The New Foundations of Evolution: On the Tree of Life

Paperback | July 24, 2009

byJan Sapp

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This is the story of a profound revolution in the way biologists explore life's history, understand its evolutionary processes, and reveal its diversity. It is about life's smallest entities, deepest diversity, and greatest cellular biomass: the microbiosphere. Jan Sapp introduces us to a newfield of evolutionary biology and a new brand of molecular evolutionists who descend to the foundations of evolution on Earth to explore the origins of the genetic system and the primary life forms from which all others have emerged. In so doing, he examines-from Lamarck to the present-the means ofpursuing the evolution of complexity, and of depicting the greatest differences among organisms. The New Foundations of Evolution takes us into a world that classical evolutionists could never have imagined: a deep phylogeny based on three domains of life and multiple kingdoms, and created by mechanisms very unlike those considered by Darwin and his followers. Evolution by leaps seems to occurregularly in the microbial world where molecular evolutionists have shown the inheritance of acquired genes and genomes are major modes of evolutionary innovation. Revisiting the history of microbiology for the first time from the perspective of evolutionary biology, Sapp shows why classical Darwinian conceptions centering on questions of the origin of species were forged without a microbial foundation, why classical microbiologists considered it impossible toknow the course of evolution, and classical molecular biologists considered the evolution of the molecular genetic system to be beyond understanding. In telling this stirring story of scientific iconoclasm, this book elucidates how the new evolutionary biology arose, what methods and assumptionsunderpin it, and the fiery controversies that continue to shape biologists' understanding of the foundations of evolution today.

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This is the story of a profound revolution in the way biologists explore life's history, understand its evolutionary processes, and reveal its diversity. It is about life's smallest entities, deepest diversity, and greatest cellular biomass: the microbiosphere. Jan Sapp introduces us to a newfield of evolutionary biology and a new bran...

Jan Sapp is a Professor in the Department of Biology at York University in Toronto, Canada.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:July 24, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019538850X

ISBN - 13:9780195388503

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Table of Contents

ForewordPreface1. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?Little animalsEnlightenment NamingAnimal-PlantsThe Lamarckian TransformationSeries versus ReticulationVertebrates and InvertebratesA Kingdom for Beings with Two Souls2. Microbes FirstInfusorial ExpeditionsReformed by the Cell theoryProtozoaPrimigenumDarwinian misconceptionsPrimalia3. The Germ of PhylogenyDescent with modificationDarwin's SimileEssential Characters and Evolutionary ProgressDarwin's Blind SpotMonera and the Origins of LifeProtistaThere Must be a Moneran Somewhere4. Creatures Void of FormJust GermsLittle PlantsPure CulturesThe Birth of Microbial ecology5. About ChaosMore Than a Storage SystemThe "common sense" revolutionOn Autotrophic OriginsBig fleas have Little FleasBergey's Manual6. Kingdoms at Biology's BordersThe Fear of SecessionMonera for expedienceThe Map is Not the TerritoryA Synthesis of SortsThe New Systematics7. The Prokaryote and the EukaryoteRealists versus IdealistsHeterotroph and Sphere firstAbandoning PhylogeneticsRenouncing Kingdom MoneraBacteriology's Scandal8. On the Unity of LifeA Group Negatively DefinedOf E. coli and ElephantsKingdom or Superkingdom?On Evolution's DirectionProkaryote's first?9. Symbiotic complexityInnovation sharingNo Room at the InnInfective HeredityThe Tipping PointAnthropomorphisms and Eating Peanuts10. The Morning of Molecular phylogeneticsWithin the GenePaleogeneticsBy DNA compositionCladistics vs PheneticsIs Lateral Gene Transfer Natural?Antibiotic Resistant OutbreaksPatchwork EvolutionThe Core Concept11. Roots in the Genetic CodeCode CrackingOn the Origin of translationFrozen Accident theory?The Need for a Phylogenetic FrameworkIs there really an Adaptor?Molecular MetaphysicsBack to Evolution's Core12. A Third Form of LifeCultivating the UnusualThe Strange Signatures of Delta HAn Ancient DivergenceStemming from the ProgenotesUntangling the ProkaryoteIntroducing the Archaebacteria13. A Kingdom on a MoleculeAbout Going PublicConfronting Classical MicrobiologyPhenotype over Phylogeny?Revolution Afoot14. Against AdaptationismExpanding the urkingdomHalophilesThermophilesSearch for the PhenotypeUnique Lipids15. In the Capital of the New KingdomWalls for the KingdomComplementarityTransforming the EubacteriaKandler's EngineInto the Cave of the LionUnique Transcription EnzymesLife in the ExtremesBlares of Trumpets16. Out of EdenOn the MetabacteriaAn Aquatic EdenNo Time for the Soup17. Sketching the Tree of LifePhylogeny at the cross roadsProving symbiosis theoryCan only God make a tree?The Primary Lines of DescentNothing Left to ChanceQuantum changes18. The Dawn Cell ControversyThe Rise of the Dawn CellThe EocyteConflicts in NatureRooting the tree19. Three Domains"Not just Prokaryotes"The "Old Ones"Anthropomorphisms20. Disputed TerritoriesThe ClashMatters of TasteConvergenceWould the real Darwinian please stand up?Nature's BiasOf Birds and Bacteria21. Grappling the World Wide WebDo bacteria really have organismal histories?The last universal common ancestorFlipping-over GenomicsTrees without OrganismsShaking the tree of lifeThe dispute at "the core"22. Entangled Roots and Braided LivesThe Perplexing ProkaryoteBack to NatureThe Enigmatic EukaryoteE = A + BE = A + B + CConcluding remarks