How Did Life End Up With Us?
Category: Sociology & Human Behaviour
Format: Paperback / softback
Publication date: 3/30/23
Publisher: Otium Press
ISBN 13: 9780198810506
Total Pages: 283 pages, Black and White Illustrations
Dimensions: 161 x 241 x 24
Why does the gene behave like a hedge fund manager? Why are mutations like a gambling scam? Why does nothing ever become top dog in life and win forever? Humans only arrived after 99.99% of the time there's been life on earth. So what was here before us? And how did these species, and the evolutionary process that created them, end up with the unpromising creatures that were our ancestors?In this, the first book of The Secrets of Life quartet, SS O'Connor brings his outsider's, questioning eye to reveal the great forces that lie behind life: from the laws that arose with Big Bang, through to the 'decisions' that organisms make to determine their chances. But how did everything come about? And what made some life forms succeed - while others would join the 99.9% of species that appeared, yet went on to become extinct? The story goes right back to our single-celled forebears - the only things that were on the planet for 80% of its existence, and then continues as it lays out the ways that successive transmissions built increasing complexity, and how the resulting species found their synergistic ways of coexisting. In an easy-going, conversational style, O'Connor explains in lay-man's language how the gene is the great conductor of life's orchestra, how it helped millions of life forms to refine themselves - yet why it also sees failure, death and extinctions as opportunities rather than disasters. Lastly, the book tells the story of the men who unpicked the mysteries, what they meant by fitness and 'the fittest', but why they continued to be baffled by organisms that broke the rules by helping each other. Why would some even choose to be sterile when producing the next generation was the overriding compulsion in life? And how does the answer to this question explain why altruism is the proof for the 'gene-based theory of evolution' - and why cooperation would become the strongest force in life?