No matter how far science advances, the proportion of what is knowable to what is random will remain unchanged, and attempts to ignore this critical threshold are futile at best. With the revolutionary explosion in genetic information discovery, it is crucially important to recognize the underlying limitations of scientific prediction in genetics.
Genetics and Randomness furthers the understanding of the role randomness plays in critical biological processes. The book also navigates the complex nature of genetic uncertainty from different points of view and at various levels of biological organization.
Avoids Unnecessary Technical Details and Specific Terminology
Exploring areas ranging from basic quantum mechanics and molecular genetics to modern evolutionary genetics and the philosophy of mathematics, this well-organized text discusses:
Spontaneity of mutations and their relation to subatomic randomness Deep links between subatomic fluctuations and long-term macroscopic changes in living organisms The multitude of random events that occur during development Segregation, genetic drift, and natural selection
Randomness and uncertainty are not occasional and regretful deviations from the "true" principles upon which life is built. Genetics and Randomness illustrates the ubiquitous nature of randomness as an integral feature of all essential processes, effectively embracing a probabilistic understanding of the phenomena of life.
Our lives are played out in the arena of chance. However little we recognize it in our day-to-day existence, we are always riding the odds, seeking out certainty but settling—reluctantly—for likelihood, building our beliefs on the shadowy props of probability. Chances Are is the story of man’s millennia-long search for the tools to manage the recurrent but unpredictable—to help us prevent, or at least mitigate, the seemingly random blows of disaster, disease, and injustice. In these pages, we meet the brilliant individuals who developed the first abstract formulations of probability, as well as the intrepid visionaries who recognized their practical applications—from gamblers to military strategists to meteorologists to medical researchers, from blackjack to our own mortality.
Peter Forrester presents an encyclopedic development of log-gases and random matrices viewed as examples of integrable or exactly solvable systems. Forrester develops not only the application and theory of Gaussian and circular ensembles of classical random matrix theory, but also of the Laguerre and Jacobi ensembles, and their beta extensions. Prominence is given to the computation of a multitude of Jacobians; determinantal point processes and orthogonal polynomials of one variable; the Selberg integral, Jack polynomials, and generalized hypergeometric functions; Painlevé transcendents; macroscopic electrostatistics and asymptotic formulas; nonintersecting paths and models in statistical mechanics; and applications of random matrix theory. This is the first textbook development of both nonsymmetric and symmetric Jack polynomial theory, as well as the connection between Selberg integral theory and beta ensembles. The author provides hundreds of guided exercises and linked topics, making Log-Gases and Random Matrices an indispensable reference work, as well as a learning resource for all students and researchers in the field.