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Books > Science & Mathematics > Biology, life sciences > Life sciences: general issues > Evolution

Wat Moet Ons Met Ons Kerk Doen? (Afrikaans, Paperback): Jurie van den Heever Wat Moet Ons Met Ons Kerk Doen? (Afrikaans, Paperback)
Jurie van den Heever 1
R225 R15 Discovery Miles 150 Save R210 (93%) Shipped within 10 - 15 working days

Wat Moet Ons Met Ons Kerk Doen? is 'n poging om te probeer verstaan waar ons as Afrikaners teologies vandaan kom, watter kragte en magte ons en ons Kerk gevorm het en hoe ons Kerk tans daar uitsien.

Die N.G.Kerk was 'n belangrike en rigtinggewende rolspele in die opheffing van die Afrikaner na die Britse vergrype tydens en na die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog. Tans word die N.G.Kerk ervaar as 'n instansie wat ongevoelig teenoor die geestelike behoeftes van haar lidmate staan.

Hierdie is 'n moet-lees boek vir:

  • Lidmate wat ons Kerk graag wil help om 'n gesonde, geestelike tuiste vir Suid-Afrikaners van die 21ste eeu te bied.
  • Die klakkelose napraters van die dogma wat dink ons Kerk is steeds op die regte pad.
  • Die plastiekpredikante van die radio en televisie wat met eentonige reŽlmaat soetsappige, sogenaamd godsdienstige, pleisters plak.
  • Diegene wat reeds ons Kerk tot die ashoop van die geloof verdoem het.
Symphony in C - Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything (Hardcover, Edition): Robert M. Hazen Symphony in C - Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything (Hardcover, Edition)
Robert M. Hazen 1
R466 R321 Discovery Miles 3 210 Save R145 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

An enchanting biography of the most resonant - and most necessary - chemical element on Earth. Carbon. It's in the fibres in your hair, the timbers in your walls, the food that you eat and the air that you breathe. It's worth billions as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries yet to be solved about the element that can be both diamond and coal. Where does it come from, what does it do, and why, above all, does life need it? With sparkling prose and engaging narrative, earth scientist Robert Hazen leads us on a vibrant journey through the origin and evolution of life's most ubiquitous element. The story unfolds in four movements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - and transports us through 14 billion years of cosmic history. From the outer reaches of the universe to the cliffs of Scotland and into the precious-metal mines of Namibia, Symphony in C is a sweeping chronicle of carbon: the most essential element on Earth.

Life on Earth (Paperback): David Attenborough Life on Earth (Paperback)
David Attenborough 1
R262 R185 Discovery Miles 1 850 Save R77 (29%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Updated edition of David Attenborough's groundbreaking Life on Earth. David Attenborough's unforgettable meeting with gorillas became an iconic moment for millions of television viewers. Life on Earth, the series and accompanying book, fundamentally changed the way we view and interact with the natural world setting a new benchmark of quality, influencing a generation of nature lovers. Told through an examination of animal and plant life, this is an astonishing celebration of the evolution of life on earth, with a cast of characters drawn from the whole range of organisms that have ever lived on this planet. Attenborough's perceptive, dynamic approach to the evolution of millions of species of living organisms takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of discovery from the very first spark of life to the blue and green wonder we know today. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the book's first publication, David Attenborough revisited Life on Earth, completely updating and adding to the original text, taking account of modern scientific discoveries from around the globe. This paperback edition also includes more than 60 full colour photographs, chosen by the author to help illustrate the book in a much greater way than was possible forty years ago. This updated edition provides a fitting tribute to an enduring wildlife classic, destined to enthral the generation who saw it when first published and bring it alive for a whole new generation.

Blueprint - How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (Paperback): Robert Plomin Blueprint - How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (Paperback)
Robert Plomin 1
R259 R158 Discovery Miles 1 580 Save R101 (39%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Mind-blowing ... It is a hugely important book ... His story is crucial' Matt Ridley, The Times One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility. A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.

