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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Our understanding of the genesis and evolution of the universe is one of the great achievements of 20th-century science. This knowledge comes from decades of innovative experiments and theories. Modern telescopes on the ground and in ...
Our best efforts to explain this wealth of data are embodied in a theory knownasthestandardcosmologicalmodel orthebig bang cosmology. The major claim of the theory is that in the large-scale average the universe is expanding in a nearly ...
Hoyle intended to disparage the theory, but the name was so catchy it gained popularity. It is somewhat misleading, however, to describe the expansion as some type of explosion of matter away from some particular point in space.
Some critics of the theory have pointed out that a galaxy that appears to be smaller and fainter might not actually be more distant. Fortunately, there is a direct indication that objects whose redshifts are ...
If the theory is correct, everything in the visible universe should be younger than the expansion time computed from Hubble's law. These two timescales do appear to be in at least rough concordance. For example, the oldest stars in the ...
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