The Cooperative Gene

The Cooperative Gene

How Mendel's Demon Explains the Evolution of Complex Beings

Book - 2001
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Why isn't all life pond-scum? Why are there multimillion-celled, long-lived monsters like us, built from tens of thousands of cooperating genes? Mark Ridley presents a new explanation of how complex large life forms like ourselves came to exist, showing that the answer to the greatest mystery of evolution for modern science is not the "selfish" gene; it is the "cooperative" gene.

In this thought-provoking book, Ridley breaks down how two major biological hurdles had to be overcome in order to allow living complexity to evolve: the proliferation of genes and gene-selfishness. Because complex life has more genes than simple life, the increase in gene numbers poses a particular problem for complex beings. The more genes, the more chance for copying error; it is far easier to make a mistake copying the Bible than it is copying an advertising slogan. To add to the difficulty, Darwin's concept of natural selection encourages genes that look out for themselves, selfish genes that could easily evolve to sabotage the development of complex life forms. By retracing the history of life on our planet -- from the initial wobbly, replicating m

Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2001.
Edition: First Free Press edition.
ISBN: 9780743201612
0743201612
Branch Call Number: 572.838 R437
Characteristics: xii, 324 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Ridley, Mark Mendel's demon.

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