Darwinian Detectives: Revealing the Natural History of Genes by Norman A. Johnson

By Norman A. Johnson

Norm Johnson has performed a great activity with a posh subject, and this ebook is person who might be learn by way of each pupil of evolution. With a crisp, attractive writing sort, Johnson does a superb activity illuminating evolutionary subject matters starting from Kimura's impartial conception of molecular evolution to the evolutionary histories of either canine and their proprietors. advanced issues equivalent to the detection of optimistic choice and the mysteries of genome dimension version are specified by simple language that even the main "mathophobic" reader will discover a excitement to behold. Any graduate scholar in biology who's getting ready for a initial oral exam may do good so as to add Darwinian Detectives to their interpreting checklist, since it is a smart strategy to study the solutions to questions that many professors will ask in such an examination. the former reviewer's comparability to Gould isn't really undeserved; Dr. Johnson has the aptitude to rank one of the greats within the subsequent iteration of popularizers of technology, a task that turns into a growing number of very important as technology marches to ever larger heights of advanced discovery.

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Extra resources for Darwinian Detectives: Revealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes

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Darwin based his claims from knowledge of geology and the emerging fossil record, breeding, comparative development, comparative embryology, and The Baby with the Baboon Heart patterns of distribution of plants and animals across space and time, among other fields. New information from these fields over the last  years continues to support the core of Darwin’s theory. In addition, scientists from areas of science that Darwin could not have dreamed of—for instance, comparative developmental genetics, comparative biochemical studies, and now comparative genomics—all bolster what Darwin had written.

Reference to an “Intelligent Designer” is not an explanation. An Intelligent Designer cannot be tested. One can speculate about the nature of such a Designer—whether it acted once and has been silent since or whether it continually acts (or somewhere in between)—but such speculation is not testing; it is not science. ID, DI, and the “Wedge” Agenda Despite the claims by the ID advocates that they are doing science, it is evident that they do not practice accepted modes of scientific reasoning and empirical validation.

This way of hooking up the optic nerve is a historical contingency; a better eye could have been designed that had no blind spot. Indeed, such eyes have evolved; in the octopus eye, for example, the optic nerve attaches to the underside of the retina, and there is no blind spot. Biochemistry—Step by Step We’ve shown that the eye can be build up from humble beginnings through small successive steps. The same can be said for just about any other complex organ that has been intensively studied. We may not know all the intricate details of their evolution, but evolutionary biologists can show that they could reasonably have evolved through small, successive steps.

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