Evolution Made To Order

Author: Helen Anne Curry
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022639008X
Size: 31.21 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 3853
Download
Mutation theories -- An unsolved problem -- Speeding up evolution -- X-rays in the lab and field -- Industrial evolution -- Artificial tetraploidy -- Evolution to order -- Better evolution through chemistry -- Tinkering technologists -- The flower manufacturers -- Radiation revisited -- Mutation politics -- An atomic-age experiment station -- Atomic gardens -- The peaceful atom in global agriculture

Darwinian Agriculture

Author: R. Ford Denison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842816
Size: 77.19 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 2486
Download
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved. Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.

The Evolved Apprentice

Author: Kim Sterelny
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262302814
Size: 17.61 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 4035
Download
Over the last three million years or so, our lineage has diverged sharply from those of our great ape relatives. Change has been rapid (in evolutionary terms) and pervasive. Morphology, life history, social life, sexual behavior, and foraging patterns have all shifted sharply away from those of the other great apes. In The Evolved Apprentice, Kim Sterelny argues that the divergence stems from the fact that humans gradually came to enrich the learning environment of the next generation. Humans came to cooperate in sharing information, and to cooperate ecologically and reproductively as well, and these changes initiated positive feedback loops that drove us further from other great apes. Sterelny develops a new theory of the evolution of human cognition and human social life that emphasizes the gradual evolution of information-sharing practices across generations and how these practices transformed human minds and social lives. Sterelny proposes that humans developed a new form of ecological interaction with their environment, cooperative foraging. The ability to cope with the immense variety of human ancestral environments and social forms, he argues, depended not just on adapted minds but also on adapted developmental environments.

Why Information Grows

Author: Cesar Hidalgo
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465039715
Size: 56.88 MB
Format: PDF
View: 4189
Download
What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT’s antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order. At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order—or information—disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil’s, and Brazil’s that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston’s Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information. Seen from Hidalgo’s vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.

Spontaneous Evolution

Author: Bruce H. Lipton
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1458755622
Size: 16.33 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 4418
Download
We've all heard stories of people who've experienced seemingly miraculous recoveries from illness, but can the same thing happen for our world? According to pioneering biologist Bruce H. Lipton, it's not only possible, it's already occurring. In Spontaneous Evolution, this world-renowned expert in the emerging science of epigenetics reveals how our changing understanding of biology will help us navigate this turbulent period in our planet's history and how each of us can participate in this global shift. In collaboration with political philosopher Steve Bhaerman, Dr. Lipton invites readers to reconsider: the ''unquestionable'' pillars of biology, including random evolution, survival of the fittest, and the role of DNA; the relationship between mind and matter; how our beliefs about nature and human nature shape our politics, culture, and individual lives; and how each of us can become planetary ''stem cells'' supporting the health and growth of our world. By questioning the old beliefs that got us to where we are today and keep us stuck in the status quo, we can trigger the spontaneous evolution of our species that will usher in a brighter future.

History Of Plant Breeding

Author: Rolf H. J. Schlegel
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1351588958
Size: 28.23 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 2309
Download
While there has been great progress in the development of plant breeding over the last decade, the selection of suitable plants for human consumption began over 13,000 years ago. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the development of crop improvement methods over centuries. It features an extensive historical treatment of development, including influential individuals in the field, plant cultivation in various regions, techniques used in the Old World, and cropping in ancient America. It covers modern advances in the twentieth century including hybrid breeding, biotechnological improvement, and genetic manipulation.

Trilobite

Author: Richard Fortey
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307434672
Size: 79.99 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 3723
Download
With Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures. Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago. As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survived in the arctic or the tropics, were spiky or smooth, were large as lobsters or small as fleas. And because they flourished for three hundred million years, they can be used to glimpse a less evolved world of ancient continents and vanished oceans. Erudite and entertaining, this book is a uniquely exuberant homage to a fabulously singular species. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Understanding Evolution

Author: Kostas Kampourakis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107034914
Size: 65.97 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 5580
Download
Bringing together conceptual obstacles and core concepts of evolutionary theory, this book presents evolution as straightforward and intuitive.

The Rational Animal

Author: Douglas T. Kenrick
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465040977
Size: 16.25 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 1466
Download
Why are Amazonian hunter-gatherers better at logic than Harvard students? Why did the Zambian president reject food donations during a famine? And why do billionaires work so hard—only to give their hard-earned money away? In this animated tour of the latest in behavioral science, psychologist Douglas T. Kenrick and marketing professor Vladas Griskevicius argue that while our decision making may seem superficially irrational, our misjudgments are the result of a psychological mismatch between ancestral drives for survival and our modern lifestyles. Ultimately, The Rational Animal offers an uplifting message—that while our brains may still house caveman impulses, we have evolved to be smarter than we think.

Brilliant

Author: Jane Brox
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547487150
Size: 77.78 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 6458
Download
Brilliant, reminiscent of Lewis Hyde’s The Gift in its reach and of Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time in its haunting evocation of human lives, offers a sweeping view of a surprisingly revealing aspect of human history—from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to the LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future. Brox plumbs the class implications of light—who had it, who didn’t—through the many centuries when crude lamps and tallow candles constricted waking hours. She convincingly portrays the hell-bent pursuit of whale oil as the first time the human desire for light thrust us toward an environmental tipping point. Only decades later, gas street lights opened up the evening hours to leisure, which changed the ways we live and sleep and the world’s ecosystems. Edison’s “tiny strip of paper that a breath would blow away” produced a light that seemed to its users all but divorced from human effort or cost. And yet, as Brox’s informative and hair-raising portrait of our current grid system shows, the cost is ever with us. Brilliant is infused with human voices, startling insights, and—only a few years before it becomes illegal to sell most incandescent light bulbs in the United States—timely questions about how our future lives will be shaped by light.