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Adam and Evolution

Introduction

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If, among some rocks on Mars,  you discovered a self-replicating computer you would be entitled to ask whether it was made for a reason or came about by chemical accident. And if scientific study indicated the possibility, even likelihood, of the former then such conclusion could be issued entirely distinct from any guess or imagination regarding the nature of its maker.

Adam and Evolution deals in facts as well as the interpretation of those facts within the framework of any particular theory. It is a landmark work because, when published in 1984, it was the first  book about bio-origins to make the above-mentioned distinction. This updated version adds hundreds of extra links.

Thrust

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As fresh air to a stuffy room, the volume’s open-minded thrust revitalises a long-held debate. Adam and Evolution covers the subjects of chemical evolution, natural selection, sexual reproduction, mutation, homology, classification and fossils. It takes account of advances in molecular biology, genetics, animal and plant physiology, anatomy and development. It threads this  information together with three further volumes-worth (Science and the Soul, A Mutant Ape? and A Potted Grammar of Natural Dialectic). And it asks whether all such painstakingly accumulated data demonstrates more than variation-on-themes. Obviously, if chemical evolution were impossible and transformatory macro-evolution (Darwin’s key guess) is demonstrably unlikely then the theory of evolution is put at risk. More than risk, is it a theory in crisis? If so, is there any alternative?

The scope and, at the same time, focus of this book intimately affects us all.

Contents

Illustrations
Introduction
1. Where are we from?

  • Darwin’s View
  • The New Darwinism
  • What is Evolution?
  • Is Evolution Scientifically Valid?

2. Two Pillars of Faith

  • Mind and Matter
  • Design
  • More about Coding

3. Hierarchy

  • Species and Types
  • Analogies, Homologies and Cladistics

4. Deep in the Womb of Nature

  • Haeckel
  • Modern Alchemy
  • The Cell
  • Genes and Genesis
  • Fleeming Jenkin
  • Sorting it Out

5. Sports, Survival and the Hone

  • Sports
  • The Information Gap
  • What Do You See in an Eyeless Fly?
  • Products of Distinction
  • Monsters
  • Fits and Starts
  • Imperceptible Authorship
  • The Hone
  • The Survival of ‘the Survival of the Fittest’?
  • Fitting In
  • A Perfect Fit
  • A Fitting End

6. Monkey Business

  • The Rising Son?
  • Pithecanthropus
  • Skullduggery
  • An Elephant and ‘Nellie’
  • Haroldcookii and the Scopes Monkey Trial

7. Seductive Trends

  • How One Makes Two
  • How Two Make One
  • The Origins of Sexual Reproduction
  • ‘Half sex’
  • ‘Double sex’
  • Sex as a whole
  • Sex and the single plant
  • Animal sex
  • Sexual permutations

8. Wrong from the Start – or Right?

  • Growing out of the Past
  • How Would You Have Done it?
  • A Book Needs an Index
  • Shaping up
  • Developmental Biology
  • A Developmental Archetype
  • The Long and Short of It

9. Genesis

  • The Wrong Atmosphere
  • Flies in the Soup
  • Building up Chains
  • Starter Motors
  • DNA
  • Heavenly Genes

10. Life’s Engine

  • The Harvest of the Sun
  • The Electrical Pump
  • Energy Stores
  • Glycolysis
  • The Cash Dispenser
  • Haemoglobin
  • Red Blood and Green Leaves

11. All Systems Go

  • Simplest of All
  • The Life That Follows Death
  • Hybrid Ascension
  • All Together Now

12. Green Batteries

  • Soft and Cool
  • Where Did the Flowers Come from?
  • The Birds and the Bees
  • Odd Couples

13. Programs Typed in Dust

  • The Fly on the Wall
  • A Fishy Invertebrate
  • Jaws
  • Fins
  • Eggs before Chickens
  • If not in Eden…

14. The Mammals

  • Listen!
  • Different but not Evolved
  • Monsters of the Deep

15. Ordinary Exotica

  • Sight
  • Sound and Flight
  • A Precision Instrument of Aerospace
  • Helicopter in a Thimble

16. Time and Space

  • Who’s Afraid of the Big Bang?
  • Life is Unnatural
  • Life the Unlikely
  • Rock of Ages: Ages of Rock

17. Adam and Evolution

  • Are You Above it?
  • Essential Differences Between Man and Ape
  • Bones of Contention
  • Chimp or Pygmy?
  • The Fount of Wisdom
  • The Upshot

Uniformitarian Geological Timetable
Hominoid Classification Reference
Uniformitarian Anthropoid Chronology
Glossary
Image Credits
Bibliography
Links