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Since the publication in 1859 of Darwin's Origin of Species, debate
over the theory of evolution has been continuous and often
impassioned. In recent years, opponents of "Darwin's dangerous
idea" have mounted history's most sophisticated and generously
funded attack, claiming that evolution is "a theory in crisis."
Ironically, these claims are being made at a time when the
explosion of information from genome projects has revealed the most
compelling and overwhelming evidence of evolution ever discovered.
Much of the latest evidence of human evolution comes not from our
genes, but from so-called "junk DNA," leftover relics of our
evolutionary history that make up the vast majority of our
This is a compelling exploration of how our understanding of evolution is key to the future of our planet. When Charles Darwin started writing his work On "Origin of Species", he could hardly have envisioned how much we would discover about the origin of life over the next 150 years. Today's evidence points to an inescapable and simple conclusion - we evolved and we are still evolving. This persuasive and elegant book, argues that understanding evolution has never mattered more in human history. It explains in detail how health, food production, and human impact on the environment are dependent on our knowledge of evolution.
Since the publication in 1859 of Darwin's Origin of Species, debate over the theory of evolution has been continuous and often impassioned. In recent years, opponents of "Darwin's dangerous idea" have mounted history's most sophisticated and generously funded attack, claiming that evolution is "a theory in crisis." Ironically, these claims are being made at a time when the explosion of information from genome projects has revealed the most compelling and overwhelming evidence of evolution ever discovered. Much of the latest evidence of human evolution comes not from our genes, but from so-called "junk DNA," leftover relics of our evolutionary history that make up the vast majority of our DNA. Relics of Eden explores this powerful DNA-based evidence of human evolution. The "relics" are the millions of functionally useless but scientifically informative remnants of our evolutionary ancestry trapped in the DNA of every person on the planet. For example, the analysis of the chimpanzee and Rhesus monkey genomes shows indisputable evidence of the human evolutionary relationship with other primates. Over 95 percent of our genome is identical with that of chimpanzees and we also have a good deal in common with other animal species. Author Daniel J. Fairbanks also discusses what DNA analysis reveals about where humans originated. The diversity of DNA sequences repeatedly confirms the archeological evidence that humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa (the "Eden" of the title) and from there migrated through the Middle East and Asia to Europe, Australia, and the Americas. In conclusion, Fairbanks confronts the supposed dichotomy between evolution and religion, arguing that both science and religion are complementary ways to seek truth. He appeals to the vast majority of Americans who hold religious convictions not to be fooled by the pseudoscience of Creationists and Intelligent Design advocates and to abandon the false dichotomy between religion and real science. This concise, very readable presentation of recent genetic research is completely accessible to the nonspecialist and makes for enlightening and fascinating reading.
In 1865, Gregor Mendel presented ""Experiments in Plant-Hybridization,"" the results of his eight-year study of the principles of inheritance through experimentation with pea plants. Overlooked in its day, Mendel's work would later become the foundation of modern genetics. Did his pioneering research follow the rigors of real scientific inquiry, or was Mendel's data too good to be true - the product of doctored statistics?In ""Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy"", leading experts present their conclusions on the legendary controversy surrounding the challenge to Mendel's findings by British statistician and biologist R. A. Fisher. In his 1936 paper, ""Has Mendel's Work Been Rediscovered?"" Fisher suggested that Mendel's data could have been falsified in order to support his expectations. Fisher attributed the falsification to an unknown assistant of Mendel's. At the time, Fisher's criticism did not receive wide attention. Yet beginning in 1964, about the time of the centenary of Mendel's paper, scholars began to publicly discuss whether Fisher had successfully proven that Mendel's data was falsified. Since that time, numerous articles, letters, and comments have been published on the controversy.This self-contained volume includes everything the reader will need to know about the subject: an overview of the controversy; the original papers of Mendel and Fisher; four of the most important papers on the debate; and, new updates, by the authors, of the latter four papers. Taken together, the authors contend, these voices argue for an end to the controversy - making this book the definitive last word on the subject.
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