Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution by Jonathan B. Losos

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Read Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution Online Free - A major new work overturning our assumptions about how evolution works

Earth's natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change--a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze--caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that exist today, and we humans ourselves, inevitabilities or evolutionary freaks? And what does that say about life on other planets?

Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be.

Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution. Losos's insights into natural selection and evolutionary change have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria. This compelling narrative offers a new understanding of ourselves and our role in the natural world and the cosmos.

Title : Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0399184929
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 pages


Brian rated it ★★★★☆

August 05, 2017

There's always a danger when a science author puts themselves at the heart of their book that it can come across as 'Me, me, me!' - but Jonathan Losos has a very amiable personal style that gives the impression of having a chat with the author over a beer - and some of the best parts of the book...

Chantal rated it ★★★★★

June 13, 2017

"Improbable Destinies" is personable, easy to follow, and fascinating - well-worth a read by anyone with at least a passing interest in biology and evolution. From beginning to end, Losos works hard to make the studies and theories in the book as vivid as possible. We get to meet the people behind...

Susan rated it ★★★★★

August 21, 2017

Splendorous! (lifted straight for the book,)accessible, informative and entertaining. Losos explains the many paths of evolutionary biology. convergence or or contingency. Kangaroos which are essentially deer have evolved nowhere but Australia. then of course there is the most interesting animal...

Kimberly rated it ★★★★★

September 18, 2017

An excellent overview of convergent evolution, and of long term evolution experiments that put to the test Stephen Jay Gould's thought experiment of "rewinding the tape" of evolution to determine if we would get the same results (i.e. humans). Many times, convergence happens, but once in a while...

Sandy rated it ★★★☆☆

August 31, 2017

An interesting look at the study of evolution; it is easy to understand with amusing stories and a relaxed style. An enjoyable and intelligent read.

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