Contemporary Answers 35 Pt. III Contributions of Current Research 47
6 Looking for Life's Past 49
7 Retracing the Path of Life 59
8 Reading the Palimpsest of Life 72
9 Life Under Extreme Conditions 78
10 The Search for a Minimal Genome 85
11 Astrobiological Investigations 90
12 Life as a Living System 101 Pt. IV A Few Necessarily Provisional Conclusions 111
13 Objections and Replies 113
14 Darwinism in Its Proper Place 121
15 The Lure of Complexity 133
16 The Three Pillars of Life 141 Bibliography 179 Index 197

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