Life Finds a Way - What Evolution Teaches Us About Creativity (Hardcover): Andreas Wagner Life Finds a Way - What Evolution Teaches Us About Creativity (Hardcover)
Andreas Wagner 1
R446 R356 Discovery Miles 3 560 Save R90 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Darwin's theory of evolution was a monumental achievement, but there was much he did not know. In his `survival of the fittest' model each step must go forward, life always progressing up the slope towards an evolutionary peak. There is no turning back. So what happens when there is more than one slope, and life finds itself on the wrong one? World-leading biologist Andreas Wagner reveals that life does not, as Darwin believed, only walk - it also leaps. Drawing on pioneering research, Wagner explores life's creative process and how it bears a striking resemblance to how we humans work. A beguiling symmetry links Picasso struggling through forty versions of Guernica and the way evolution transformed a dinosaur's claw into a condor's wing. This new understanding is already revolutionising our approach to problem-solving across the sciences. In the near future, applied in spheres as diverse as the economy and education, it will enable us to do so much more. Thought-provoking and deeply hopeful, Life Finds a Way reminds us that no matter how many times we have to turn back, we can still reach the highest peaks.

How to Be Human - The Manual (Paperback): Ruby Wax How to Be Human - The Manual (Paperback)
Ruby Wax 1
R277 R142 Discovery Miles 1 420 Save R135 (49%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment.' Stephen Fry "It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now - completely brilliant and yet, some might say, emotionally dwarfed. The question is: can our more empathetic side catch up in time to save us and the world? I've got nothing against smarts, but it's smarts without emotional awareness that got us into this position of being able to nuke each other into oblivion and rape the earth for oil." With a little help from a monk (who tells us how our mind works) and a neuroscientist (who tells us how our brain works), Ruby Wax answers every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by smart science and practical mindfulness exercises, How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'Ruby has beautifully fused neurology and spirituality and given us a means to cope with operating both a mind and a brain. If this mental upgrade works then all other books will become defunct as we repose in bliss.' Russell Brand 'How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy.' Joanna Lumley

Making Sense of Evolution - Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life (Paperback): John F. Haught Making Sense of Evolution - Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life (Paperback)
John F. Haught
R444 R351 Discovery Miles 3 510 Save R93 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Evolution makes good scientific sense. The question is whether it makes good theological sense as well. Christians who find evolution contrary to faith often do so because they focus solely on the issues of the world's design and the notion of the gradual descent of all life from a common ancestry. But that point of view overlooks the significance of the dramatic narrative going on beneath the surface. What evolution "is "has become more important than what it "means." Haught suggests that, rather than necessarily contradicting one another, theologians and Darwinian scientists actually share an appreciation of the underlying meaning and awe-inspiring mystery of evolution. He argues for a focus on evolution as an ongoing drama and suggests that we simply cannot-indeed need not-make complete sense of it until it has fully played out. Ultimately, when situated carefully within a biblical vision of the world as open to a God who makes all things new, evolution makes sense scientifically "and "theologically.

Genesis - On the Deep Origin of Societies (Hardcover): Edward O. Wilson Genesis - On the Deep Origin of Societies (Hardcover)
Edward O. Wilson 1
R410 R277 Discovery Miles 2 770 Save R133 (32%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.

The Origin of Higher Taxa - Palaeobiological, developmental, and ecological perspectives (Paperback): T.S. Kemp The Origin of Higher Taxa - Palaeobiological, developmental, and ecological perspectives (Paperback)
T.S. Kemp
R860 Discovery Miles 8 600 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

How do radically new kinds of organisms evolve? The Origin of Higher Taxa addresses this essential question, specifically whether the emergence of higher taxa such as orders, classes, and phyla are the result of normal Darwinian evolution acting over a sufficiently long period of time, or whether unusual genetic events and particular environmental and ecological circumstances are also involved. Until very recently, the combination of an incomplete fossil record and a limited understanding about how raw mutations lead via modified ontogenic processes to significant phenotypic changes, effectively stymied scientific debate. However, it is now timely to revisit the question in the light of the discovery of considerable new fossil material (and new techniques for studying it), together with significant advances in our understanding of phenotypic development at the molecular level. This novel text incorporates evidence from morphology, palaeobiology, developmental biology, and ecology, to review those parts of the fossil record that illustrate something of the pattern of acquisition of derived characters in lineages leading to actual higher taxa as well as the environmental conditions under which they occurred. The author's original ideas are set within the context of a broad and balanced review of the latest research in the field. The result is a book which provides a concise, authoritative, and accessible overview of this fascinating subject for both students and researchers in evolutionary biology and palaeontology.

