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Evolution: A View from the 21st Century

By James A. Shapiro

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Jun 12, 2011

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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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii

About the Author     xv

A Note on Reading This Book for Individuals with Different Backgrounds     xvii

Introduction: Taking a Fresh Look at the Basics of Evolution in the New Century     1

Part I: Sensing, Signaling, and Decision-Making in Cell Reproduction     7

Part II: The Genome as a Read-Write (RW) Storage System     27

Part III: Evolutionary Lessons from Molecular Genetics and Genome Sequencing     89

Part IV: A New Conceptual Basis for Evolutionary Research in the 21st Century     127

Glossary     149

References     175

Index     241


The following material can be found online only (

Appendixes to Part I and Part II of the Printed Book

Table References for Part II and Part III of the Printed Book

Suggested Readings for Non-Professionals

References for the Printed Book


Evolution: A View from the 21st Century

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