978-0-684-80451-4 / 9780684804514

HOW THE LEOPARD CHANGED ITS SPOTS: The Evolution of Complexity





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About the book:

The beginning of modern biology can be dated to the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, and since that time, the mechanism of natural selection and "survival of the fittest" has served as the only explanatory thesis for life on earth. Origins, extinctions, adaptations have all been studied exclusively through the lens of Darwinism. But no more. In "How the Leopard Changed Its Spots", Brian Goodwin argues clearly and persuasively that there is another explanation for the origin and diversity of species. Like the Newtonian worldview that held sway until the Einsteinian revolution in the twentieth century, so Darwinism must be replaced by a theoretical construct that admits that complexity is an inherent and emergent quality of life, and not merely the result of random mutation and natural selection. Goodwin demonstrates that organisms are as cooperative as they are competitive, as altruistic as they are selfish, as creative and playful as they are destructive and repetitive. Erudite and elegantly written, "How the Leopard Changed Its Spots" is a brilliant application of the laws of physics to the study of life, an exposition of the powerful force that shapes life on earth, and a meditation on the evolution of complex forms.

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