The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (英語) ペーパーバック – 1996/8/29
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"The best general account of evolution I have read in recent years."--E. O. Wilson. With a new introduction. Twenty years after its original publication, "The Blind Watchmaker," framed with a new introduction by the author, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the eighteenth-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte. Natural selection--the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process Darwin discovered--is the blind watchmaker in nature.
As readable and vigorous a defense of Darwinism as has been published since 1859.
Dawkins has done more than anyone else now writing to make evolutionary biology comprehensible and acceptable to a general audience.--John Maynard Smith
A model of how to explain complicated ideas without dumbing them down or boring one's readers.--Steven Pinker --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
Some of the key concepts that Dawkins puts forward (which I was impressed with) include arguments for non blended, "particulate" inheritance and how this relates to sex. Also, he describes how one sees in sexual selection an unusual positive feedback, leading to such things as apparently inefficient long tails, and this is contrasted with the usual negative feedback that one tends to see in nature. The positive feedback loop results from the linkage between preference genes and the trait genes themselves.
There was a very nice discussion of genes and the environment and how the environment of genes includes other genes both within an individual and in other organisms, and this, in turn, leads to complex types of cooperation, arms races and the famous red queen effect. Finally, I liked the discussion of sensory systems such as vision and bat echolocation and how we can learn from these areas where nature has adapted to such a great degree and how we can see that in this process using less refined systems sometimes is evolutionarily advantageous.
Overall I found this a thoroughly enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it to anybody else. It is a great classic.