Europe - A Natural History (Paperback): Tim Flannery Europe - A Natural History (Paperback)
Tim Flannery 1
R293 R176 Discovery Miles 1 760 Save R117 (40%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Vivid, thrilling, a delight ... Tim Flannery is a palaeontologist and ecologist of global standing, and this is a compelling and authoritative narrative of the evolution of Europe's flora and fauna, from the formation of the continent to its near future ... an exciting book, full of wonder' James McConnachie, Sunday Times A place of exceptional diversity, rapid change, and high energy, Europe has literally been at the crossroads of the world ever since the interaction of Asia, North America and Africa formed the tropical island archipelago that would become the continent of today. In this unprecedented evolutionary history, Tim Flannery shows how for the past 100 million years Europe has absorbed wave after wave of immigrant species; taking them in, transforming them, and sometimes hybridising them. Flannery reveals how, in addition to playing a vital role in the evolution of our own species, Europe was once the site of the formation of the first coral reefs, the home of some of the world's largest elephants, and now has more wolves than North America. This groundbreaking book charts the history of the land itself and the forces shaping life on it - including modern humans - to create a portrait of a continent that continues to exert a huge influence on the world today.

Making Eden - How Plants Transformed a Barren Planet (Hardcover): David Beerling Making Eden - How Plants Transformed a Barren Planet (Hardcover)
David Beerling
R521 R352 Discovery Miles 3 520 Save R169 (32%) In stock

Over 7 billion people depend on plants for healthy, productive, secure lives, but few of us stop to consider the origin of the plant kingdom that turned the world green and made our lives possible. And as the human population continues to escalate, our survival depends on how we treat the plant kingdom and the soils that sustain it. Understanding the evolutionary history of our land floras, the story of how plant life emerged from water and conquered the continents to dominate the planet, is fundamental to our own existence. In Making Eden David Beerling reveals the hidden history of Earth's sun-shot greenery, and considers its future prospects as we farm the planet to feed the world. Describing the early plant pioneers and their close, symbiotic relationship with fungi, he examines the central role plants play in both ecosystems and the regulation of climate. As threats to plant biodiversity mount today, Beerling discusses the resultant implications for food security and climate change, and how these can be avoided. Drawing on the latest exciting scientific findings, including Beerling's own field work in the UK, North America, and New Zealand, and his experimental research programmes over the past decade, this is an exciting new take on how plants greened the continents.

Blueprint - The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society (Hardcover): Nicholas A. Christakis Blueprint - The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society (Hardcover)
Nicholas A. Christakis 1
R556 R439 Discovery Miles 4 390 Save R117 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days
From Bacteria to Bach and Back - The Evolution of Minds (Paperback): Daniel C. Dennett From Bacteria to Bach and Back - The Evolution of Minds (Paperback)
Daniel C. Dennett 1
R215 R169 Discovery Miles 1 690 Save R46 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

'Required reading for anyone remotely curious about how they came to be remotely curious' Observer 'Enthralling' Spectator What is human consciousness and how is it possible? These questions fascinate thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. This is Daniel C. Dennett's brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains and human culture. Part philosophical whodunnit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett's career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style, laced with wit and thought experiments, Dennett shows how culture enables reflection by installing a profusion of thinking tools, or memes, in our brains, and how language turbocharges this process. The result: a mind that can comprehend the questions it poses, has emerged from a process of cultural evolution. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back is essential for anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its applications.

Inferior - The True Power of Women and the Science That Shows it (Paperback): Angela Saini Inferior - The True Power of Women and the Science That Shows it (Paperback)
Angela Saini 1
R264 R168 Discovery Miles 1 680 Save R96 (36%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

`Inferior is more than just a book. It's a battle cry - and right now, it's having a galvanising effect on its core fanbase' Observer Are women more nurturing than men? Are men more promiscuous than women? Are males the naturally dominant sex? And can science give us an impartial answer to these questions? Taking us on an eye-opening journey through science, Inferior challenges our preconceptions about men and women, investigating the ferocious gender wars that burn in biology, psychology and anthropology. Angela Saini revisits the landmark experiments that have informed our understanding, lays bare the problem of bias in research, and speaks to the scientists finally exploring the truth about the female sex. The result is an enlightening and deeply empowering account of women's minds, bodies and evolutionary history. Interrogating what these revelations mean for us as individuals and as a society, Inferior unveils a fresh view of science in which women are included, rather than excluded.

