The New Biology

Robert M. Augros, Author Shambhala Publications $22.5 (274p) ISBN 978-0-87773-364-5
""Nature red in tooth and claw'' is an outmoded concept, say the authors; modern biologists are challenging the notion that all of nature is a competitive struggle and are beginning to look at biology as an extension of physics. Augros and Stanciu, who cowrote The New Story of Science, survey a discipline in the midst of upheaval. Using the new physics as an example, they draw on their work and that of other scientists to show how mechanical models and conventional theories work or fail. The primary target is Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest; critics accept his logic but question the truth of his premises. Cooperation, not competition, is the norm, they argue, because it is energy-efficientwe should see predation as a kind of balanced coexistence rather than a struggle. The authors define life and discuss animal intelligence and behavior, looking at the fossil record, adaptation and hierarchy in nature. They turn to molecular biology to argue that the whole course of evolution can be seen within the organism. Readers interested in the history of science and advances in the life sciences will find The New Biology provocative and engrossing. Illustrations. (June 26)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-87773-439-0
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