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Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Martin Nowak
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Kurzbeschreibung

1. September 2006
At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. "Evolutionary Dynamics" is concerned with these equations of life. In this book, Martin Nowak draws on the languages of biology and mathematics to outline the mathematical principles according to which life evolves. His work introduces readers to the powerful yet simple laws that govern the evolution of living systems, no matter how complicated they might seem. Evolution has become a mathematical theory, Nowak suggests, and any idea of an evolutionary process or mechanism should be studied in the context of the mathematical equations of evolutionary dynamics. His book presents a range of analytical tools that can be used to this end: fitness landscapes, mutation matrices, genomic sequence space, random drift, quasispecies, replicators, the Prisoner's Dilemma, games in finite and infinite populations, evolutionary graph theory, games on grids, evolutionary kaleidoscopes, fractals, and spatial chaos. Nowak then shows how evolutionary dynamics applies to critical real-world problems, including the progression of viral diseases such as AIDS, the virulence of infectious agents, the unpredictable mutations that lead to cancer, the evolution of altruism, and even the evolution of human language. His book makes a clear and compelling case for understanding every living system - and everything that arises as a consequence of living systems - in terms of evolutionary dynamics.

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 312 Seiten
  • Verlag: Harvard University Press (1. September 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0674023382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674023383
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,4 x 17,2 x 2,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 18.032 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Martin Nowak is undeniably a great artist, working in the medium of mathematical biology...Nowak has seemingly effortlessly produced a stream of remarkable theoretical explorations into areas as diverse as the evolution of language, cooperation, cancer and the progression from HIV infection to AIDS. Evolutionary Dynamics, based on a course he gives at Harvard, is a comprehensive summary of this work...This is a unique book. It should be on the shelf of anyone who has, or thinks they might have, an interest in theoretical biology. -- Sean Nee Nature 20061101 The lucid presentation, drawing frequently on the author's own research, provides a uniquely compelling introduction to mathematical biology. Nowak aims to demonstrate the power of simple mathematics to illuminate diverse aspects of evolutionary analysis...Evolutionary Dynamics provides a new generation with an opportunity to draw from the masters. -- Steven A. Frank Science 20061222 The book will be a valuable resource both for those familiar with evolutionary dynamics and for those who are interested in learning the subject. -- Ross Cressman Mathematical Reviews 20070101 Two of the crucial processes that drive evolution, mutation and selection, can be described with mathematical equations. This book introduces the reader to the basic mathematical laws that govern the evolution of life...This is a fascinating treatment of evolutionary theory, with many fresh insights. -- S.E. Southeastern Naturalist 20071201

Synopsis

At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. "Evolutionary Dynamics" is concerned with these equations of life. In this book, Martin Nowak draws on the languages of biology and mathematics to outline the mathematical principles according to which life evolves. His work introduces readers to the powerful yet simple laws that govern the evolution of living systems, no matter how complicated they might seem. Evolution has become a mathematical theory, Nowak suggests, and any idea of an evolutionary process or mechanism should be studied in the context of the mathematical equations of evolutionary dynamics.

His book presents a range of analytical tools that can be used to this end: fitness landscapes, mutation matrices, genomic sequence space, random drift, quasispecies, replicators, the Prisoner's Dilemma, games in finite and infinite populations, evolutionary graph theory, games on grids, evolutionary kaleidoscopes, fractals, and spatial chaos. Nowak then shows how evolutionary dynamics applies to critical real-world problems, including the progression of viral diseases such as AIDS, the virulence of infectious agents, the unpredictable mutations that lead to cancer, the evolution of altruism, and even the evolution of human language. His book makes a clear and compelling case for understanding every living system - and everything that arises as a consequence of living systems - in terms of evolutionary dynamics.


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Kundenrezensionen

4.0 von 5 Sternen
4.0 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen wonderful life 12. Oktober 2006
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a remarkable book, absolutely original, containing a lot of material which has never before appeared in book form. It is written in a very accessible style, and leads almost effortlessly from first principles to state-of-the-art research.

The book takes an eagle’s view on evolution, covering an vast range of topics from molecules to man. It emphasises analytical methods and presents a large canvas of superbly elegant mathematical models.

The author has chosen a very personal, highly idiosyncratic sample of subjects of amazing diversity, basically because he feels excited about them: and this excitement shows through, and makes the book very engaging, a positively bracing experience. On all of the topics, the author has contributed substantially, and the feel to get it ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ is one of the great assets of the book. I believe that it will be a splendid hit with students, and regret that I did not have anything like that when I was young.

The style of the book is lucid and vigorous, with short, clear sentences, occasionally in staccato style. The mathematics is reduced to the bare minimum. It is incredible how much mileage the author can get out of it. The illustrations play an important role, and are well devised.

