In Origins, Frank H. T. Rhodes explores the origin and evolution of living things, the changing environments in which they have developed, and the challenges we now face on an increasingly crowded and polluted planet. Rhodes argues that the future well-being of our burgeoning population depends in no small part on our understanding of life's past, its long and slow development, and its intricate interdependencies.
Rhodes’s accessible and extensively illustrated treatment of the origins narrative describes the nature of the search for prehistoric life, the significance of geologic time, the origin of life, the emergence and spread of flora and fauna, the evolution of primates, and the emergence of modern humans.
Key themes include the following: developmental repatterning; adaptation and coadaptation; gene co-option; developmental plasticity; the origins of evolutionary novelties and body plans; and evolutionary changes in the complexity of organisms. As can be seen from this list, the book includes information across the levels of the gene, the organism, and the population. It also includes the issue of mapping developmental changes onto evolutionary trees. The examples used to illustrate particular points range widely, including animals, plants and fossils.
"I have really enjoyed reading this book. One of the strengths of the book is the almost conversational style. I found the style easy to read, but also feel that it will be invaluable in teaching. One of our tasks in university level teaching is to develop students' critical thinking skills. We need to support them in their intellectual development from a "just the facts" approach to being able to make critical judgements based on available evidence. The openness and honesty with which Arthur speaks to uncertainty in science is refreshing and will be a baseline for discussions with students."
-Professor Patricia Moore, Exeter University
"This book, written as an undergraduate text, is a really most impressive book. Given the burgeoning interest in the role of developmental change in evolution in recent times, this will be a very timely publication. The book is well structured and, like the author's other books, very well written. He communicates with a clear, lucid style and has the ability to explain even the more difficult concepts in an accessible manner."
---Professor Kenneth McNamara, University of Cambridge
The companion site can be found at www.wiley.com/go/arthur/evolution. Here you download all figures from the book, captions, tables, and table of contents.
The author is a recognized expert in the field of developmental biology and has been instrumental in elucidating the relationship between biology and evolution. The study of evolution is of interest to many different kinds of people and Genomic Regulatory Systems: In Development and Evolution is written at a level that is very easy to read and understand even for the nonscientist.
* Contents Include
* Regulatory Hardwiring: A Brief Overview of the Genomic Control Apparatus and Its Causal Role in Development and Evolution
* Inside the Cis-Regulatory Module: Control Logic and How the Regulatory Environment Is Transduced into Spatial Patterns of Gene Expression
* Regulation of Direct Cell-Type Specification in Early Development
* The Secret of the Bilaterians: Abstract Regulatory Design in Building Adult Body Parts
* Changes That Make New Forms: Gene Regulatory Systems and the Evolution of Body Plans
"Evolution 101" provides an introduction for non-scholars to this most powerful scientific theory, covering such issues as: the history of evolutionary thought, from before Darwin to the present day; the evidence for evolution, from fields as diverse as geology, molecular biology, paleontology, and more, that show how strongly supported evolution is; how evolution works, including topics ranging from behavior (e.g., sexual selection) to molecular biology (e.g., mutation); and evolution in our daily lives, including how evolution accounts for phenomena such as antibiotic resistance and pesticide resistance. This essential resource will answer the questions students and lay people have regarding evolution, and will point them on the path to further understanding.
In molecular biology, the use of the term 'homology' has given rise to more debate, although here the issue seems to involve primarily the criteria for assessing whether parts of genes are the same because of shared descent or for other reasons. The contributions to the book explore these topics systematically. There are chapters on the historical development of the concept of homology and its use in population studies. Other chapters deal with issues of homology in morphological and developmental studies, in behavioural studies, and especially in studies at the level of molecular genetics.