Evolution: A View from the 21st Century (paperback)

Evolution: A View from the 21st Century (paperback)

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0133435539

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


James A. Shapiro proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution, the core organizing principle of biology. Shapiro introduces crucial new molecular evidence that tests the conventional scientific view of evolution based on the neo-Darwinian synthesis, shows why this view is inadequate to today's evidence, and presents a compelling alternative view of the evolutionary process that reflects the shift in life sciences towards a more information- and systems-based approach in Evolution: A View from the 21st Century.


Shapiro integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and saltationism into a unified approach that views evolutionary change as an active cell process, regulated epigenetically and capable of making rapid large changes by horizontal DNA transfer, inter-specific hybridization, whole genome doubling, symbiogenesis, or massive genome restructuring.


Evolution marshals extensive evidence in support of a fundamental reinterpretation of evolutionary processes, including more than 1,100 references to the scientific literature. Shapiro's work will generate extensive discussion throughout the biological community, and may significantly change your own thinking about how life has evolved. It also has major implications for evolutionary computation, information science, and the growing synthesis of the physical and biological sciences.




















applicable cybernetic models are fuzzy logic control systems. In such systems, accurate regulation occurs by overlaying multiple imprecise (“fuzzy”) feedback controls arranged so that each successive event results in greater precision [93] [94, 95]. DNA Damage Repair and Mutagenesis Another common misperception in many conventional discussions of genomic change is that cells cannot avoid the automatic production of mutations in response to DNA-damaging agents such as UV radiation or mutagenic

nonspecific. All that appears to be obligatory for recognition by the requisite LINE-encoded proteins is the A-rich terminus of the inserting RNA, not the upstream sequences with specific classes of genomic information. This lack of specificity allows the same molecular apparatus to reverse-transcribe and insert a wide variety of other cell RNA molecules into the genome. Such indiscriminate LINE-mediated integration explains the origins of DNA sequences that correspond to spliced or otherwise

transcripts originate at upstream genome promoters and terminate at the end of the SVA element. Naturally, the SVA upstream retrotransduction capacity adds to the genomic restructuring repertoire available for evolutionary innovation [524, 525]. Retrosplicing Group II Introns Retrosplicing group II introns were initially discovered in the dairy industry organism Lactococcus lactis2 [526–528]. Group II introns are common in other prokaryotes and in mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotes and

and intellectually stimulating domestic environment. Finally, I have to thank my children, Jacob and Danielle, for taking such fine care of our home as teenagers while Joan and I were enjoying the 1993 Darwin Professorship in Edinburgh. About the Author James A. Shapiro is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Chicago. He has a BA in English Literature from Harvard (1964) and a PhD in Genetics from Cambridge (1968). William Hayes was his PhD supervisor, and Sydney Brenner was an

such as Max Delbrück and Jean Weigle in the 20th Century had a revolutionizing effect on biology. Focusing on the molecular basis of vital functions transformed the life sciences and, ultimately, made us aware of the intricate circuitry that governs cell reproduction, multicellular development, and genome reorganization. Currently another wave of physical scientists is entering the life sciences. They bring with them a much-needed and fruitful sophistication in observation at the micro level, in

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