The data of evolutionary biology have changed in a very radical way in recent years, the most significant input to this revolution being the advances made in developmental genetics. Another recent development is a noticeable shift away from extreme specialization in evolutionary biology. In this, we are perhaps to be reminded of George Gaylord Simpson's comments: "evolution is an incredibly complex but at the same time integrated and unitary process." The main objective of this book is to illustrate how natural adaptive systems evolve as a unity--with the particular objective of identifying and merging several special theories of evolution within the framework of a single general theory.
The book provides an interdisciplinary overview of the general theory of evolution from the standpoint of the dynamic behavior of natural adaptive systems. The approach leads to a radically new fusion of the diverse disciplines of evolutionary biology, serving to resolve the considerable degree of conflict existing between different schools of contemporary thought.
* The book is a timely volume written by a natural historian with a broad view of biology.
* The author draws examples from a large range of organisms from many different habitats and niches where interesting adaptations have evolved
* Probes deeply into mechanisms of evolution such as developmental genetics, morphogenesis, chromosome structure, and cladogenesis
* Clear definition of terms, with illustrations visualizing the main theoretical structures, and point-by-point summaries clearly stating the principal conclusions