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Evolution is true, it happens, it is the way the world is, and we too are one of its products. This does not mean that evolution does not have metaphysical implications; I remain convinced that this is the case.
He uses convergence as his foundation, defining it as "the recurrent tendency of biological organization to arrive at the same 'solution' to a particular 'need'" and offering a multitude of examples, including eusociality, olfaction, and the generation of electrical fields. In outlining the direction and inevitability he believes is inherent in evolution, Conway Morris stacks up compelling evidence in the form of a revealed "protein hyperspace" that limits the possibilities of amino acid combination to a few, often repeated (pre-ordained?) forms. While he skirts a focus on the relentless environmental pressures that result in adaptation, Conway Morris also derides the notion that the gene rules evolution. He accuses his opponents (primarily Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins) "genetic fundamentalism" who use "sleights of hand, special pleading, and sanctimoniousness... trying to smuggle back the moral principle through the agency of the gene." Dense with examples and complex biological proofs, Life's Solution is not an easy explanation of convergence for general readers. Still, it is a clear and exciting elucidation of the theory that evolution might have predictable outcomes, even for those who find Conway Morris' metaphysical arguments unconvincing. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I confess that I didn't read the whole book: I stopped after around 120 pages to jump to the last chapter (on Darwin) but I stopped again at page 328, where the author speaks of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marco De Odorico
My goodness, this book is dense. But, the British sarcasm and tiny bit of self loathing make up for it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Zachary S. Pierce
This is a great book. It is pushing it as "popular" science, but what else should popular science readers want? Read morePublished on February 13, 2012 by tspencer
However, the author convinced me that the traditional Darwinian camp, represented by Dawkins, is reductive and inadequate, and that the gene isn't the fundamental agent of... Read morePublished on October 25, 2011 by Miles
The author of this book warns believers in God to "put this book back on the shelf. It will do you no good. Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by R. R. Morris
It is good to read a book by an expert who demonstrates what I always believe - namely: we are meant to be here. The key concept of course is evolutionary convergence. Read morePublished on November 10, 2010 by W. Cheung
The book suffers from inconsistent expectations about the background of the readers. It is ostensibly targeted to the general reader but the long lists of examples (reminiscent of... Read morePublished on July 17, 2010 by Jen Badham
Morris writes a very convincing rejoinder to the late great Stephen Jay Gould. Whereas Gould argued that nothing was determined, and if you wind the clock back you'll get a... Read morePublished on October 5, 2009 by Jedidiah Carosaari
There is a lack of logical connection in Life's Solution between Chapter 11, which is where Morris rants against the atheistic Darwinists, and the rest of the book, which is mostly... Read morePublished on February 25, 2009 by quarmix