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The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language

The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmary published The Major Transitions in Evolution, it was seen as a major work in biology. Nature hailed it as a book of "grand and daunting sweep...A splendid and rewarding tour de force." And New Scientist wrote that it captured "the essence of modern biology," calling it "an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable." Now, in The Origins of Life, Maynard Smith and Szathmary have completely rewritten Transitions to bring their ideas to a wider audience of general readers. Here is a brilliant, original picture of how life evolved on earth, focusing primarily on six major transitions — dramatic breakthroughs in the way that information was passed between generations. The authors offer illuminating explorations of the origin of life itself, the arrival of the first cells with nuclei, the first reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperative animal societies, and the birth of language.

The Origins of Life represents the thinking of two leading scientists on questions that engage us all — how life began and how it gradually evolved from tiny invisible cells into whales and trees and human beings.

Synopsis:

"Moving speedily from epoch to epoch, fueled by a few important concepts (such as the division of labor) and explaining all the genetics they use, Smith and Szathmary show 'just how difficult it has been to evolve complex organisms whose genes cooperate rather than compete'....Compact, dense, formidable yet accessible, this book exposes readers to the cutting edge in theoretical evolutionary biology." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

When John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary published The Major Transitions in Evolution, it was seen as a major work in biology. Nature hailed it as a book of "grand and daunting sweep.... A splendid and rewarding tour de force." And New Scientist wrote that it captured "the essence of modern biology," calling it "an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable."

Now, in The Origins of Life, Maynard Smith and Szathmary have completely rewritten Transitions to bring their ideas to a wider audience of general readers. Here is a brilliant, state-of-the-art account of how life evolved on earth, focusing primarily on six major transitions--dramatic breakthroughs in the way that information was passed between generations. The authors offer illuminating explorations of the origin of life itself, the arrival of the first cells with nuclei, the first reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies, and the birth of language.

The Origins of Life represents the thinking of two leading scientists on questions that engage us all--how life began and how it gradually evolved from tiny invisible cells into whales and trees and human beings.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [171]) and index.

About the Author

John Maynard Smith is an internationally renowned biologiest, widely respected for the originality of his ideas and quality of his thinking. He is a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex. Eors Szathmary is a Professor at the Collegium Budapest, in Hungary.

Table of Contents

Preface

Life and Information

The major transitions

From chemistry to heredity

From the RNA world to the modern world

From heredity to simple cells

The origin of eukaryotic cells

The origin of sex

Genetic conflict

Living together

The evolution of many-celled organisms

Animal societies

From animal to human societies

The origin of language

Glossary

Notes

Further reading

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780198504931
Subtitle:
From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
Author:
Smith, John Maynard
Author:
Ers Szathmry
Author:
Szathm?ry, E?rs
Author:
null, John Maynard
Author:
Szathm�ry, E�rs
Author:
null, Eörs
Author:
Szathmary, Eors
Author:
Maynard Smith, John
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
Oxford :
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Life Sciences | Evolutionary Biology
Publication Date:
19990513
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 line illus.
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution

The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
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Product details 192 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780198504931 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Moving speedily from epoch to epoch, fueled by a few important concepts (such as the division of labor) and explaining all the genetics they use, Smith and Szathmary show 'just how difficult it has been to evolve complex organisms whose genes cooperate rather than compete'....Compact, dense, formidable yet accessible, this book exposes readers to the cutting edge in theoretical evolutionary biology." Publishers Weekly
"Synopsis" by , When John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary published The Major Transitions in Evolution, it was seen as a major work in biology. Nature hailed it as a book of "grand and daunting sweep.... A splendid and rewarding tour de force." And New Scientist wrote that it captured "the essence of modern biology," calling it "an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable."

Now, in The Origins of Life, Maynard Smith and Szathmary have completely rewritten Transitions to bring their ideas to a wider audience of general readers. Here is a brilliant, state-of-the-art account of how life evolved on earth, focusing primarily on six major transitions--dramatic breakthroughs in the way that information was passed between generations. The authors offer illuminating explorations of the origin of life itself, the arrival of the first cells with nuclei, the first reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies, and the birth of language.

The Origins of Life represents the thinking of two leading scientists on questions that engage us all--how life began and how it gradually evolved from tiny invisible cells into whales and trees and human beings.

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