- Hardcover: 163 pages
- Publisher: Acorn Enterprises Llc; Subsequent edition (October 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0966993403
- ISBN-13: 978-0966993400
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,163,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #575 in Organic Evolution
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'Mathematics of Evolution' Hardcover – October 1, 1999
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From the Publisher
Fred Hoyle's longtime friend George Carson urged Hoyle to write this book. Carson was a biologist who thought that neo-Darwinian evolution needed to be mathematically analyzed, and he knew that Hoyle was capable of doing the job. But Hoyle was preoccupied with cosmology and astronomy at the time. Only later he did turn his attention to biology. In collaboration with his former student, astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe, he studied evidence for organic compounds in space. This work beginning in the early 1970s, and his correspondence with J.B.S. Haldane reopened Hoyle's interest in biology. In 1986, Hoyle finally did the mathematical study that Carson had urged him to do. He dedicated the book to Carson's memory. But, except for a few facsimile copies of Hoyle's manuscript, the book was not published. Now Hoyle has updated the text and written a Foreword for the publication on January 1st, 1999.
Fred Hoyle has made a good living by writing about science in a simple and comprehensible style. He retains this style in Mathematics of Evolution. The interested reader will be rewarded with a new perspective on neo-Darwinian evolution.
About the Author
Professor Hoyle has had a distinguished career as a theoretical physicist, writer and researcher. At the University of Cambridge, he was a lecturer in mathematics for eleven years before he was made Plumian professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy in 1958. He founded and was the first director of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in 1967, was named an associate member of the American National Academy of Sciences in 1969, and has been an honorary professorial fellow at University College, Cardiff since 1976. He has been awarded many honors and was knighted in 1972. Sir Fred Hoyle has shown himself to be a gifted scientist and writer who is willing to address funda mental problems and to challenge established ideas in science.
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The author does mention the idea of punctuated equilibrium but points out the absence of plausible mechanisms for it. He then proceeds to mention his hypothesis of "Evolution from Space" (his book, "Cosmic Life Force" goes into more detail) as a possible mechanism; that is, genetic fragments are constantly falling to Earth from outer space and getting incorporated into DNA of various species - sort of like the novel "The Einstein Intersection" by Samuel R. Delany.
I think the book is worth reading and struggling through; it is a very dense introduction to mathematical genetics and has a good discussion of the short-comings of standard Darwinism.
This book is very much in character for Hoyle, and I highly recommend it. Few minds in the twentieth century have provided such a constant challenge to the intelligent as has Hoyle throughout his many books and papers in a long career.
It is often a person outside a great field who sees it the most clear-eyed way and knows where it needs to blush because it has cheated.
- Patrick Gunkel
His results support the Darwinian findings that 'explain the fine details of the matching of many species to their environment', and undermine the extrapolation of those findings 'to broader taxonomic categories, to kingdoms, divisions, classes, and orders'.
Professor Hoyle states explicitly that he has no theistic faith, but forthrightly (attention, please, all sides of the creationist debate) challenges that the Darwinian theory 'is wrong, and that continued adherence to it is an impediment to discovering the correct evolutionary theory'. He continues: 'To the extent that one is deflected by socioreligious considerations from correcting what is wrong, one hands a victory to opponents'.
Advanced mathematical capability is necessary to follow the book's argument closely, but the text is written in lucid and engaging language which will carry any interested reader along.
This vital work was available only in a few manuscript copies for many years, and the publication by Acorn Enterprises in Memphis Tennessee is a service to the future. I recommend the book for its argument, its nobility, and its value to your great-grandchildren.
As to the mathematics, he understands the problem. Unlike one of the readers has noted, the math and the criticism as well as the new proposals do not shatter under Kimuta or Fisher, for example. Fisher is especially important for so much is based on foundations that simply do not hold up. Accepted models are not the same thing as evidence, and we shouldn't forget it. Current synthesis fails, and instead of dogmatically defending it, its time to open our minds. More research is warranted in this field.