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Variation and Stability in Evolution: From Bacteria to Human Behavior
 
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Code: DJ 5.2 (2) Bonner
Price: $9.50
 
 
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John Tyler Bonner, PhD

It is an obvious point that in living systems variation is necessary for change, and that at the same time there is a great need for stability, for without it all variation would be constantly erased. This is a fundamental paradox that underlies all of biology and in particular evolution. I shall begin by showing that variation and stability are not only ingredients of evolutionary change, but necessary ones. This will be done by showing how this dualism operates at three levels: on the genes, on the process of development from egg to adult, and finally on behavior and by showing how the behavior of humans and other animals is affected by variability and stability. As we shall see, each of these levels deals with the matter in different ways and with different consequences. Let me say right from the beginning that my inspiration for stressing this dualism, and some of the examples I will give, come straight from the important new book by Evelyn Fox Keller.


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