Synopses & Reviews
Within a single captivating narrative, John Bonner combines an intensely personal memoir of scientific progress and an overview of what we now know about living things. Bonner, a major participant in the development of biology as an experimental science, draws on his life-long study of slime molds for an understanding of the life cycle-the foundation of all biology. In an age of increasing specialization and fragmentation among subfields of biology, this is a unique work of reflection and integration.
Originally published in 1993.
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"If we measure books by the degree to which they alter our perceptions, then this one is certainly a winner. We will never be able to look at a rotting log in quite the same way again or dig through the soil in the garden."--Steven Austad, Natural History
"Charming, fascinating, and insightful, this slim volume combines a memoir of a life in science with an accessible distillation of what we know about the workings of living things."--Kirkus Reviews
"Bonner's prose is a felicitous blend of science simply explained, gentle but insistent rigor, and a fetching triad of wry humor, personal anecdote and unexpected diversion. This makes for an enchanting book that reflects a thoughtful preoccupation with life cycles and their evolution...rang[ing]...widely from the inherent importance of the size of particular organisms to the nature of animal thought and human culture."--Bernard Dixon, New Scientist
"This, then, is not only a book that grapples with some of the most profound issues in biology but also a professional autobiography; a life history that has intertwined with the life cycles under study....Bonner's book ought to be a classic."--Peter Calow, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Table of Contents
|Ch. 2||The Life Cycle||15|
|The Period of Size Increase||37|
|Ch. 3||Becoming Larger by Becoming Multicellular||39|
|Ch. 4||Becoming Larger by Developing||68|
|Ch. 5||Becoming Larger during Evolution||93|
|The Adult Period||121|
|Ch. 6||Becoming Aware||123|
|Ch. 7||Becoming Social||158|
|Ch. 8||Becoming Cultural||179|