James A. Shapiro’s proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution, the core organizing principle of biology. Shapiro introduces crucial new molecular evidence that tests the conventional scientific view of evolution based on the neo-Darwinian synthesis, and shows why this view is inadequate to today’s evidence. He then presents a compelling alternative view of the evolutionary process that reflects the shift in life sciences towards a more information- and systems-based approach.
Shapiro integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and saltationism into a unified approach that views evolutionary change as an active cell process, regulated epigenetically and capable of making rapid large changes by horizontal DNA transfer, inter-specific hybridization, whole genome doubling, symbiogenesis, or massive genome restructuring.
Evolution: A View from the 21st Century marshals extensive evidence in support of a fundamental reinterpretation of evolutionary processes, including more than 1,100 references to the scientific literature. Shapiro’s work will generate extensive discussion throughout the biological community, and may significantly change your own thinking about how life has evolved. It also has major implications for evolutionary computation, information science, and the growing synthesis of the physical and biological sciences.
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