Download Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle Audiobook

Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolutions Greatest Puzzle Audiobook, by Andreas Wagner Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Andreas Wagner Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Recorded Books: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9781469060156
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A renowned biologist answers one of the most important questions in the life sciences

Darwinian theory explains what happens when innovations arise among living things, but it doesn’t tell us how those innovations came about in the first place. As genetics pioneer Hugo de Vries put it, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”

Andreas Wagner, an award-winning evolutionary biologist, has found that life can innovate itself far faster than scientists previously thought possible. His research shows how adaptations are not just driven by chance but rather by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take.

Filled with examples of the remarkable biological creativity that surrounds us, Arrival of the Fittest breaks new ground in explaining how innovations in nature occur.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wagner lucidly explores the natural principles that accelerate life’s ability to innovate and thus evolve…Since it is exceedingly complex, he takes a winding road to approach his goal, but he has the gift of J. B. S. Haldane and Loren Eiseley in that he never slips past his audience’s grasp. Wagner is there with readers throughout the journey…A book of startling congruencies, insightful flashes, and an artful enthusiasm that delivers knowledge from the inorganic page to our organic brains.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Wagner...addresses the intriguing and long-standing question of how such a wide diversity of life arose…and his work further undercuts any arguments for intelligent design.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This well-written, clear analysis of current research will be of interest to those who want a better understanding of the mechanisms of evolution.”

    Library Journal

  • Arrival of the Fittest contains brand-new scientific insights told in sparkling literary prose. It is a landmark book that combines original, perhaps revolutionary ideas elegantly explained. In particular, the concept of genotype networks—that there are thousands of ways to alter a metabolic pathway without stopping it from working—promises to solve the enduring puzzle of how natural selection can be such a force for innovation.”

    Matt Ridley, author of The Red Queen

  • Arrival of the Fittest reveals the astonishing hidden structure of evolution, long overlooked by biologists, which makes Darwin’s grand idea viable after all. At the same time, it makes life seem even richer and more remarkable than you thought. Darwin would surely have loved this book; I think you will too.”

    Philip Ball, former editor of Nature, author of The Self-Made Tapestry

  • “A radical departure from the mainstream perspective on Darwinian evolution. Wagner cuts to the core of innovation in living systems. Fundamental. Entertaining. Brilliant.”

    Rolf Dobelli, author of The Art of Thinking Clearly

  • “Wagner’s engaging and delightful book will open your eyes to the mysteries of innovation. His insights will entertain and astonish you and change the way you think.”

    Daniel E. Lieberman, Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University, author of The Story of the Human Body

  • “If there is one subject even more controversial than the evolution of intelligence, it is the intelligence of evolution. Andreas Wagner presents a compelling, authoritative, and up-to-date case for bottom-up intelligence in biological evolution, and it sticks.”

    George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral

  • “Andreas Wagner is one of those rare scientists with the courage and intellect to see the real nature of evolution.”

    Frank Vertosick, MD, FACS, author of When the Air Hits Your Brain and Mind

  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award

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About the Author

Andreas Wagner is a professor in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He lectures worldwide and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

About the Narrator

Lloyd James (a.k.a. Sean Pratt) has been narrating since 1996 and has recorded over six hundred audiobooks. He is a seven-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr. and Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin, among others.