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The vital question : why is life the way it is?

Author: Nick Lane
Publisher: London : Profile Books, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth - and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Popular works
Additional Physical Format: ebook version
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nick Lane
ISBN: 9781781250365 1781250367 9781781250372 1781250375
OCLC Number: 908425194
Description: 360 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : why is life the way it is? --
Part I. The problem. What is life? --
What is living? --
Part II. The origin of life. Energy at life's origin --
The emergence of cells --
Part III. Complexity. The origin of complex cells --
Sex and the origins of death --
Part IV. Predictions. The power and the glory --
Epilogue : from the deep.
Responsibility: Nick Lane.

Abstract:

Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth - and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all? This is ground-breaking science in an accessible form, in the tradition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.

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He is an original researcher and thinker and a passionate and stylish populariser. His theories are ingenious, breathtaking in scope, and challenging in every sense ... intellectually what Lane is Read more...

 
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