Big Bang (Paperback): Simon Singh Big Bang (Paperback)
Simon Singh 4
R350 R217 Discovery Miles 2 170 Save R133 (38%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book tells the story of the brilliant minds that deciphered the mysteries of the Big Bang. A fascinating exploration of the ultimate question: how was our universe created? Albert Einstein once said: `The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.' Simon Singh believes geniuses like Einstein are not the only people able to grasp the physics that govern the universe. We all can. As well as explaining what the Big Bang theory actually is and why cosmologists believe it is an accurate description of the origins of the universe, this book is also the fascinating story of the scientists who fought against the established idea of an eternal and unchanging universe. Simon Singh, renowned for making difficult ideas much less daunting than they first seem, is the perfect guide for this journey. Everybody has heard of the Big Bang Theory. But how many of us can actually claim to understand it? With characteristic clarity and a narrative peppered with anecdotes and personal histories of those who have struggled to understand creation, Simon Singh has written the story of the most important theory ever.

Good Enough - The Tolerance for Mediocrity in Nature and Society (Hardcover): Daniel S Milo Good Enough - The Tolerance for Mediocrity in Nature and Society (Hardcover)
Daniel S Milo
R477 R420 Discovery Miles 4 200 Save R57 (12%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

In this spirited and irreverent critique of Darwin's long hold over our imagination, a distinguished philosopher of science makes the case that, in culture as well as nature, not only the fittest survive: the world is full of the "good enough" that persist too. Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we've embraced a faulty conception of how evolution-and human society-really works. Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin's concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due-to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply. But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives-as in the rest of nature-is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.

The Tangled Tree - A Radical New History of Life (Hardcover, Edition): David Quammen The Tangled Tree - A Radical New History of Life (Hardcover, Edition)
David Quammen 1
R480 R334 Discovery Miles 3 340 Save R146 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and A New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Our understanding of the `tree of life', with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed. This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth - through molecular phylogenetics. It involves a fairly simple method - the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms. For instance, we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection. In The Tangled Tree, acclaimed science writer David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them - such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about `mosaic' creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health. Quammen explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life - including where we humans fit into it. Thanks to new technologies, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition - through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life's history itself.

Origins - The Evolution of Continents, Oceans and Life (Hardcover, New edition): Ron Redfern Origins - The Evolution of Continents, Oceans and Life (Hardcover, New edition)
Ron Redfern
R922 R734 Discovery Miles 7 340 Save R188 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Changes in climate and sea level are nothing new - over the last 700 million years, the Earth has been slowly but constantly changing from within. We now know that our planet's surface, far from being fixed or stable, is composed of tectonic plates in continual movement, drifting in oceans which themselves appear and disappear over millennia. Such insecurity lies at the heart of both the physical and the living world, providing the creative impetus for all life forms to confront change, adapt and evolve.

This exceptional book celebrates the inevitability of global change and highlights our need as human beings to recognize and adjust to it. Its entertaining and accessible text displays a remarkable breadth and diversity of knowledge, drawing upon discoveries in natural history, geology, geography and paleontology to unravel secrets of millions of years. Its unique structure offers the opportunity to pursue two distinct but parallel narratives in one volume - the first characterized by discrete photo-essay spreads, and the second by authoritative running text illustrated with clearly numbered icons. Designed either to be browsed through like a website or read in chronological sequence, each chapter provides a fascinating glimpse into the formation and development of our world.

Glorious panoramic photography by the author, a specialist in interpretive landscape, reveals the physical legacy of the Earth's distant past. This intriguing exploration of key sites, often remote and inaccessible, provides a clear and original perspective on the Earth as a dynamic, interactive planet. The compelling narrative by a bestselling science writer places the history of our planet in a challenging contemporary context in which human beings, like all living things, must embrace change or fail to survive.

As a science writer Ron Redfern has received a number of prestigious literary and academic awards, perhaps most notably the American Institute of Professional Geologists' Outstanding Achievement Award. This was presented to him before his permanent return to England in 1996. The award was in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding in science.

Evolution (Hardcover, Second Edition Media Update): Carl T. Bergstrom, Lee Alan Dugatkin Evolution (Hardcover, Second Edition Media Update)
Carl T. Bergstrom, Lee Alan Dugatkin
R2,414 Discovery Miles 24 140 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Bergstrom and Dugatkin's highly regarded text now offers an expanded InQuizitive course. InQuizitive provides adaptive learning activities for students. Its unique coaching pedagogy helps them learn important concepts and develop critical thinking skills. In addition, the text focuses on getting students to think like evolutionary biologists, with critical thinking questions throughout every chapter and expanded end-of-chapter problems emphasising data interpretation.

