Evolution: A Scientific American Reader
From the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 to the court ruling against the Dover Area School Board’s proposed intelligent design curriculum in 2005, few scientific topics have engendered as much controversy—or grabbed as many headlines—as evolution. And since the debate shows no signs of abating, there is perhaps no better time to step back and ask: What is evolution? Defined as the gradual process by which something changes into a different and usually more complex and efficient form, evolution explains the formation of the universe, the nature of viruses, and the emergence of humans. A first-rate summary of the actual science of evolution, this Scientific American reader is a timely collection that gives readers an opportunity to consider evolution’s impact in various settings.
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Satellites detect the cosmic background radiation left over from the early stages of expansion, providing an image of the universe on the largest scales we can observe. Our best efforts to explain this wealth of data are embodied in a ...
Workers in laboratories have derived these age estimates from atomic and nuclear physics. It is noteworthy that their results agree, at least approximately, with the age that astronomers have derived by measuring cosmic expansion.
Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson identified the signal as the cosmic background radiation. It is interesting that Penzias and Wilson were led to this idea by the news that Dicke had suggested that one ought to use a radiometer to ...
To be sure, the cosmic background radiation was produced when the universe was far hotter than 2.726 degrees, yet researchers anticipated correctly that the apparent temperature of the radiation would be low.
Astronomers know that the density of the early universe did not vary by much, becausetheyobserve only slight irregularitiesin the cosmic background radiation. So far it has been easy to develop theories that are consistent with the ...
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Dinosaurs and Other Monsters