In a brilliant follow-up to his blockbuster The God Delusion, Dawkins lays out the evidence for evolution. It is the definitive book that in a systematic and logical form with examples proves that evolution does take place and denounces the delusion called intelligent design.
“...at any moment somebody might dig up a mammal in Cambrian rocks, and the theory of evolution would be instantly blown apart if they did. Evolution, in other words, is falsifiable, and therefore scientific, theory.”
modern species don’t evolve into other modern species, they just share ancestors: they are cousins.Highlighted by 94 Kindle customers
When you notice a characteristic of an animal and ask what its Darwinian survival value is, you may be asking the wrong question. It could be that the characteristic you have picked out is not the one that matters. It may have ‘come along for the ride’, dragged along in evolution by some other characteristic to which it is pleiotropically linked.Highlighted by 84 Kindle customers
More than 40 per cent of Americans deny that humans evolved from other animals, and think that we – and by implication all of life – were created by God within the last 10,000 years.Highlighted by 81 Kindle customers
Mutations are the random changes in genes that constitute the raw material for evolution by non-random selection.Highlighted by 60 Kindle customers
Perfection in one department must be bought, in the form of a sacrifice in another department.Highlighted by 59 Kindle customers
They recognize a widespread phenomenon called ‘pleiotropy’, whereby genes have more than one effect, seemingly unconnected.Highlighted by 56 Kindle customers
Biologists often make a distinction between the fact of evolution (all living things are cousins), and the theory of what drives it (they usually mean natural selection, and they may contrast it with rival theories such as Lamarck’s theory of ‘use and disuse’ and the ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’).Highlighted by 52 Kindle customers
Artificial selection is not just an analogy for natural selection. Artificial selection constitutes a true experimental – as opposed to observational – test of the hypothesis that selection causes evolutionary change.Highlighted by 51 Kindle customers
There is no permanent rabbitiness, no essence of rabbit hanging in the sky, just populations of furry, long-eared, coprophagous, whisker-twitching individuals, showing a statistical distribution of variation in size, shape, colour and proclivities.Highlighted by 47 Kindle customers
4 Without any kind of choosing agent, those individuals that are ‘chosen’ by the fact that they happen to possess superior equipment to survive are the most likely to reproduce, and therefore to pass on the genes for possessing superior equipment. Therefore every gene pool, in every species, tends to become filled with genes for making superior equipment for survival and reproduction.Highlighted by 34 Kindle customers
1. Only a Theory?
2. Dogs, Cows and Cabbages
3. The primrose path to micro-evolution
4. Silence and slow time
5. Before our very eyes
6. Missing link? What do you mean, 'missing'?
7. Missing persons? Missing no longer
8. You did it yourself in nine months
9. The ark of the continents
10. The Tree of cousinship
11. History written all over us
12. Arms race and 'evolutionary theodicy'
13. There is grandeur in this view of life
Appendix - The History-deniers
Bibliography and Further Reading
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