From the moment it first began to contemplate the world, three questions have occupied the human mind: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Artists (notably Paul Gauguin), religious thinkers, philosophers, and most recently scientists have all searched for answers. Here, the authors describe how scientists decipher human origin from the record encrypted in the DNA and protein molecules. After explaining the nature of descent and the methods available for studying genealogical relationships, they summarize the information revealed by the molecular archives about the Tree of Life and our location on one of its branches. The knowledge thus gleaned allows them to draw conclusions about our identity, our place in the living world, our future, and the ethical implications of the changed perspective.
Only in fairly recent years has History and Philosophy of Science been recognized - though not always under that name - as a distinct field of scholarly endeavour. Previously, in the Australasian region as elsewhere, those few individuals working within this broad area of inquiry found their base, both intellectually and socially, where they could. In fact, the institutionalization of History and Philosophy of Science began compara- tively early in Australia. An initial lecturing appointment was made at the University of Melbourne immediately after the Second World War, in 1946, and other appointments followed as the subject underwent an expansion during the 1950s and '60s similar to that which took place in other parts of the world. Today there are major Departments at the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong, and smaller groups active in many other parts of Australia, and in New Zealand. "Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science" aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the general area of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Each volume will comprise a group of essays on a connected theme, edited by an Australian or a New Zealander with special expertise in that particular area. The series should, however, prove of more than merely local interest. Papers will address general issues; parochial topics will be avoided.
High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived--a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.
In Wonders of Life: Exploring the Most Extraordinary Force in the Universe, the definitive companion to the Discovery Science Channel series, Professor Brian Cox takes us on an incredible journey to discover the most complex, diverse, and unique force in the universe: life itself.
Through his voyage of discovery, international bestselling author Brian Cox explains how the astonishing inventiveness of nature came about and uncovers the milestones in the epic journey from the origin of life to our own lives, with beautiful full-color illustrations throughout. From spectacular fountains of superheated water at the bottom of the Atlantic to the deepest rainforest, Cox seeks out the places where the biggest questions about life may be answered: What is life? Why do we need water? Why does life end?
Physicist and professor Brian Cox uncovers the secrets of life in the most unexpected locations and in the most stunning detail in this beautiful full-color volume.