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Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 697 KB
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The author of the book: Brett Calcott
Edition: The MIT Press
Date of issue: April 22nd 2011
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In 1995, John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry published their influential book The
Major Transitions in Evolution. The "transitions" that Maynard Smith and Szathmáry chose to describe
all constituted major changes in the kinds of organisms that existed but, most important, these
events also transformed the evolutionary process itself. The evolution of new levels of biological
organization, such as chromosomes, cells, multicelled organisms, and complex social groups radically
changed the kinds of individuals natural selection could act upon. Many of these events also
produced revolutionary changes in the process of inheritance, by expanding the range and fidelity of
transmission, establishing new inheritance channels, and developing more open-ended sources of
variation.Maynard Smith and Szathmáry had planned a major revision of their work, but the death of
Maynard Smith in 2004 prevented this. In this volume, prominent scholars (including Szathmáry
himself) reconsider and extend the earlier book's themes in light of recent developments in
evolutionary biology. The contributors discuss different frameworks for understanding
macroevolution, prokaryote evolution (the study of which has been aided by developments in molecular
biology), and the complex evolution of multicellularity.




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