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Biomedical Sciences - Human Genetics | How Science Works: Evolution

How Science Works: Evolution

A Student Primer

Ellis, R. John

2010, XXIII, 100 p.

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  • A general reading book for those especially interested in Evolution and the philosophy of science

Evolution is just a theory, isn’t it? What is a scientific theory anyway? Don’t scientists prove things? What is the difference between a fact, a hypothesis and a theory in science? How does scientific thinking differ from religious thinking? Why are most leading scientists atheists? Are science and religion compatible? Why are there so many different religious beliefs but only one science? What is the evidence for evolution? Why does evolution occur? If you are interested in any of these questions and have some knowledge of biology, this book is for you.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Adaptation - Charles Darwin - Darwin - Evolution - biodiversity - biogeography - eukaryote - genes - the origin - theory of evolution

Related subjects » Animal Sciences - Biomedical Sciences - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Human Genetics - Popular Science

Table of contents 

Acknowledgements
Preface: The Importance of Science
Introduction: The Aim of This Book

Part I: Two Ways of Explaining the World
- Supernaturalism and Naturalism
- The Incompatibility of Science and Religion
- Further Reading List

Part II: How Science Works
- Nullius in Verba
- Occam`s Razor
- Religious Belief amongst Leading Scientists
- Uncertainty
- The Importance of Defining Terms
- Facts, Theories and Hypotheses
- Science and Religion Compared
- The Naturalistic Origins of Moral Values
- Further Reading List

Part III: Darwin`s Theory of Evolution
- Biodiversity
- Adaptation
- Possible Explanations for Biodiversity & Adaptation
- The Early Life of Charles Darwin
- Evolution by Natural Selection
- Direct Observation of Natural Selection in Finches
- Historical Context of the Idea of Natural Selection
- Common Misconceptions about Natural Selection
- Genetic Drift
- Further Reading List

Part IV: The Evidence for Evolution
- Similarities at the Molecular Level
- The Unity of Biochemistry
- The Principles of Molecular Biology
- The Tree of Life
- Lateral Gene Transfer
- The Origin of Eukaryotes
- Similarities at the Anatomical Level
- Direct Observation
- Transitional Fossils
- Logical Inference
- Hierarchical Classification
- Biogeography
- Vestigial Structures
- Further Reading List

Part V: The Evolution of Eyes
- One of Darwin`s Difficulties
- Light-Detection Structures
- Plausible Evolutionary Possibilities
- Genetic Control of Eye Formation
- Further Reading List

Concluding Remarks

Definitions

Suggestions for Discussion Topics

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