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Without Miracles: Universal Selection theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution

Gary Cziko

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ISBN 10: 0262032325 / ISBN 13: 9780262032322
Hardcover
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About this Item

MIT University Press, 1995. First edition. Hardbound. New in dust jacket! A perfect unread copy. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 6902

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Without Miracles: Universal Selection theory...

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: F....

About this title

Synopsis:

."..it is a truly admirable work, and should prove extremely valuable. There is really nothing to compete with it for its broad scope and lively, easy style." -- John Ziman, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Bristol, and Fellow of the Royal Society. "The fish's streamlined shape reveals functional knowledge of the physical properties of water.... The deadly effectiveness of the cobra's venom shows useful knowledge of the physiology of its prey.... Indeed, knowledge itself may be broadly conceived as the fit of some aspect of an organism to some aspect of its environment, whether it be the fit of the butterfly's long siphon of a mouth to the flowers from which it feeds or the fit of the astrophysicist's theories to the structure of the universe. ... But how did such remarkable instances of fit arise? How did the animate world obtain its impressive knowledge of its surroundings? And how do organisms continue to acquire knowledge and thereby increase their fit during their lifetimes?" In this sweeping account of the emergence of fit, Gary Cziko integrates numerous scientific disciplines within the perspective of a universal selection theory that attempts to account for all cases of fit involving living organisms, including those that might appear miraculous. Cziko's bold assertion is that all novel forms of adapted complexity -- whether single-celled organisms or scientific theories -- emerge from an evolutionary process involving cumulative blind variation and selection. Without Miracles describes many remarkable examples of the fit of various structures, behaviors, and products of living organisms to their environmentsin a broad synthesis of humankind's attempt to understand the emergence of complex, adapted entities. These explanations range from the providential accounts of the early philosophers and "natural theologians, " through instructionist theories of the type proposed by Lamarck, to an ongoing "second Darwinian revolution" in which natural and artificial selection are being applied to many fields of science to both explain the emergence of naturally occurring adapted complexity and to facilitate the design of useful products ranging from microbes to computer programs.

From the Back Cover:

In this sweeping account, Gary Cziko integrates various scientific disciplines within a universal selection theory that attempts to account for all cases of fit involving living organisms, including those that might appear miraculous. Cziko's bold assertion is that all novel forms of adapted complexity - whether single-celled organisms or scientific theories - emerge form an evolutionary process involving cumulative blind variation and selection.

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