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Randomness in Evolution Hardcover – 24 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (24 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852338911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852338916
  • ASIN: 0691157014
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.7 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 891,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[I]ncredibly useful . . . refreshingly honest . . . witty and engaging."--Tiffany Taylor, Times Higher Education

"[F]orthright, informal, and humorous. His reminder that not every trait has a biologically adaptive function is a welcome lesson, as is his self-deprecating description of his ideas as just another 'just-so' story. . . . [A] call to the biologists who take over from him to do more research to confirm or to refute the often surprising ideas here."--Rob Hardy, Commercial Dispatch

"[Bonner] provides a well-written, well-documented collection of evidence suggesting randomness as a primary engine behind natural selection. . . . This is an excellent essay, valuable to a wide audience. Evolution is an important, timely topic, making Bonner's work a worthy contribution."--Choice

"[T]he book provides a careful analysis of the relationship between randomness and size in evolution and makes a good case for neutral morphologies."--James Bradley, Quarterly Review of Biology

"The main strength of this provocative book is that it undoubtedly provides a successful argument against the widespread tendency to give an adaptive explanation for any biological trait, and, above all, it opens the door to a fruitful way to reconsider the traditional view of evolution as mainly driven by natural selection."--Francesca Merlin, Biol Theory

-[I]ncredibly useful . . . refreshingly honest . . . witty and engaging.---Tiffany Taylor, Times Higher Education

-[F]orthright, informal, and humorous. His reminder that not every trait has a biologically adaptive function is a welcome lesson, as is his self-deprecating description of his ideas as just another 'just-so' story. . . . [A] call to the biologists who take over from him to do more research to confirm or to refute the often surprising ideas here.---Rob Hardy, Commercial Dispatch

-[Bonner] provides a well-written, well-documented collection of evidence suggesting randomness as a primary engine behind natural selection. . . . This is an excellent essay, valuable to a wide audience. Evolution is an important, timely topic, making Bonner's work a worthy contribution.---Choice

-[T]he book provides a careful analysis of the relationship between randomness and size in evolution and makes a good case for neutral morphologies.---James Bradley, Quarterly Review of Biology

-The main strength of this provocative book is that it undoubtedly provides a successful argument against the widespread tendency to give an adaptive explanation for any biological trait, and, above all, it opens the door to a fruitful way to reconsider the traditional view of evolution as mainly driven by natural selection.---Francesca Merlin, Biol Theory

From the Back Cover

"John Tyler Bonner, a distinguished developmental biologist, has long argued that a major driving force in the evolution of complexity is natural selection for large size. Here he takes a radically different view to explain the diversity of form among eukaryotic microorganisms: randomness, not selection, rules their lives. This stimulating and provocative theme is explored with ideas from a variety of fields. It simultaneously introduces students to the nature of a debate on the causes of diversity."--Peter R. Grant, coauthor of How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin's Finches

"Bonner makes a compelling case that the morphology of microorganisms is governed not by natural selection but by chance. He could be right. But right or wrong, this claim will be hugely controversial. It doesn't just 'approach heresy, ' as he puts it. It is heresy."--Dan McShea, Duke University

"The main point of Bonner's book is that the importance of randomness in evolution depends on size. What is new is the claim that small organisms are more likely to have selectively neutral morphological variation. This, if true, is very interesting and important. Randomness in Evolution is provocative and will lead to lively discussion."--Michael Foote, University of Chicago

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on 13 February 2016
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
2 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsexcellent book
on 20 February 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsBonner is a master and this book is a gem
on 24 June 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 starsA great read for science fans
on 11 June 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 starsSize Matters
on 21 August 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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3.0 out of 5 starsA bit overpriced for a book this short. But informative and subtle critique of traditional views of adaptation.
on 5 September 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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