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Evolution: From Copying Errors to Evolvability

Derek Philip Hough

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ISBN 10: 1846241138 / ISBN 13: 9781846241130
Published by Book Guild Ltd, 2007
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Evolution: From Copying Errors to ...

Publisher: Book Guild Ltd

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Derek Hough sets out a powerful rebuttal to enemies of science-based evolutionary thinking. Darwinists insist that the mechanism of evolution is solely the result of random mutations occurring in the wake of environmental change. This insistence is often cited as a weakness in the Darwinian theory. Creationists often point to the inexhaustible variety of life of Earth and ask how it is that such diversity should have arisen from so haphazard an approach? In countering such criticisms of Darwinian theory, Derek Hough's explanation is both fascinating and lucid. Hough demonstrates his hypothesis through a mathematical algorithm that he makes completely accessible to the non-scientist. The implications of this book are far-reaching and anyone who is interested in the origins of life and its subsequent progress cannot fail to be intrigued by Derek Hough's theories.

From the Author:

You might be forgiven for thinking that the history of life on earth over the last four billion years has followed a smooth and gradual path up the evolutionary ladder from simple organisms to complex ones. Nothing could be further from the truth. A more accurate image is that evolutionary forces have created staging posts or platforms on which it has been possible to create life forms of increasing complexity.

Getting started was perhaps the most significant staging post. But complex life would not have been possible without the evolution of the DNA code, which in turn facilitated the evolution of nuclear cells and multi-cellularity. I liken these platforms to being the operating system or the rules and regulations which direct and control the creation of organisms. The evolution of the platforms or operating system largely ended hundreds of millions of years ago and what we have today is a system for creating variety from a large but essentially limited number of possibilities. Although the essential building blocks of life are limited, new variety is created when evolution discovers new combinations and configurations of these building blocks. A key idea that all those interested in evolution will need to be familiar with is the concept of the algorithmic process, the simple arithmetical rules that lie behind the evolution of life. Algorithms are logical, arithmetical routines, which are incredibly creative and are capable of a robotic, unconscious form of `learning'. In the battle for survival that drives evolution, the algorithms of life have `learned' about the nature and the essentially limited range of the opposition. In my book, I try to explain in simple language and with simple arithmetic how the learning ability of these algorithms has led to a system of evolvability whereby the process of evolution has now become a deliberate search for new variety. There is no waiting around for fortuitous copying errors as claimed by neo-Darwinists but the genome itself ensures that there is a constant outpouring of new variety, a continual search for new possibility in the large but not unlimited reaches of Design Space.

My book takes the reader back to the beginning and explains why a few simple arithmetical rules inevitably and surprisingly have led to an automatic system of variety generation, which in turn has led to an ongoing search for complexity.

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