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Second Edition

Edited by Mark Ridley

Publication Date - February 2004

ISBN: 9780199267941

472 pages

Extracts from more than 60 scientic papers by leadings thinkers


This anthology contains extracts from more than 60 scientific papers, by authors such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Francis Crick and Jacques Monod. It starts with Charles Darwin, but concentrates on modern research, including genomics. The extracts are organized in sections, enabling the reader to sample a range of views on each topic, and have been chosen for their readability as well as their scientific importance.


  • Wide-ranging accounts of the major advances in genomics and bioinformatics, and their impact upon evolutionary biology
  • Excellent balance and breadth of coverage
  • Short introductory paragraphs for all extracts draw reader interest and provide a succinct summary of issues pertinent to evolutionary developments, in particular mutation rates and variation
  • A new section on evolution and development and evolutionary genomics offers fresh illustration of developments within this emergent field

About the Author(s)

Mark Ridley works in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University. He has previously held positions at Cambridge University, England, and at Emory University, Atlanta, in the U.S.A.

Previous Publication Date(s)

August 1996

Table of Contents

    A. From Darwin to the Modern Synthesis
    Section Introduction
    1. Darwin, C. (1858) Extract from an unpublished work on species
    2. Darwin, C. (1858) Abstract of a letter from C. Darwin, Esq., to Prof. Asa Gray, Boston, U.S.A.
    3. Maynard Smith, J. (1987) Weismann and modern biology
    4. Fisher, R. A. (1930) The nature of inheritance
    5. Wright, S. (1932) The roles of mutation, inbreeding, crossbreeding, and selection in evolution
    6. Haldane, J. B. S. (1949) Disease and evolution
    B. Natural selection and random drift in populations
    Section Introduction
    7. Kettlewell, H. B. D. (1958) A résumé of investigations of the evolution of melanism in the Lepidoptera
    8. Cook, L. M.; Dennis, R. L. H.; & G. S. Mani (1999). Melanic morph frequency in the peppered moth in the Manchester area
    9. Karn, M. N. & Penrose, L. S. (1951) Birth weight and gestation time in relation to infant survival
    10. Ulizzi, L. & Terrenato, L. (1992) Natural selection associated with birth weight. VI. Towards the end of the stabilizing component
    11. Gibbs, H. L & Grant, P. R. (1987) Oscillating selection on Darwin's finches
    12. Lewontin, R. C. The paradox of variation
    13. Kimura, M. Recent developments of the neutral theory
    C. Adaptation
    Section introduction
    14. Fisher, R. A. (1930). The nature of adaptation
    15. Williams, G. C. (1966). Adaptation and natural selection
    16. Grafen, A. (1986). Adaptation versus selection in progress
    17. Reeve, H. K. & Sherman, P. W. (1991). An operational, nonhistorical definition of adaptation
    18. Orr, H. A. & Coyne, J. The genetics of adaptation: a reassessment
    19. Cain, A. J. (1964). The perfection of animals
    20. Gould, S. J. & Lewontin, R. C. (1979). The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme
    D. Speciation and biodiversity
    Section introduction
    22. Mayr, E. Typological v population thinking
    23. Mayr, E. Species concepts and their application
    24. Darwin, C. (1859) The sterility of hybrids
    25. Dobzhansky, T. (1970). Reproductive isolation as a product of genetic divergence and natural selection
    26. Rice, W. R. & Hostert, E. E. Laboratory experiments on speciation: what have we learned in 40 years?
    27. Coyne, J. H. & Orr, H. A. (2000). The evolutionary genetics of speciation
    28. Schluter, D. (2000) Ecological basis of postmating isolation
    29. Grant, V. Hybrid speciation
    E. Macroevolution
    Section introduction
    30. Erwin, D. H. & Anstey, R. L. (1995) Speciation in the fossil record
    31. De Beer, G. R. (1971). Homology: an unsolved problem
    32. Dawkins, R. (1996). The ey gene
    33. Dickinson, W. J. (1995) Molecules and morphology: where's the homology?
    34. Haeckel, E. (1905) The fundamental law of organic evolution
    35. Garstang, W. (1951) Three poems
    F. Evolutionary genomics
    Section introduction
    36. Ochman, H.; Lawrence, J. G.; & Groisman, E. A. (2000). Lateral gene transfer and the nature of bacterial innovation
    37. Vision, T. J.; Brown, D. G.; & Tanksley, S. D. (2000). The origins of genomic duplications in Arabidopsis
    38. Humans, M. Ridley
    39. Raff, R. A. (1996). Co-option of eye structures and genes
    40. Benner, S. A.; Caraco, M. D.; Thomson, J. M.; & Gaucher, E. A. (2002). Planetary biology - paleontological, geological, and molecular histories of life
    G. The history of life
    Section introduction
    42. Schopf, J. W. (1994). Disparate rates, differing fates: tempo and mode of evolution changed from the Precambrian to the Phanerozoic
    43. Cooper, A. & Fortey, R. (1998). Evolutionary explosions and the phylogenetic fuse
    44. Dilcher, D. (2000). Major evolutionary trends in the angiosperm fossil record
    H. Case studies
    Section introduction
    45. Medawar, P. B. (1951) An unsolved problem in biology
    46. Crick , F. H. C. (1968). The origin of the genetic code
    47. Maynard Smith, J. (1971) The origin and maintenance of sex
    48. Janzen, D. H. (1983) A caricature of seed dispersal by animal guts
    49. Nilsson, D-E. & Pelger, S. (1994). A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve
    50. Sniegowski, P. D.; Gerrish, P. J.; Johnson, T.. & Shaver, A. (2000). The evolution of mutation rates
    J. Human evolution.
    Section introduction
    51. Sarich, V. & Wilson, A. C. (1967) Immunological time scale for hominid evolution
    52. King, M-C. & Wilson, A. C. (1975). Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees
    53. Britton, R. J. (2002). Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5%, counting indels
    54. Muller, H. J. (1950). Our load of mutations
    55. Livingstone. F. B. (1962). On the non-existence of human races
    56. Krogman, W. M. (1951). The scars of human evolution
    57. Pinker, S. (1994). The big bang
    K. Evolution and human affairs
    Section introduction
    58. Antolin, M. F. & Herbers, J. M. (2001). Evolution's struggle for existence in America's public schools
    59. Dobzhansky, T. (1973). Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution
    60. Hume, D. The argument from design
    61. Monod, J. (1974). On the molecular theory of evolution
    62. Huxley, T. H. (1893). Evolution and ethics
    63. Palumbi, S. (2001) Humans as the world's greatest evolutionary force
    Biographical notes
    Select bibliography

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