Humans and flies look nothing alike, yet their genetic circuits are remarkably similar. Here, Lewis I. Held, Jr compares the genetics and development of the two to review the evidence for deep homology, the biggest discovery from the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology. Remnants of the operating system of our hypothetical common ancestor 600 million years ago are compared in chapters arranged by region of the body, from the nervous system, limbs and heart, to vision, hearing and smell. Concept maps provide a clear understanding of the complex subjects addressed, while encyclopaedic tables offer comprehensive inventories of genetic information. Written in an engaging style with a reference section listing thousands of relevant publications, this is a vital resource for scientific researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students.
A major synthesis of homology, written by a top researcher in the field Homology—a similar trait shared by different species and derived from common ancestry, such as a seal's fin and a bird’s wing—is one of the most fundamental yet challenging concepts in evolutionary biology. This groundbreaking book provides the first mechanistically based theory of what homology is and how it arises in evolution. Günter Wagner, one of the preeminent researchers in the field, argues that homology, or character identity, can be explained through the historical continuity of character identity networks—that is, the gene regulatory networks that enable differential gene expression. He shows how character identity is independent of the form and function of the character itself because the same network can activate different effector genes and thus control the development of different shapes, sizes, and qualities of the character. Demonstrating how this theoretical model can provide a foundation for understanding the evolutionary origin of novel characters, Wagner applies it to the origin and evolution of specific systems, such as cell types; skin, hair, and feathers; limbs and digits; and flowers. The first major synthesis of homology to be published in decades, Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation reveals how a mechanistically based theory can serve as a unifying concept for any branch of science concerned with the structure and development of organisms, and how it can help explain major transitions in evolution and broad patterns of biological diversity.
A unique overview of the human language faculty at all levels of organization. Language is not only one of the most complex cognitive functions that we command, it is also the aspect of the mind that makes us uniquely human. Research suggests that the human brain exhibits a language readiness not found in the brains of other species. This volume brings together contributions from a range of fields to examine humans' language capacity from multiple perspectives, analyzing it at genetic, neurobiological, psychological, and linguistic levels. In recent decades, advances in computational modeling, neuroimaging, and genetic sequencing have made possible new approaches to the study of language, and the contributors draw on these developments. The book examines cognitive architectures, investigating the functional organization of the major language skills; learning and development trajectories, summarizing the current understanding of the steps and neurocognitive mechanisms in language processing; evolutionary and other preconditions for communication by means of natural language; computational tools for modeling language; cognitive neuroscientific methods that allow observations of the human brain in action, including fMRI, EEG/MEG, and others; the neural infrastructure of language capacity; the genome's role in building and maintaining the language-ready brain; and insights from studying such language-relevant behaviors in nonhuman animals as birdsong and primate vocalization. Section editors Christian F. Beckmann, Carel ten Cate, Simon E. Fisher, Peter Hagoort, Evan Kidd, Stephen C. Levinson, James M. McQueen, Antje S. Meyer, David Poeppel, Caroline F. Rowland, Constance Scharff, Ivan Toni, Willem Zuidema
An analysis of patterns of convergent evolution on Earth that suggests where we might look for similar convergent forms on other planets. Why does a sea lily look like a palm tree? And why is a sea lily called a “lily” when it is a marine animal and not a plant? Many marine animals bear a noticeable similarity in form to land-dwelling plants. And yet these marine animal forms evolved in the oceans first; land plants independently and convergently evolved similar forms much later in geologic time. In this book, George McGhee analyzes patterns of convergent evolution on Earth and argues that these patterns offer lessons for the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Our Earth is a water world; 71 percent of the earth's surface is covered by water. The fossil record shows that multicellular life on dry land is a new phenomenon; for the vast majority of the earth's history—3,500 million years of its 4,560 million years of existence—complex life existed only in the oceans. Explaining that convergent biological evolution occurs because of limited evolutionary pathways, McGhee examines examples of convergent evolution in forms of feeding, immobility and mobility, defense, and organ systems. McGhee suggests that the patterns of convergent evolution that we see in our own water world indicate the potential for similar convergent forms in other water worlds. We should search for extraterrestrial life on water worlds, and for technological life on water worlds with continental landmasses.
