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About Life pp 117–129Cite as

The Spice of Life

Diversity, natural selection and symbiosis

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Abstract

In chapters 2-10 we built up a general abstract model of “livingness”, to which we believe all organisms and all cells conform. This model is about the unity of life. It describes what is common to all living things and distinguishes them from the non-living. But an adequate science of life needs to account for diversity as well as unity, and since 1859 this need has been met by the theory of evolution. The explanation of diversity is the primary role of evolutionary theory, though it is not the only role. Evolutionary ideas have been assimilated into all areas of biology, including molecular biology. But we encounter the theory directly when we seek to explain diversity and the occupation of the world’s vast range of habitats.

Keywords

  • Natural Selection
  • Silicate Rock
  • Body Plan
  • Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
  • Mutual Dependence

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2007 Springer

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Agutter, P.S., Wheatley, D.N. (2007). The Spice of Life. In: About Life. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5418-1_12

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