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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

My Thoughts on Biological Evolution

By: Motoo Kimura(Author), K Aoki(Translated by), Y Tateno(Translated by)
152 pages, 2 colour & 22 b/w illustrations
Publisher: Springer Nature
My Thoughts on Biological Evolution
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  • My Thoughts on Biological Evolution ISBN: 9789811561641 Hardback Jul 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £79.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

This book, written by Motoo Kimura (1924–94), is a classic in evolutionary biology. In 1968, Kimura proposed the “neutral theory of molecular evolution”, which became the theoretical basis of modern evolutionary studies. After publishing his work in 1983 in the book “Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution”, Kimura wrote this book in 1988 for the general public. It was originally written in Japanese and is translated here for the first time.

In the book, Kimura first summarizes the development of evolutionary theory since Lamarck and Darwin. He then shows how the search for mechanisms of evolution developed into population genetics and describes how the study of molecular evolution matured by taking in the fruits of molecular biology. Kimura proceeds to carefully explain his neutral evolution theory at the molecular level. Finally, he presents his view of the world from an evolutionary perspective.

The book has long served as an in-depth introduction to evolutionary biology for students and young researchers in Japan. There has been remarkably rapid progress in the field of bioscience at the molecular level over the past 30 years. Nevertheless, the book remains an important contribution that laid the foundations for what followed in molecular evolutionary studies.


In Memory by Tomoko Ohta
Translators' Notes

Chapter I: Diversity of Organisms and Views on Evolution
1 Diversity of Organisms
2 Biological Evolution as a Fact
3 History of the Development of Evolutionary Theory
Lamarck and Darwin
Contribution of Mendel

Chapter II: History of the Development of the Theory of Evolutionary Mechanism on the Basis of Genetics
1 Troubled Beginnings
2 Formation of Population Genetics
3 Synthetic Theory of Evolution and Panselectionism
4 Studies of Molecular Evolution and the Neutral Theory
5 Other Evolutionary Theories

Chapter III: Tracing the Course of Evolution
1 Outline of the History of Life
2 Evolution of Vertebrates
3 Evolution of Mammals
4 Evolution of Primates and the Emergence of Hominins

Chapter IV: Mutation as an Evolutionary Factor
1 A Genetic View of Life
2 Nature and Variety of Mutations
3 Nature of Gene Mutation
4 Phenotypic Effects of Gene Mutations

Chapter V: On Natural Selection and Adaptation
1 Darwin on Natural Selection
2 Modern Developments in the Theory of Natural Selection

Chapter VI: Introduction to Population Genetics
1 What is Population Genetics?
2 Gene Frequency and Mating System
3 On Genetic Equilibrium
4 On Genetic Drift
5 Behavior of a Mutant Gene in the Population

Chapter VII: Introduction to Molecular Evolution
1 Eve of Molecular Evolutionary Studies
2 Basic Knowledge for Understanding Molecular Evolution
3 Estimation of the Rate of Molecular Evolution
4 Characteristics of Molecular Evolution
5 Accumulation Process of Mutations within a Species

Chapter VIII: The Neutral Theory and Molecular Evolution
1 Explanation by the Neutral Theory
2 Intraspecific Variation at the Molecular Level
3 Molecular Evolutionary Clock and Molecular Phylogeny
4 Other Topics Related to Neutral Evolution
5 Bridging Molecular Evolution and Phenotypic Evolution

Chapter IX: An Evolutionary Genetic World View
1 The Human as a Product of Evolution
2 Thinking about the Question of Eugenics
3 Positive Eugenics and the Future of Mankind
4 Human Expansion into Space and Evolution

Customer Reviews


Motoo Kimura was born on 13 November 1924 in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from high school in Nagoya, he entered the Faculty of Science, Kyoto University. He studied botany under the guidance of Professor Hitoshi Kihara at the Faculty of Agriculture of Kyoto University but also taught himself population genetics theory. After graduating in 1947, he became a research assistant in Kihara’s laboratory. He was appointed as a staff scientist at the National Institute of Genetics when it was established in 1949 and became Head of the newly created Division of Population Genetics in 1964. He worked there until he passed away on 13 November 1994. In 1953 he studied at Iowa State University and in 1955 at the University of Wisconsin, where he received a PhD under the guidance of Professor James. F. Crow. Motoo Kimura received many honours, including the Order of Culture from the Japanese Government in 1976 and the Darwin Medal in 1992.

By: Motoo Kimura(Author), K Aoki(Translated by), Y Tateno(Translated by)
152 pages, 2 colour & 22 b/w illustrations
Publisher: Springer Nature
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