Evolution in Four Dimensions: Review

Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb have created their own genre of science writing, marked by visits to imaginary worlds, end-of-chapter dialogs with an engaged lay person, and fanciful illustrations throughout. of points made in the text by Anna Zeligowski. In this book the playfulness masks an imaginative integration of disparate concepts into elaboration of a single meta-concept, facilitated variation. The four dimensions of the book's title that the authors represent as almost-equivalent agents in the creation of variation are genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and symbolic, "symbolic" standing for human language and culture. By identifying intermediates between the 4 agents the authors imply they actually form a continuous spectrum of agency, from random genetic variation at one end, entirely non-facilitated, to highly facilitated variation in the form of human planning at the other. More...

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