In this fascinating book, John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary present an original picture of evolution. They propose that during evolution there have been a number of major transitions in the way in which information is passed between generations. These transitions include the appearance of the first replicating molecules, the emergence of co-operative animal societies, and the unique language ability of humans. Containing many new ideas, this book is contemporary biology on the grandest scale, from the birth of life to the origin of language.
John Maynard Smith is an internationally renowned biologiest, widely respected for the originality of his ideas and quality of his thinking. He is a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex. Eors Szathmary is a Professor at the Collegium Budapest, in Hungary.
PREFACE; 1. LIFE AND INFORMATION; 2. THE MAJOR TRANSITIONS; 3. FROM CHEMISTRY TO HEREDITY; 4. FROM THE RNA WORLD TO THE MODERN WORLD; 5. FROM HEREDITY TO SIMPLE CELLS; 6. THE ORIGIN OF EUKARYOTIC CELLS; 7. THE ORIGIN OF SEX; 8. GENETIC CONFLICT; 9. LIVING TOGETHER; 10. THE EVOLUTION OF MANY-CELLED ORGANISMS; 11. ANIMAL SOCIETIES; 12. FROM ANIMAL TO HUMAN SOCIETIES; 13. THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE; GLOSSARY; NOTES; FURTHER READING; INDEX