Can we can use the patterns and processes of convergent evolution to make inferences about universal laws of life, on Earth and elsewhere? In this book, Russell Powell investigates whether we can use the patterns and processes of convergent evolution to make inferences about universal laws of life, on Earth and elsewhere. Weaving together disparate philosophical and empirical threads, Powell offers the first detailed analysis of the interplay between contingency and convergence in macroevolution, as it relates to both complex life in general and cognitively complex life in particular. If the evolution of mind is not a historical accident, the product of convergence rather than contingency, then, Powell asks, is mind likely to be an evolutionarily important feature of any living world? Stephen Jay Gould argued for the primacy of contingency in evolution. Gould's “radical contingency thesis” (RCT) has been challenged, but critics have largely failed to engage with its core claims and theoretical commitments. Powell fills this gap. He first examines convergent regularities at both temporal and phylogenetic depths, finding evidence that both vindicates and rebuffs Gould's argument for contingency. Powell follows this partial defense of the RCT with a substantive critique. Among the evolutionary outcomes that might defy the RCT, he argues, cognition is particularly important—not only for human-specific issues of the evolution of intelligence and consciousness but also for the large-scale ecological organization of macroscopic living worlds. Turning his attention to complex cognitive life, Powell considers what patterns of cognitive convergence tell us about the nature of mind, its evolution, and its place in the universe. If complex bodies are common in the universe, might complex minds be common as well?
Designed to help readers learn how to "think" like evolutionary biologists, this 4-color book approaches evolutionary biology as a dynamic field of inquiry and as a "process." Using a theme-based approach, it illustrates the interplay between theory, observation, testing and interpretation. It offers commentary on strengths and weaknesses of data sets, gives detailed examples rather than a broad synoptic approach, includes many data graphics and boxes regarding both sides of controversies. Introduces each major organizing theme in evolution through a question--e.g., How has HIV become drug resistant? Why did the dinosaurs, after dominating the land vertebrates for 150 million years, suddenly go extinct? Are humans more closely related to gorillas or to chimpanzees? Focuses on many applied, reader-relevant topics--e.g., evolution and human health, the evolution of senescence, sexual selection, social behavior, eugenics, and biodiversity and conservation. Then develops the strategies that evolutionary biologists use for finding an answers to such questions. Then considers the observations and experiments that test the predictions made by competing hypotheses, and discusses how the data are interpreted. For anyone interested in human evolution, including those working in human and animal health care, environmental management and conservation, primary and secondary education, science journalism, and biological and medical research.
One of the most widely used ideas in scholarship of the humanities and social sciences is that of homology: a formal pattern structuring different kinds of texts, ideas, and experiences. Rhetorical Homologies explores the central meaning of this form in a variety of discourses and also examines the kind of homologies that shape audience responses to personal, public, and political issues. Barry Brummett is most interested in homologies among very different orders of experience and texts: experiences on the battlefield that are homologous to those at a dining room table, for instance. interesting, and why homology is rhetorical are the subjects of this study. Brummett focuses on a wide range of topics, from the homologies between rhetoric and weapons throughout history to the homology of ritual injuries as manifested in representation of Christian martyrs, Laurel and Hardy films, the African-American practice of playing the dozens, and televised professional wrestling. Brummett also explores the homology of the Wise Woman, using rhetorical representation of Sojourner Truth and Oprah Winfrey. important in understanding how social life is organized in general and that the centrality of discourse in organizing experience makes rhetorical homologies an important perspective for general knowledge beyond the boundaries of this study.
Covering more than 50 central terms & concepts, the entries in this reference offer an overview of all that is embraced by the subdiscipline of evolutionary developmental biology, providing core insights & ideas that show how embryonic development relates to life-history evolution & adaptation.
..". less about film than about the psychology of the viewing experience." American Film Employing Freudian psychoanalysis, Christian Metz explores the nature of cinematic spectatorship and looks at the operations of meaning in the film text."
This text focuses on communication development from infancy through to adolescence by presenting detailed theoretical and research information on the language acquisition process. It also provides the student with an initial exposure to the clinical applicability of the literature in the field.
Author: Faculty of Computing Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Dylan Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Do our emotions stop us being rational? For thousands of years, emotions have been thought of as obstacles to intelligent thought. In this book, leading thinkers from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience challenge this commonly held view of emotion in a series of challenging essays.