Climbing Mount Improbable

Climbing Mount Improbable

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
Arguing fiercely that the perfection of the human body is the result of improbable mutation, a prominent Darwinian uses the metaphor of a climb up Mount Improbable to illustrate how natural perfection is due to the unending journey of DNA through time. Tour.

Book News
It's a treat when a scientist is able to convey the significance of a subject while at the same time commanding a reader's attention with intelligence, wit, and style. Dawkins (Chair, Public Understanding of Science, Oxford U.) manages to make the evolutionary design of animal and insect life both a source of serious biological inquiry and one of miraculous discovery. He portrays the silky worlds of spiders, how wings sprouted on previously flightless animals, the evolution of the human eye (no less than 40 leaps), and details how DNA paves the way for change across the whole spectrum of flying, swimming, and walking creatures. These discussions and others are well illustrated by line drawings and photographs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
The towering cliffs of Mount Improbable can never, it seems, be climbed. In Richard Dawkins's remarkable new book the heights of Mount Improbable represent the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" perfection of living things. From the combination of strength and sensitivity of an elephant's trunk to the life-saving camouflage of an ant-mimicking beetle, the living world is populated by creatures that seem miraculously designed for the lives they lead. But these complex and brilliantly effective features cannot have come about by undirected chance. That would be equivalent to scaling the sheer face of the mountain in a single leap. The only way to explain seemingly designed objects is by slow, gradual evolution - inching cumulatively, almost infinitely slowly by the standards of human history, up the gentle paths on the far side of Mount Improbable. Dawkins guides the reader through the spectacular mountain passes of the natural world. We are led through the silken world of spiders; we are shown how wings gradually sprouted on the bodies of flightless animals; we see how the fig is a garden for its own teeming population of insects; and we learn that the eye has evolved no less than forty times independently. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through geological time.

Baker
& Taylor

Arguing that the perfection of the human body is the result of improbable mutation, a prominent Darwinian uses the metaphor of climbing a mountain to illustrate how natural perfection is due to the unending journey of DNA through time

Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, 1996
ISBN: 9780393039306
0393039307
Characteristics: p. ; cm

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