Alert reader Bob has emailed me with the news that Eugene V. Koonin’s molecular evolution book, The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution, is being offered for free on Kindle (it’s normally over fifty-one bucks). Now I haven’t read this book, but it looks legit, and if you’re into a book that covers the stuff described below, you have not a penny to lose. Bob also notes that these “free Kindle offers” usually last only 24 hours or so.
The Logic of Chance offers a reappraisal and a new synthesis of theories, concepts, and hypotheses on the key aspects of the evolution of life on earth in light of comparative genomics and systems biology. The author presents many specific examples from systems and comparative genomic analysis to begin to build a new, much more detailed, complex, and realistic picture of evolution. The book examines a broad range of topics in evolutionary biology including the inadequacy of natural selection and adaptation as the only or even the main mode of evolution; the key role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution and the consequent overhaul of the Tree of Life concept; the central, underappreciated evolutionary importance of viruses; the origin of eukaryotes as a result of endosymbiosis; the concomitant origin of cells and viruses on the primordial earth; universal dependences between genomic and molecular-phenomic variables; and the evolving landscape of constraints that shape the evolution of genomes and molecular phenomes.
If you’ve read this book, pray tell us in the comments how you liked it.