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Life's solution : inevitable humans in a lonely universe

Author: S Conway Morris
Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In this extraordinarily wide-ranging book Simon Conway Morris takes us on a tour of life that encompasses both classic examples of convergence, such as the camera-eyes of octopus and human, and remarkable new work that shows, for example, how ants have developed agriculture independently of us. Embedded in the evolutionary process are both latent inevitabilities and pathways that will be repeatedly explored.  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: S Conway Morris
ISBN: 0521827043 9780521827041
OCLC Number: 50761140
Description: xxi, 464 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Contents: The Cambridge Sandwich --
Looking tor Easter Island --
Inherency: where is the ground plan in evolution? --
The navigation of protein hyperspace --
The game of life --
Eerie perfection --
Finding Easter Island --
Can we break the great code? --
The ground floor --
DNA: the strangest of all molecules? --
Universal goo: life as a cosmic principle? --
A Martini the size of the Pacific --
Goo from the sky --
Back to deep space --
A life-saving rain? --
The origin of life: straining the soup or our --
Credulity? --
Finding its path --
Problems with experiments --
On the flat --
Back to the test tube --
A sceptic's charter --
Uniquely lucky? The strangeness of Earth --
The shattered orb --
Battering the Earth --
The Mars express --
Making the Solar System --
Rare Moon --
Just the right size --
Jupiter and the comets --
Just the right place --
A cosmic fluke? --
Converging on the extreme --
Universal chlorophyll? --
The wheels of life? --
Fortean bladders --
A silken convergence --
Matrices and skeletons --
Play it again! --
Attacking convergence --
Convergence: on the ground, above the ground, under the ground --
Seeing convergence --
A balancing act --
Returning the gaze --
Eyes of an alien? --
Clarity and colour vision --
Universal rhodopsin --
Smelling convergence --
The echo of convergence --
Shocking convergence --
Hearing convergence --
Thinking convergence --
Alien convergences? --
Down in the farm --
Military convergence --
Convergent complexities --
Hearts and minds --
Honorary mammals --
Giving birth to convergence --
Warming to convergence, singing of convergence, chewing convergence --
The non-prevalence of humanoids? --
Interstellar nervous systems? --
The conceptualizing pancake --
The bricks and mortar of life --
Genes and networks --
Jack, the railway baboon --
Giant brains --
Grasping convergence --
Converging on the humanoid --
Converging on the ultimate --
Evolution bound: the ubiquity of convergence --
Ubiquitous convergence --
Respiratory convergence --
Freezing convergence, photosynthetic convergence --
The molecules converge --
Convergence and evolution --
Converging trends --
A possible research programme --
Towards a theology of evolution --
An evolutionary embedment --
Darwin's priesthood --
Heresy! Heresy --
Genetic fundamentalism --
A path to recovery? --
Convereine on convergence --
Last word.
Responsibility: Simon Conway Morris.
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Abstract:

A controversial challenge to current views of evolution, for the general reader.  Read more...

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Publisher Synopsis

'Life's Solution is an absorbing presentation written to challenge and inform the mind of the reader. Life's Solution is a superb contribution to both Contemporary Philosophy Studies academic Read more...

 
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Tough read. Interesting evidence, unconvincing argument

by vleighton (WorldCat user published 2012-01-08) Good Permalink

This book examines the evidence for natural origins of life from pre-life conditions on Earth in geological time. It reviews recent studies and experiments. It is not an easy book to read; I did not make it past the halfway point.

 

Conway-Morris's thesis is that life on Earth may...
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schema:description"The Cambridge Sandwich -- Looking tor Easter Island -- Inherency: where is the ground plan in evolution? -- The navigation of protein hyperspace -- The game of life -- Eerie perfection -- Finding Easter Island -- Can we break the great code? -- The ground floor -- DNA: the strangest of all molecules? -- Universal goo: life as a cosmic principle? -- A Martini the size of the Pacific -- Goo from the sky -- Back to deep space -- A life-saving rain? -- The origin of life: straining the soup or our -- Credulity? -- Finding its path -- Problems with experiments -- On the flat -- Back to the test tube -- A sceptic's charter -- Uniquely lucky? The strangeness of Earth -- The shattered orb -- Battering the Earth -- The Mars express -- Making the Solar System -- Rare Moon -- Just the right size -- Jupiter and the comets -- Just the right place -- A cosmic fluke? -- Converging on the extreme -- Universal chlorophyll? -- The wheels of life? -- Fortean bladders -- A silken convergence -- Matrices and skeletons -- Play it again! -- Attacking convergence -- Convergence: on the ground, above the ground, under the ground -- Seeing convergence -- A balancing act -- Returning the gaze -- Eyes of an alien? -- Clarity and colour vision -- Universal rhodopsin -- Smelling convergence -- The echo of convergence -- Shocking convergence -- Hearing convergence -- Thinking convergence -- Alien convergences? -- Down in the farm -- Military convergence -- Convergent complexities -- Hearts and minds -- Honorary mammals -- Giving birth to convergence -- Warming to convergence, singing of convergence, chewing convergence -- The non-prevalence of humanoids? -- Interstellar nervous systems? -- The conceptualizing pancake -- The bricks and mortar of life -- Genes and networks -- Jack, the railway baboon -- Giant brains -- Grasping convergence -- Converging on the humanoid -- Converging on the ultimate -- Evolution bound: the ubiquity of convergence -- Ubiquitous convergence -- Respiratory convergence -- Freezing convergence, photosynthetic convergence -- The molecules converge -- Convergence and evolution -- Converging trends -- A possible research programme -- Towards a theology of evolution -- An evolutionary embedment -- Darwin's priesthood -- Heresy! Heresy -- Genetic fundamentalism -- A path to recovery? -- Convereine on convergence -- Last word."@en
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schema:reviewBody""In this extraordinarily wide-ranging book Simon Conway Morris takes us on a tour of life that encompasses both classic examples of convergence, such as the camera-eyes of octopus and human, and remarkable new work that shows, for example, how ants have developed agriculture independently of us. Embedded in the evolutionary process are both latent inevitabilities and pathways that will be repeatedly explored. Underpinned by DNA, the weirdest molecule in the Universe, guided by a genetic code of staggering effectiveness, the tape of life will in time navigate to such biological properties as advanced sensory systems, intelligence, complex societies, tool-making and culture. So if these are all evolutionary inevitabilities, where are our counterparts across the Galaxy? The tape of life can run only on a suitable planet, and here it turns out that such Earth-like planets may be much rarer than is hoped. Inevitable humans, yes, but in a lonely Universe."--Jacket."
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