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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Over time the formation of stars has consumed the supply of gas in galaxies, and hence the population of stars is waning. Fifteen billion years from now stars like our sun will be relatively rare, making the universe a far less ...
Likewise, when astronomers study the population of massive, dense clusters of galaxies, they find differences between those that are close and those far away. Distant clusters contain bluish galaxies that show evidence of ongoing star ...
The young metal-rich stars in the Milky Way are called Population I stars, and the old metal-poor stars are called Population II stars; following this terminology, the stars with no metals at all—the very first generation—are sometimes ...
Astronomers will focus their attention on heavily processed statistics for each population of objects they are studying and in this way find the best examples—for instance, the planets in other solar systems that are most like Earth.
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Dinosaurs and Other Monsters