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Otto & Towle's Modern Biology

  1. Jun 2, 2005 #1
    Has anyone heard about this book? Is it good? I have the 1977 editition. I also have another question: what has changed in biological theory and research since then? Regards.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2005 #2


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    Never heard of the book. You ask what has changed since then? I can tell you what has changed in the last five years and that is already a lot! :eek: Things that were very hard to do back then are peanuts now, PCR was not even discovered until 1985.. it would be nice to have a timeline with the major discoveries, but the best I could find is this http://www.heumann.org/u1/timeline.html
  4. Jun 3, 2005 #3


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    I belive the most revolutionary concept in Biology since 1977 is that due to Stuart Kaufmann and the Santa Fe Group dealing with "emergent" behavior and self-organizing properties of biological systems: Termite mounds is the usual example. They don't know what they're building yet they build marvelously complex clay cathedrals. The mound is an "emergent" property of the interactions of termite, mud, and pheromone. Extending "emergent behavior" to other areas in Biology has profound consequences in regards to the evolution of life and it's myriad expressions of form.

    Let me make a plug: "Self-Organization in Biological Systems" by Scott Camazine, et.al. This is a revolution in Biology!
  5. Jun 4, 2005 #4
    Yes, emergence is a new treatment of behavior in Biology and exactly the same concepts are being used in Artificial Intelligence. But when I see a contemporary book on Biology, usually the concepts have remained the same, except a more advanced treatment of the Immune System and of DNA/protein synthesis/Genetics.
  6. Jun 4, 2005 #5


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    Hello Ramollari.

    You know, I was hoping others would comment on what they think is the most revolutionary concept in Biology in the past 30 years. I suppose Punctuated Equilibrium is another one.

    Edit: You know, I'm not really sure he conceived this during the interim period or before 1977.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2005
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