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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Darwin's concept of the origin of species by natural selection has been a spectacularly successful and durable scientific theory. But it actually fails in a basic objective, which is to explain the origins of the qualitative differences of structure between species. Life on Earth is described purely in historical terms, with no explanation of how different forms of organisms are generated. This is like saying that the Earth's orbit round the sun just happened to be elliptical, without any explanation of why that must be so because of the laws of dynamic motion. Goodwin's view of biology is radically different. He proposes that any organism is a dynamic self-organizing process that obeys certain principles of order. This offers answers to problems that Darwinism with its emphasis on genes and natural selection as determinants of biological form cannot answer. Goodwin describes how particular forms emerge and persist in different types of organism: examples include the leaf pattern of higher plants and the origin of the eye. Once the basic mechanisms of development are understood, these particular forms become self-explanatory.Review:
"[Goodwin's] book genuinely illuminates the mysteries of biological development." --David Papineau, New York Times
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Book Description Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1994. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. FIRST PRINTING of the First Edition. A new theoretical perspective on evolution which challenges some of Darwin's ideas, demonstrating flaws in Darwinian theory and demonstrating that organisms are not merely in competition but also frequently cooperate and display altruism, creativity, and even playfulness. Hardcover with dust jacket, contains illustrations, references, further reading list, indexed, 252pp. A very nice copy, the jacket neatly encased in an acid-free archival plastic protector. Rare. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 00013167
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