Complete idiot's guide to evolution

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Résumé de Complete idiot's guide to evolution

While humans have been evolving since life on earth began, the geological, paleontological, and natural explorations of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which revealed that the Earth was far older than had previously been imagined, that led to the questioning of biblical beliefs in creation. Even before Darwin, there were scientists who set the stage for the "survival of the fittest." The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Evolution offers a beginner's/re-learner's look at the science and the controversy surrounding it.

Sommaire de Complete idiot's guide to evolution

I.THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA.

1.The Basics of Evolution.

Why Oppose Evolution? Why Is Evolution So Misunderstood? Let's Get Our Terms Straight. Where Did You Come From? Why Does Darwin Matter? Evolution Is Observable, but You Might Not Like What You See.

2.The Greek Philosophers Tackle Evolution.

Anaximander: All Life Comes from the Sea. Aristotle: The Ladder of Being. Empedocles: Limbs and Organs Up for Grab. The Stoics: Change As Fate. The Epicureans and the Blessed Phase of History. The Legacy of the Ancient Greeks.

3.The Age of Earth and the Fixity of the Species.

The Problem of Genesis. Getting to Nature Through the Back Door. Reviving the Ladder of Being. Turning Back the Clock: The Protestant Reformation. Taking Creation Out of the Picture. John Ray: Searching for a Divine Master Plan. The Sacred Theory of the Earth.

4.Earth Gets a History.

The Chain of Being. Mr. In Between. The Discovery of the Earth. Buffon: The Death of the Biblical Chronology. The Albinos from Senegal and the Problem of Inheritance.

5.The Love Life of Plants.

Carl Linnaeus: The Ultimate Classifier. Buffon and Linnaeus: A Glance Backward. Lamarck: Looking for Answers in All the Wrong Places. Erasmus Darwin: The Poet of Nature.

II.THE ADVENT OF DARWIN.

6.Form, Function, and Catastrophe.

George Cuvier: Rescuing Geology from the Atheists. Buckland Joins the Rearguard Action. Louis Agassiz: Wisdom, Greatness, and Providence. Geoffroy St. Hilaire and the Search for a Single Ancestor.

7.The Heroic Age of Geology.

William Smith: Digging into the Rocks. One Too Many Catastrophes. Lyell's Geological Epochs. No to Organic Progression. Uniformitarianism: The Rules of the Game Stay the Same. Darwin's Teacher: Adam Sedgwick.

8.Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle.

'Shooting, Dogs, and Rat Catching'. The Voyage of the Beagle.

9.Nature's Winners and Losers.

Evolution of a Theory. Darwin's Epiphany. Faltering at the Finish Line.

10.The Debut of Evolution.

The Bombshell. Evolution Acquires a Second Father. The Origin of the Origin.

III.GENES AND EVOLUTION.

11.The Man Who Saved Darwinism.

Taking Up Darwin's Cause. Matter and Motion: The Riddle of Reproduction. New Blood, Pure Blood, and Bad Blood. A Monk and His Pea Plants. Mendel Lost and Found.

12.The ABCs of Natural Selection.

Brown Urine and Colorless Skin: The Discovery of Genes. The Search for the Stuff of Life: Chromosomes, DNA, and the Genome. The Link Between Genes and Evolution. The Spice of Life. Who Gets to Contribute Their Genetic Legacy.

13.Who Is the Fittest One of All?

The Survival of the Fittest: What Does It Really Mean? Diving into the Gene Pool. Tracking Down Genes Through the Generations.

14.The Natural Process of Loss.

What Natural Selection Is And Isn't. Natural vs. Artificial Selection What's the Difference? Sexual Selection: What's Love Got to Do with It? Genetic Drift: Why Panthers Are in Danger of Extinction.

15.Mutants, Shuffled Genes, and Mateless Maggots.

Putting Genes Back in the Pool. Gene Flow: A Little Help from One's Friends. Recombination: The Great Gene Shuffle. Where Do New Species Come From?

IV.PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER: THE MODERN SYNTHESIS.

16.The Big Picture: Macroevolution.

Macro- and Microevolution: What's the Difference? The Modern Synthes