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 ...
Such an object does so by bending the paths of light rays and other electromagnetic radiation. So if a galaxy sits in the line of sight between the earth and some distant object, it will bend the light rays from the object so that they ...
HELIUM LITHIUM HELIUM 3 DEUTERIUM 0.001 0.01 0.1 1.0 DENSITY 1.0 10 –2 10 –4 10 –6 10 –8 10 –10 even be possible, he thought, to detect remnant radiation from the primeval atom. But what would this radiation signature look like?
background radiation has two distinctive properties. First, it is nearly the same in all directions. (As George F. Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and his team discovered in 1992, the variation is just one part per 100,000.) ...
The growth of structure in the early universe was prevented by radiation pressure, but that changed when the universe had expanded to about 0.1 percent of its present size. At that point, the temperature was about 3,000 kelvins, ...
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