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When John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary published The Major Transitions in Evolution, it was seen as a major work in biology. Nature hailed it as a book of grand and daunting sweep.... A splendid and rewarding tour de force. And New Scientist wrote that it captured the essence of modern biology, calling it an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable.
Now, in The Origins of Life, Maynard Smith and Szathmary have completely rewritten Transitions to bring their ideas to a wider audience of general readers. Here is a brilliant, state-of-the-art account of how life evolved on earth, focusing primarily on six major transitions--dramatic breakthroughs in the way that information was passed between generations. The authors offer illuminating explorations of the origin of life itself, the arrival of the first cells with nuclei, the first reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies, and the birth of language.
The Origins of Life represents the thinking of two leading scientists on questions that engage us all--how life began and how it gradually evolved from tiny invisible cells into whales and trees and human beings.