The Natural Selection of the Chemical Elements: The Environment and Lifes Chemistry

Paperback | April 1, 1997

byR. J. P. Williams, J. J. R. Frausto da Silva

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This beautifully written book is a study of the intimate relationship between the inanimate environment and living organisms. It describes how the evolution of both has been interactive and interdependent: the environment and life developed together, The authors show that this can beexplained in terms of the properties of the chemical elements and their compounds. It discusses the physical and chemical balances between the animate and inanimate worlds, with kinetic and thermodynamic principles given to support this analysis. These principles are applied to both organic andinorganic chemical systems to provide a basis for understanding the evolution of life in terms of the interaction of both types of chemistry within ever more complex organisations. The book conludes with an examination of an intriguing problem for mankind: the long-term consequences of man'sselection and manipulation of chemicals. This may have consequences for the long-term future of life from changes in the environment - not just only due to bulk but also to trace element alterations.

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This beautifully written book is a study of the intimate relationship between the inanimate environment and living organisms. It describes how the evolution of both has been interactive and interdependent: the environment and life developed together, The authors show that this can beexplained in terms of the properties of the chemical...

R. J. P. Williams is at Wadham College, Oxford. J. J. R. Frausto da Silva is at Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:April 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198558422

ISBN - 13:9780198558422

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Table of Contents

1. The development of man's ideas concerning nature2. Order in chemical systems: Elements and their combinations3. The balance between order and disorder4. Phase equilibria5. Equilibria in dilute solutions in water6. Limited phases, fields and compartments7. Evolution of kinetic control and of organisation8. The evolution of inorganic chemicals on Earth9. The evolution of organic compounds10. Early biological chemistry: The uptake and incorporation of elements in anaerobic organisms11. Early cellular organisation in anaerobes12. The structure and chemistry of organisms after the advent of dioxygen13. Organisation in advanced organisms14. Man's selection of the chemical elements15. Element cycles and their evolution16. The evolving natural selection of the chemical elements and the sensesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The level of this book is particularly aimed at teachers of final year university students. But, written in the style of Scientific American or other populist scientific publications, it will appeal to a wider public. This grand project makes one think of that by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, OnGrowth and Form. This is not just a collection of expert knowledge, this is also a book of wisdom!'Pierre Laszlo, Bulletin de la Societe Clinique de France Bulletin No. 5