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Y by chance Regarding evolution's most complex achievements as peaks on a metaphorical mountain Climbing Mount Improbable reveals the ways in which the theory of natural selection can precisely explain the beautiful bizarre and seemingly 'designed' complexity of living thingsAnd through it all runs the thread of DNA the mo. I highly recommend you read any Dawkins book on evolution if you want the best coherent explanation of the processes of natural selectionAccording to Wikipedia Dawkins is Darwin s Rottweiler In this book Dawkins attempts to explain how it is possible that evolution of such amazing instruments as eyes can happen through nothing than natural selection He explains in part through the use of his and others computer simulations I really get that natural selection with random mutation is like a giant natural optimization program operating to refine organisms so at to preserve genes I think there is a high degree of likelihood that natural selection gets at essential truthsBut natural selection is not the whole story of evolutionI find it striking that Dawkins can casually assert that the mitochondria organelle found in most eukaryotic cells was once an independent bacterial life form and not address the implications on evolution Read Acuiring Genomes by Margulis and Sagan for many examples of possible evolutionary factors beyond natural selection

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Climbing Mount Improbable

In Climbing Mount Improbable Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion builds a powerful and carefully reasoned argument for evolutionary adaptation as the force behind all life on earth What drives species to evolve How can intricate structures such as the human eye the spider's web or the wings of birds develop seemingl. Part of me feels really dumb reading this because all I can do is take him at his word and go uh huh that must be how it s done Like what is this other guy who gave the book one star talking about with chaos theory and some kind of math that has proven that eyes could evolve or devolve spontaneously What does that mean How am I to judge what is right or not Once again I have the gripe with Dawkins about not citing much this book lacks any kind of citations He tells you where to go to read about details and gives a lengthy bibliography suggested reading list at the end but doesn t really give citations per se Maybe that is just not how it s done in pop science books Going along with what he is saying though I found the book to be incredibly interesting and to me this is a much better explanation for life as we know it then creationism and not just sounding rational but with some amazing little details and subtleties that made me realize how weird and cool the world we live in can be so much that just being as human centrically focused for so long I had no idea about It s interesting and all the infinite number of ways that we can mess with memory in literature or feel despair alienation and all of that other stuff that I m normally very obsessed with but then there are these things that science has learned that are actually pretty amazing like orchids that mimic looking like a female wasp just to lure a male wasp to try to mate with a flowery dopplanger and once the male wasp is trying to fuck this simulacra how long does it take a wasp to realize it s trying to get it on with a leaf the orchid traps the wasp and strikes it repeatedly on the back with this arm type thing that leaves pollen on the back of the sexually unsatisfied and duped wasp That might be my favorite example given in the book how amazing is it that something as ingenious as that can be created by nature for the sole purpose of furthering the genetic life of species Or that wars are waged inside of figs by opposing armies of wasps where millions die in battles over the rights to lay eggs and continue their genetic lines Millions And in a fruit that is the entire world for all of the males of the species involved whom will never leave the fig and just live their lives for the sake of battling so that the females of their species can lay their eggs and pollinate It s astounding to think of the magnitude of things that go on in the world and that have nothing to do with us I just wish there were citations

characters Climbing Mount Improbable

Lecule of life responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time Accompanied by evocative illustrations Dawkins's elouent descriptions of the living world's astonishing adaptations throw back the curtain on the mysteries of 'Mount Improbable' An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here. I come from a family where almost everyone has something against Dawkins And yet I somehow won this book To my surprise it is uite good Some parts are a little outdated especially the part about 3D printers and their nonexistence but it makes sense as it was written 20 years agoOnce you accept that the author is a bit of an egomaniac the book is well written interesting and understandable even for those who never were that much into biology My favourite parts are definitely those about web spiders and the relation between mutation and sexuality If only my bodies would go in for some sex And of course anyone who mentions Douglas Adams scores some pointseditBTW there is one Czech writer Ond ej Sekora whose books for children are especially accurate as for ants development First chapter of Climbing Mount Improbable strongly reminded me of Ferda Mravenec Ferda the Ant So understandable it was


10 thoughts on “Climbing Mount Improbable

  1. says:

    Part of me feels really dumb reading this because all I can do is take him at his word and go 'uh huh that must be how it's done' Like what is this other guy who gave the book one star talking about with chaos theory and some kind of math that has proven that eyes could evolve or devolve spontaneously? What does that mean? How am I to judge what is right or not Once again I have the gripe with Dawkins about not citing much this b

  2. says:

    I read this book almost by accident It was a few years ago and I was joining a mail order book club and this was just need one for my new member special offers this looks kind of interesting I hadn't read anything about science for many years I'd tried to read Stephen Jay Gould books a couple of times but I never enjoye

  3. says:

    A very difficult read Including very fragmented chapters though interesting

  4. says:

    I highly recommend you read any Dawkins book on evolution if you want the best coherent explanation of the processes of natural selectionAccording to Wikipedia Dawkins is Darwin's Rottweiler In this book Dawkins attempts to explain how it is possible that evolution of such amazing instruments as eyes can happen

  5. says:

    After a couple weeks of slowly reading through this one I gave up and skimmed the last 150 or so pages This book was not as engaging as Blind Watchmaker or God Delusion mostly because it's of a biology text than a political treatise about evolution I very much enjoyed the what it all means sections of the book but those appear too infreuently between the how it all works sections I can only read so much about fig wasps and nautilus shells

  6. says:

    Richard Dawkins's condescending arrogance is getting on my nerves so much that I doubt I'll finish thisBut I stuck with it and I made it through Interestingly when Dick Dawkins is focusing on explaining how cool evolution is and not

  7. says:

    Once and for all evolution is NOT about progress a process tending towards a specific purpose and behind which then lies a designer Using a metaphor the climbing of a mountain Dawkins insists here on the gradualism implied

  8. says:

    I come from a family where almost everyone has something against Dawkins And yet I somehow won this book To my surprise it is uite good Some parts are a little outdated especially the part about 3D printers and their nonexistence but it makes sense as it was written 20 years agoOnce you accept that the author is a bit of an egomaniac the book is well written interesting and understandable even for those who never were that much in

  9. says:

    when richard wrote this book about the slow evolutionary plod of the evolving eye up the billion year probability mountain a guy in the same faculty who he probably saw in the tea room was dr brian goodwin who with the use of chaos computation proved that the eye in acetabularia could evolve and devolve spontaneously as a

  10. says:

    Too many iffy chapters that were boring than interesting

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