Evolution of Living Organisms

Evolution of Living Organisms

Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation

1st Edition - January 28, 1978

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  • Author: Pierre-P. Grassé
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483274096

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Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation discusses traditional interpretations of evolution with a new assumption. The book presents a rational and general account of real evolutionary phenomena based on paleontology and molecular biological data. The text reviews biological evolution from the simple to the complex or progressive and regressive evolution. The author explains the appearance of types of organization from Captorhinomorphs to Pelycosaurs to the Theriodonts— from which the mammals arose. He also explains that in the evolution to mammals, the transformation of the Theriodonts concerned only the skeleton, muscles, dentition, and not the brain. He cites the case of the Perissodactyls as an example. The author also asserts that paleontology and molecular biology can explain the mechanism of evolution without even detailing the causes of orientations of lineages, of the finalities of structures, of living functions, and of cycles. But this approach will involve metaphysics. This book can be appreciated by anthropologists, researcher and scientists involved in zoology, paleontology, genetics and biochemistry.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    An Introduction to the Study of Evolution

    General Observations on the Living World

    Biological Evolution and Its Occurrences

    Interpretation of Evolutionary Facts

    I From the Simple to the Complex—Progressive Evolution, Regressive Evolution

    Increasing Complexity as a Function of Time

    Chronological Order of Appearance

    Regressive Evolution

    The Limits of Evolution

    II Creative Evolution, or the Appearance of Types of Organization

    General Remarks

    The Appearance of a Major Pattern of Organization: The Mammals

    From Captorhinomorphs to Pelycosaurs

    Theriodonts: Mammalian Ancestors

    The Cynodont Line

    "Premammalian" Reptiles Derived from the Cynodonts

    The Therocephalia-Bauriamorpha

    Ictidosaurs, Other "Premammalian" Reptiles

    The Evolution of the Jaw Musculature

    Summary of the Mammalian Characters of Therapsids and of Their Ancestors, The Pelycosaurs

    A Comparison of the Respective Characters of Mammalian Reptiles and Early Mammals: Gradual Transition from One Class to the Other

    The Characteristics of Creative Evolution in Theraspid Reptiles

    The Mammals: A Homogeneous or a Heterogeneous Class?


    III Evolution—A Discontinuous Historical Phenomenon

    Evolutionary Discontinuity

    The Miocene: An Epoch of Reference

    The Dampening of Evolution

    The Genealogical Tree of the Animal Kingdom

    The Parent Forms and the Creation of Novelties

    Panchronic Forms and Arrested Evolution

    Persistence of Evolution

    Speciation, the Only Present Form of Evolution

    Evolution Is the Real History of Life


    IV Evolution and Chance

    The Lottery of Life

    Chance and Its Instrument, Mutation, or the Errors of the Genetic Code

    Biological Order and Antichance

    Random Preadaptation

    Chance and Evolutionary Trends

    Chance and Organic Complexity

    V Evolution and Natural Selection

    The Notion of Selection

    Selection during Ontogeny

    Selection and Accident

    Selective Elimination

    Is Competition Universal?

    Selection and Demography

    Artificial Selection by Man (Cultivation and Domestication)

    Errors or Inabilities of Selection

    Natural Selection, or Finality in Action


    VI Evolution and Adaptation

    General Remarks

    Relation of Adaptation to Selection

    The Limits of Adaptation

    Not All Is for the Best in Living Things

    Faulty Evolution

    Indifferent or Useless Organs

    Unfavorable Characteristics and Hypertelies

    Equilibrium of Organism with Environment and Adaptation

    Variations Caused by the Environment and the Action of the Genes according to the Environment

    Preadaptation and Selection in Closed Environments

    Preadaptation and Its Role

    Coaptation and Adaptation of Unlike Parts

    Finality and Adaptation

    VII Evolution and Necessity

    What Biological Necessity Is: Confusion with Usefulness

    Necessity and Persistence of "Stock Forms"

    Necessity, Selection, and Heterogeneous Populations

    Necessity and the Genesis of the Major Types of Organization

    The Animal Creates Its Own Necessity

    Necessity-Utility: Not the Prime Motive of Biological Evolution

    VIII Activities of the Genes in Relation to Evolution


    Exploring the Genome

    Genesis of New Species through Recombinations of Genes

    IX A New Introduction of Evolutionary Phenomena


    Internal Factors in Evolution and the Creative Reactivity of Living Things

    The Creation of the New

    Size and New Characteristics

    Independence and Preeminence of DNA

    The Intangibility of DNA and the Central Dogma

    Acquisition of the Information by the Organism

    Repetition of the Same Gene, and Redundancy

    Formation of New Genes and Problems It Raises

    Synthesis of Nucleic Acids and Molecular Acquisition of Information

    Viral Transduction and Transfer of Alien Information

    Novelty by Emergence



    Appendix I "Natural" Classification of the Animal Kingdom

    Appendix II Geological Time Scale, Including Geological Eras and Periods

    Appendix III Glossary

    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 308
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1978
  • Published: January 28, 1978
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483274096

About the Author

Pierre-P. Grassé

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