Epigenetic Principles of Evolution - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124158313, 9780124158511

Epigenetic Principles of Evolution

1st Edition

Authors: Nelson Cabej
eBook ISBN: 9780124158511
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124158313
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 21st November 2011
Page Count: 846
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This is the first and only book, so far, to deal with the causal basis of evolution from an epigenetic view. By revealing the epigenetic "user" of the "genetic toolkit", this book demonstrates the primacy of epigenetic mechanisms and epigenetic information in generating evolutionary novelties.

The author convincingly supports his theory with a host of examples from the most varied fields of biology, by emphasizing changes in developmental pathways as the basic source of evolutionary change in metazoans.

Key Features

  • Original and thought provoking--a radically new theory that overcomes the present difficulties of the theory of evolution
  • Is the first and only theory that uses epigenetic mechanisms and principles for explaining evolution of metazoans
  • Takes an integrative approach and shows a wide range of learning


Evolutionary biologists, developmental biologists and ecologists

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Explanatory Conundrum and the New Perspective in Modern Biology

1. Control Systems and Determination of Phenotypic Traits in Metazoans

2. Neural Manipulation of Gene Expression

3. Epigenetic Control of Reproduction

4. Epigenetic Control of Early Development

5. Neural Control of Postphylotypic Development

6. The Epigenetic System of Inheritance—An Outline

7. Evolution and Stress Responses to Changes in Environment

8. Behavioral Adaptation to Changed Conditions of Living

9. Ontogeny

10. Intragenerational Developmental Plasticity

11. Transgenerational Developmental Plasticity—An Epitome of Evolutionary Change

12. Evolution of Metazoans and Their Control System

13. Origins of Evolutionary Novelty

14. Evolution by Loss

15. Evolution by Reverting to Ancestral Characters

16. Neural Crest–Determined Evolutionary Novelties

17. Evolutionary Convergences

18. Species and Allopatric Speciation

19. Epigenetics of Sympatric Speciation—Speciation as a Mechanism of Evolution


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© Elsevier 2012
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About the Author

Nelson Cabej

Dr. Nelson R. Cabej is the author of Epigenetic Principles Of Evolution (Elsevier, 2011) and Building The Most Complex Structure On Earth (Elsevier, 2013), in which he examines the role of epigenetic mechanisms in organismal evolution. He has published more than 40 scientific articles and 10 books in English and his native language of Albanian on evolutionary biology, epigenetics, and developmental biology. Dr. Cabej earned his Ph.D. in biology at the University of Tirana, Albania, and presently serves as Researcher in the Department of Biology at the university. He has previously taught biology at William Paterson College, Wayne, N.J, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Biology, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania


"Cabej (biology, U. of Tirana, Albania) explains the epigenetic principles of evolution (as opposed to the theory of evolution as determined by changes in genes) and reconstructs the developmental mechanisms of evolutionary changes in metazoans, based on empirical evidence. He focuses on the mechanisms of the generation of the evolutionary innovations from the influence of environment on heredity rather than the role of natural selection. He discusses control systems and determination of phenotypic traits in metazoans, neural manipulation of gene expression, epigenetic control of reproduction and early development, neural control of postphylotypic development, and the epigenetic system of inheritance. He follows with description of neural-developmental premises of evolutionary adaptation, including evolution and stress responses and behavioral adaptation to changes in environment, ontogeny, and intragenerational developmental plasticity; epigenetics of circumevolutionary phenomena and the mechanism of evolutionary change, including transgenerational developmental plasticity and the evolution of metazoans and their control system; and the origins of evolutionary novelty, evolution by loss or by reverting to ancestral characters, neural crest-determined evolutionary novelties, evolutionary convergences, species and allopatric speciation, and sympatric speciation. He presents the available evidence for his theory, rather than illustrating an established theory, and includes a comparative presentation of the neo-Darwinian view to his epigenetic explanation. There is no index."--Reference and Research Book News, October 2012

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