James A. Shapiro's Evolution: A View from the 21st Century proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution. Shapiro demonstrates why traditional views of evolution are inadequate to explain the latest evidence, and presents a compelling alternative. His information and systems-based approach integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and mobile genetic elements, and points toward an emerging synthesis of physical, information, and biological sciences.
©2011 James A. Shapiro (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Shapiro has written a stimulating, innovative manuscript that surely Darwin would have liked." (Sidney Altman, Yale University; Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1989)
"Based on a long and highly competent personal experience in science and his novel insights into biological functions, the author has reached views of biological evolution that can reveal to a wide, interested readership how the living world co-evolves with the environment through its intrinsic powers." (Werner Arber, Professor Emeritus, University of Basel, Switzerland; Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine, 1978)
I will be listening to this more than once, as there is a lot of information in here.
Finally a description of evolutionary biology that take into account the last 20 years of advances in biological research.
An enjoyable voice for sure. However, the real benefit for me was being able to perform menial tasks while listening.
My reaction was largely relief that the field of evolutionary biology may be moving in a direction where it will finally incorporate recent advances in molecular biology.
As an audiobook the content may be a little difficult for those without a background in biology, however a lot of additional content is available on his website. If you are interested in evolutionary biology it is worth the effort of understanding the information in this book. I think far too many people learn about evolutionary biology from authors like Gould and Dawkins only because it is easy and not because it best represents our current understanding of biology.
While I do not blame the author or reader, I cannot recommend this work, except for students wishing to review new topics in molecular biology. The book is unrelievedly technical and while the reader drones on manfully it is more or less impossible to make it anything but monotonous. The information is there, but very hard to retain. Sorry, this just isn't a book for popular audiences or an audio format. I hope that any listener who did get something out of it will write in with a countervailing opinion. I am a third of the way through and tempted to bail.
Ira Rosenberg does his best with this very technical material, but too often he doesn't understand the point of what he's reading so he places the emphasis on the wrong word or phrase, which makes the material even harder to follow.
This is a very technical book. Even if you know some molecular biology, you are likely to find this a difficult listen. It really is much more suited to being read than listened to, and even then it's challenging. A sample, selected at random: "LINE retrotransposons typically are a few thousand base pairs in length, contain internal transcription signals for RNA polymerase II, and encode two proteins involved in reverse transcription. The SINE elements are shorter (typically 100 to 300 base pairs in length), related in sequence to stable cell RNAs (tRNAs, short rRNAs, and protein export particle 7S RNA), and contain an internal RNA polymerase III promoter." It goes on like that, detail after detail, page after page. Taking it in by listening is very hard work.
It's an important book, but be warned: this is not a treatment aimed at general readers. It's aimed at specialists.
Compulsory reading to understand the false argument for intelligent design. Shapiro technomorphises bacteria and intracellular processes endowing them with cognisance, a purely subjective concept irrelevant to process of evolution.
Clarity about processes with more lay explanations in addition to the wealth of data provided. Evidence for animal germ cell horizontal transmission of heritable genetic factors or discussion why there is a lack of such
Competent, unflagging, unemotional
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