• Sign In / Register
  • Help
  • Basket0
Improbable Destinies: How Predictable is Evolution? (Hardback)
  • Improbable Destinies: How Predictable is Evolution? (Hardback)
zoom

Improbable Destinies: How Predictable is Evolution? (Hardback)

(author)
£20.00
Hardback 384 Pages / Published: 08/08/2017
  • In stock online
  • Free UK delivery

Usually despatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
The natural world is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times.

Convergence suggests that evolution is predictable, and if we could replay the tape of life, we would get the same outcome. But there are also many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change - a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze - caused evolution to take a completely different course.

So are we humans, and all the plants and animals in the world today, inevitabilities or evolutionary freaks? What role does chance play in evolution? And what could it tell us about life on other planets?

In Improbable Destinies, renowned researcher Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science.

Evolution can occur far more rapidly than Darwin expected, which has opened the door to something that was previously thought impossible: experimental studies of evolution in nature.

Drawing on his own work with anole lizards on the Caribbean islands, as well as studies of guppies, foxes, field mice and others being conducted around the world, Losos reveals just how rapid and predictable evolution can be.

By charting the discoveries of the scientists who are rewriting our understanding of evolutionary biology, Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution.

'(A) fascinating and beautifully written book.' - The Times

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241201923
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 634 g
Dimensions: 241 x 160 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[A] fascinating and beautifully written book -- Tom Whipple * The Times *
Deep, broad, brilliant, and thought-provoking ... [Losos[ is one of the premier writers in biology today -- Kevin Padian * Nature *
Improbable Destinies is one of the best books on evolutionary biology for a broad readership ever written. Its subjects - the unfolding of Earth's biological history, the precarious nature of human existence, and the likelihood of life on exoplanets - are presented in a detailed, exciting style expected from an authentic scientist and naturalist -- Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
A rich, provocative, and very accessible book, Improbable Destinies is an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the ecological theater and evolutionary play of life, expertly guided one of its most insightful observers. Jonathan Losos has shone a light on a largely unheralded cast of fascinating creatures and ingenious scientists who are reshaping our view of why life is the way it is -- Sean B. Carroll, author of 'The Serengeti Rules' and 'Brave Genius'
This is a wonderfully serious book with a light-hearted voice. Is evolution predictable or contingent? Big question. Why do adaptations converge? Big question. Why is the platypus unique? Smaller question, but fun! Read, enjoy, think -- David Quammen, author of 'The Song of the Dodo' and 'Spillover'
Is evolution a story foretold? Or is it little more than the rolls of DNA's dice? In Improbable Destinies, Jonathan Losos tackles these fascinating questions not with empty philosophizing, but with juicy tales from the front lines of scientific research. Drunk flies, fast-evolving lizards, mutating microbes, and hypothetical humanoid dinosaurs all grace the pages of this wonderfully thought-provoking book -- Carl Zimmer, author of 'A Planet of Viruses' and 'The Tangled Bank'

You may also be interested in...

The Origin of Species
Added to basket
Creation
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
On the Origin of Species
Added to basket
Dinosaurs: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Human Evolution
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Wonderful Life
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Story of the Human Body
Added to basket
On the Origin of Species
Added to basket
The Sixth Extinction
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Why Evolution is True
Added to basket
River Out of Eden
Added to basket
Life Ascending
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
It Was Snowing Butterflies
Added to basket
Darwin's Notebook
Added to basket
On Natural Selection
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.