Irremediable Complexity?, Science
Excerpt: Many of the cell's macromolecular machines appear gratuitously complex, comprising more components than their basic functions seem to demand. How can we make sense of this complexity in the light of evolution? One possibility is a neutral ratchet-like process described more than a decade ago, subsequently called constructive neutral evolution. This model provides an explanatory counterpoint to the selectionist or adaptationist views that pervade molecular biology.
- Source: Irremediable Complexity?, Michael W. Gray, Julius Lukeš, John M. Archibald, Patrick J. Keeling, and W. Ford Doolittle, DOI: 10.1126/science.1198594, Science Vol. 330 no. 6006 pp. 920-921, 2010/11/12
Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty, TED.com
About this talk: TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.
Life is physics: evolution as a collective phenomenon far from equilibrium, arXiv
Excerpt: Evolution is the fundamental physical process that gives rise to biological phenomena. Yet it is widely treated as a subset of population genetics, and thus its scope is artificially limited. As a result, the key issues of how rapidly evolution occurs, and its coupling to ecology have not been satisfactorily addressed and formulated. The lack of widespread appreciation for, and understanding of, the evolutionary process has arguably retarded the development of biology as a science, with disastrous consequences for its applications to medicine, ecology and the global environment. This review focuses on evolution as a problem in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics (...)
- Source: Life is physics: evolution as a collective phenomenon far from equilibrium, Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese, arXiv:1011.4125, 2010/11/18