Life Finds a Way - What Evolution Teaches Us about Creativity (Hardcover): Andreas Wagner Life Finds a Way - What Evolution Teaches Us about Creativity (Hardcover)
Andreas Wagner 1
R545 R428 Discovery Miles 4 280 Save R117 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days
Extinction: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback): Paul B Wignall Extinction: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback)
Paul B Wignall
R232 R154 Discovery Miles 1 540 Save R78 (34%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Most people are familiar with the dodo and the dinosaur, but extinction has occurred throughout the history of life, with the result that nearly all the species that have ever existed are now extinct. Today, species are disappearing at an ever increasing rate, whilst past losses have occurred during several great crises. Issues such as habitat destruction, conservation, climate change, and, during major crises, volacanism and meteorite impact, can all contribute towards the demise of a group. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul B. Wignall looks at the causes and nature of extinctions, past and present, and the factors that can make a species vulnerable. Summarising what we know about all of the major and minor exctinction events, he examines some of the greatest debates in modern science, such as the relative role of climate and humans in the death of the Pleistocene megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths, and the roles that global warming, ocean acidification, and deforestation are playing in present-day extinctions ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Demon in the Machine - How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life (Hardcover): Paul Davies The Demon in the Machine - How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life (Hardcover)
Paul Davies 1
R466 R314 Discovery Miles 3 140 Save R152 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'A gripping new drama in science ... if you want to understand how the concept of life is changing, read this' Professor Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford When Darwin set out to explain the origin of species, he made no attempt to answer the deeper question: what is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. And yet, huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery. So can life be explained by known physics and chemistry, or do we need something fundamentally new? In this penetrating and wide-ranging new analysis, world-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name, a domain where computing, chemistry, quantum physics and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity with the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and even to illuminate the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe. From life's murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies, The Demon in the Machine is a breath-taking journey across the landscape of physics, biology, logic and computing. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window on the secret of life itself.

Once a Wolf - The Science Behind Our Dogs' Astonishing Genetic Evolution (Hardcover): Bryan Sykes Once a Wolf - The Science Behind Our Dogs' Astonishing Genetic Evolution (Hardcover)
Bryan Sykes
R509 R402 Discovery Miles 4 020 Save R107 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

How did wolves evolve into dogs? When did this happen, and what role did humans play? Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes used the full array of modern technology to explore the canine genetic journey that likely began when a human child decided to adopt a wolf cub thousands of years ago. In the process, he discovered that only a handful of genes have created the huge range of shapes, sizes, and colors in modern dogs. Providing scientific insight into these adaptive stages, Sykes focuses attention on our own species, and how our own evolution from (perhaps equally aggressive) primates was enhanced by this most unlikely ally. Whether examining our obsession with canine purity, or delving into the prehistoric past to answer the most fundamental question of all, "Why do we love our dog so much?," Once a Wolf is an engaging work no dog lover or ancestry aficionado should be without.

The Tangled Tree - A Radical New History of Life (Paperback): David Quammen The Tangled Tree - A Radical New History of Life (Paperback)
David Quammen
R367 R307 Discovery Miles 3 070 Save R60 (16%) Pre-order
Animal Beauty - On the Evolution of Biological Aesthetics (Hardcover): Christiane Nusslein-Volhard Animal Beauty - On the Evolution of Biological Aesthetics (Hardcover)
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard; Illustrated by Suse Grutzmacher; Translated by Jonathan Howard
R266 R215 Discovery Miles 2 150 Save R51 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

An illustrated exploration of colors and patterns in the animal kingdom, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Are animals able to appreciate what humans refer to as "beauty"? The term scarcely ever appears nowadays in a scientific description of living things, but we humans may nonetheless find the colors, patterns, and songs of animals to be beautiful in apparently the same way that we see beauty in works of art. In Animal Beauty, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Christiane Nusslein-Volhard describes how the colors and patterns displayed by animals arise, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Watercolor drawings illustrate these amazing instances of animal beauty. Darwin addressed the topic of ornament in his 1871 book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and did not hesitate to engage with criteria of beauty, convinced that animals experienced color and ornament as attractive and agreeable in the same way that we do, and that the role this played in mate choice pointed to a "sexual selection" distinct from natural selection. Nusslein-Volhard examines key examples of ornament and sexual selection in the animal kingdom and lays the groundwork for biological aesthetics. Noting that color patterns have not been a research priority-perhaps because they appeared to be nonessential luxuries rather than functional necessities-Nusslein-Volhard looks at recent scientific developments on the topic. In part because of Nusslein-Volhard's own research on the zebrafish, it is now possible to decipher the molecular genetic mechanisms that lead to production of colors in animal skin and its appendages and control its pattern and distribution.

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