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The Equations of Life

How Physics Shapes Evolution

Charles Cockell



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Atlantic Books
03 June 2019
The puzzles of life astound and confuse us like no other mystery. But in this revolutionary new book, Charles Cockell reveals how nature is far more understandable and predictable than we think. Refining Darwin's theory of natural selection, Cockell puts forward a remarkable and elegant account of why evolution has taken the paths it has. From animals to atoms, he shows that is it not biology, but physics, which is the true touchstone for understanding life in all its extraordinary forms.
By:   Charles Cockell
Imprint:   Atlantic Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 199mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   330g
ISBN:   9781786493040
ISBN 10:   1786493047
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   03 June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Charles Cockell is professor of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology. He is a former NASA scientist and Open University professor.

Reviews for The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution

Fascinating. A profound exploration of the deep nexus between physics and biology. * Andreas Wagner, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich and author of Arrival of the Fittest * Enlightening and entertaining... Whether on this third rock from the Sun or another planet in a far-distant galaxy, creatures should share forms and behaviours shaped by the forces of natural selection and the fundamental laws of physics that reign throughout the universe. * Lee Billings, author of Five Billion Years of Solitude * A lucid, provocative argument that the dazzling variety of organisms produced by 4 billion years of evolution may seem unbounded, but all follow universal laws. * Kirkus * An invaluable guide... Life is generally described as a matter of contingency: what we find in nature is the result of countless historical accidents. In The Equations of Life, Charles Cockell provides an important counterbalance to that picture. * Philip Ball, author of Critical Mass * Fascinating . . . Cockell offers surprising insights * Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe * Magisterial and collegial, this may be the biology book of the year * Booklist * An intriguing and enthralling adventure into the physics of life that is all around us and inside us. Cockell provides a reminder of the seeming rarity of all this beauty but also an invitation to look up to the skies and ask 'where else might something like this be?' * Robin Ince - Presenter of BBC Radio 4's Infinite Monkey Cage * Riveting... Cockell is not only a fine scientist but a fine writer too. * Sir Martin Rees - Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society *

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