Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution Gary Cziko

ISBN: 9780262531474

Published:

Paperback

394 pages


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Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution  by  Gary Cziko

Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution by Gary Cziko
| Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 394 pages | ISBN: 9780262531474 | 8.52 Mb

...it is a truly admirable work, and should prove extremely valuable. There is really nothing to compete with it for its broad scope and lively, easy style.-- John Ziman, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Bristol, and Fellow ofMore...it is a truly admirable work, and should prove extremely valuable. There is really nothing to compete with it for its broad scope and lively, easy style.-- John Ziman, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Bristol, and Fellow of the Royal Society.

The fishs streamlined shape reveals functional knowledge of the physical properties of water.... The deadly effectiveness of the cobras venom shows useful knowledge of the physiology of its prey.... Indeed, knowledge itself may be broadly conceived as the fit of some aspect of an organism to some aspect of its environment, whether it be the fit of the butterflys long siphon of a mouth to the flowers from which it feeds or the fit of the astrophysicists theories to the structure of the universe.

... But how did such remarkable instances of fit arise? How did the animate world obtain its impressive knowledge of its surroundings? And how do organisms continue to acquire knowledge and thereby increase their fit during their lifetimes?

In this sweeping account of the emergence of fit, Gary Cziko integrates numerous scientific disciplines within the perspective of a universal selection theory that attempts to account for all cases of fit involving living organisms, including those that might appear miraculous.

Czikos bold assertion is that all novel forms of adapted complexity -- whether single-celled organisms or scientific theories -- emerge from an evolutionary process involving cumulative blind variation and selection.Without Miracles describes many remarkable examples of the fit of various structures, behaviors, and products of living organisms to their environmentsin a broad synthesis of humankinds attempt to understand the emergence of complex, adapted entities.

These explanations range from the providential accounts of the early philosophers and natural theologians, through instructionist theories of the type proposed by Lamarck, to an ongoing second Darwinian revolution in which natural and artificial selection are being applied to many fields of science to both explain the emergence of naturally occurring adapted complexity and to facilitate the design of useful products ranging from microbes to computer programs.



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