Quantum Evolution: How Physics' Weirdest Theory Explains Life's Biggest Mystery (Norton Paperback)

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9780393323108: Quantum Evolution: How Physics' Weirdest Theory Explains Life's Biggest Mystery (Norton Paperback)

"Challenging but invariably eloquent and elegant answers to the most fundamental questions...: What is life? What is mind?"―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Johnjoe McFadden "enters new and provocative territory in his marriage of physics and biology" (Science News). His simple but staggering theory of quantum evolution shows how quantum mechanics gives living organisms the ability to initiate specific actions, including new mutations. As Paul Davies exclaims, "if these ideas are right, they will transform our understanding of the relationship between physics and biology" and may radically revise the notion of random evolution and the debate over consciousness and free will.

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Review:

The hairiest heresy of evolutionary biology, the one most likely to get scientists figuratively burned at the stake, is the notion that any force more selective than blind chance could drive mutation. Such "directed evolution" smacks too much of a retreat into creationism for most science-minded readers to be comfortable with, but there's no a priori reason to reject the idea. Molecular biologist Johnjoe McFadden risks the Inquisition by suggesting just such a possibility in Quantum Evolution: The New Science of Life. Directed at a general but somewhat sophisticated readership, the book covers the basics of both standard evolutionary theory and quantum-level physics, then synthesizes them in an interesting theory of made-to-order mutation that explains enough to warrant attention and is, importantly, testable.

McFadden's writing is clear and sharp, and it shows a high regard for the reader's intelligence and patience for complex ideas. This is no airplane book--except for those already well-versed in the latest in both evolutionary theory and subatomic physics. The rewards of reading are great, and the author bows just enough to established theory that he might meet the fate of his intellectual predecessors. The ideas underlying Quantum Evolution may be right or wrong, but they challenge received wisdom without plunging into dogmatism--and that's good science. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Johnjoe McFadden is a Reader in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Surrey, England.

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 1.0in.Challenging but invariably eloquent and elegant answers to the most fundamental questions. . . : What is life What is mindKirkus Reviews, starred review Johnjoe McFadden enters new and provocative territory in his marriage of physics and biology (Science News). His simple but staggering theory of quantum evolution shows how quantum mechanics gives living organisms the ability to initiate specific actions, including new mutations. As Paul Davies exclaims, if these ideas are right, they will transform our understanding of the relationship between physics and biology and may radically revise the notion of random evolution and the debate over consciousness and free will. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393323108

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