Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

Degrees of Freedom: Living in Dynamic Boundaries

By: Alan DM Rayner

312 pages, B/w photos, illus, figs

World Scientific Publishing

Paperback | Jan 1997 | #95054 | ISBN: 1860941028
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £21.99 $28/€26 approx
Hardback | Dec 1997 | #67801 | ISBN: 1860940374
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £47.99 $61/€57 approx

About this book

&i;`Slowly, a new genre of writing is emerging that recognises both partnership and competition as crucial to understanding evolution...Degrees of Freedom is a fascinating new addition to this debate...Rayner has elegantly shown that, in much of the microbial world at least, DNA takes a back seat to environmental context. He wants to apply these same principles to the behaviour of more familiar communities such as ant colonies and plant roots and even, more contentiously, to ourselves. Already his ideas, which have been dubbed 'eco-Darwinism', have intrigued evolutionists. Now this accessible book brings his challenging perspective into the public areas.'&o;New Scientist 1997

Slowly, a new genre of writing is emerging that recognises both partnership and competition as crucial to understanding evolution ... Degrees of Freedom is a fascinating new addition to this debate ... Rayner has elegantly shown that, in much of the microbial world at least, DNA takes a back seat to environmental context. He wants to apply these same principles to the behaviour of more familiar communities such as ant colonies and plant roots and even, more contentiously, to ourselves. Already his ideas, which have been dubbed 'eco-Darwinism', have intrigued evolutionists. Now this accessible book brings his challenging perspective into the public areas. New Scientist, 1997 "Dr Rayner explains with virtuosity the extraordinary properties of the fungi of the woodland floor and relates this to a range of other phenomena, such as how humans learn." SGM Quarterly, Nov 1997 "For such a concise book ... well-referenced and indexed, it is extraordinarily wide in scope." The Ecologist, Jan/Feb 1998 "Highly recommended for biologists of all disciplines." Choice, 1998


Contents

Defining dynamic boundaries; scaling hierarchies - individuals and collectives from molecules to communities; determinacy and indeterminacy; differentiation and integration; versatility and degeneracy; balance and circumstance; me and you, us and them - merger, takeover and rejection; compassion in place of strife - the future of human relationships?.

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