The chapters are short, and they address an amazing array of topics, ranging from molecular evolution to evolutionary games, from HIV to cancer, and from cooperation to language.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
4.0 von 5 Sternen Gut erklärt 12. März 2012
Von Chris
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ich habe das Buch für die gleichnamige Vorlesung gekauft. Ich fand das Buch wirklich hilfreich, da die Zusammenhänge verständlich erklärt werden. Wer jedoch ausführliche mathematische Herleitungen für die Formeln sucht, wird sie oft nicht finden, da einige Formeln etwas vom Himmel fallen.
Es gibt viele Grafiken, die Prozesse veranschaulichen und erklärt werden, ohne dass man gleich das ganze Kapitel durchlesen muss um diese zu verstehen.
Man kann das Buch wirklich gut lesen und ich habe zuvor noch nie eines meiner Lehrbücher (fast) komplett durchgelesen.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
7 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Evolution for mathematicians only 31. März 2008
Von M. Berg
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I'd just like to add one remark to the eulogy of Dr. Karl Sigmund: The math in this book is not - as he claims - reduced to the bare minimum. In fact, it's at the very center of the book. Formulas, equations and graphs on every page, and not the kind of stuff you'd expect in a text for ordinary laypeople interested in evolution and biology. Therefore, if you have not majored in math, do not buy this book !
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  14 Rezensionen
95 von 102 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen wonderful life 13. Oktober 2006
Von Dr. Karl Sigmund - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a remarkable book, absolutely original, containing a lot of material which has never before appeared in book form. It is written in a very accessible style, and leads almost effortlessly from first principles to state-of-the-art research.

The book takes an eagle's view on evolution, covering an vast range of topics from molecules to man. It emphasises analytical methods and presents a large canvas of superbly elegant mathematical models.

The author has chosen a very personal, highly idiosyncratic sample of subjects of amazing diversity, basically because he feels excited about them: and this excitement shows through, and makes the book very engaging, a positively bracing experience. On all of the topics, the author has contributed substantially, and the feel to get it `straight from the horse's mouth' is one of the great assets of the book. I believe that it will be a splendid hit with students, and regret that I did not have anything like that when I was young.

The style of the book is lucid and vigorous, with short, clear sentences, occasionally in staccato style. The mathematics is reduced to the bare minimum. It is incredible how much mileage the author can get out of it. The illustrations play an important role, and are well devised.

The chapters are short, and they address an amazing array of topics, ranging from molecular evolution to evolutionary games, from HIV to cancer, and from cooperation to language. In spite of their different subjects, they are homogenous: first comes a breezy introduction to the biological (or chemical, or linguistic) facts, then a simple model, then an analysis, without heavy machinery, usually leading up to some remarkable results which could not be obtained without mathematics, then a summary in a few short statements and finally an extensive list of references, including both the classics and the very newest results in the field. The fact that in each case, a few pages suffice to start from scratch and lead to the cutting edge of present-day research is quite remarkable.

The book will certainly have a big impact, and raise a lot of follow-up work. There is hardly a better recipe for young PhDs than to pick one of the chapters and start doing their own research. But in addition, `the whole is more than the sum of its parts'. I usually hate this slogan but here it holds in a spectacular way. By simply putting together the different applications of simple models in so spectacularly diverse fields, Nowak's book promotes a radical `hands-on'-approach to evolution which, I am sure, will have seminal repercussions.
38 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A dazzling book 22. November 2006
Von N. Beale - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is, quite simply, a dazzling book. Nowak manages to take very deep mathematical ideas that are on the cutting edge of science and make them fun and pretty rigorous at the same time. The review in Nature said "It should be on the shelf of anyone who has, or thinks they might have, an interest in theoretical biology" and I completely agree. The section on HIV, explaining mathematically why there is a long delay between infection and the disease, and how this proposal in 1990 correctly predicted several biolgical facts which were subseqently discovered (but not mentioning execpt in the notes, that this was his work) is truly exceptional. We are moving beyond the "Just So stories" phase of evolution (such as wooly rhetoric about "Selfish Genes") to real, mathematically rigorous, science.
18 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Marriage of Mathematics and Evolution 9. Januar 2007
Von G. Serjak - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Excellent book for the mathematically and evolutionarily minded. However, not for general reading unless you are doing graduate work in either mathematics or evolutionary biology. Just excellent survey.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Revelatory 9. Juni 2011
Von Steven Forth - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
There are so many good things to say about this book I think I will begin with my misgivings!

Not a fault of the book, but before reading this you may want to brush up on your math, especially on systems of differential equations and matrix algebra. Martin Nowak is a fluent and elegant writer and this extends to his math, which (for me anyway) flows wonderfully. But I don't spend enough time on math so I had to slow myself down as I read, think carefully and test my understanding.

There is very little 'biology' in this book. It is mostly on the theoretical structures that underlie evolution. I prefer my evolution with rather more biology. I hope someone will write another book (preferably many books) that goes deeper into applying these ideas to living systems (yes, the chapter on HIV was compelling and the chapter on cancer interesting).

I was disappointed by the Further Reading section. It did not provide enough context about the books mentioned or thread them together into a story. In fact, it seemed a bit rushed - and I had set aside some time to read it carefully.

On to the books strengths.

This is one of the best examples of expository prose I have read in a long time. Martin Nowak can make complex ideas clear and not waste a lot of words doing so. Anyone writing about complex topics where it is important to link the math and ideas could benefit from studying this book. As an example, the description of the Chomsky hierarchies of formal languages is the best I have read.

The presentation of the key equations is exemplary. The components of the equation are all labeled and explained. All books that need to explain equations should take this approach. I plan to copy the quasispecies equation explanation and put it up above my desk.

In general, the quality of the graphics is excellent and they really add to the presentation of the ideas. This is not a book for the Kindle or iPad. Get the physical thing (I plan to buy a couple of extra copies for friends and colleagues).

And the content. Evolutionary Dynamics leads the reader through the past two decades work on uncovering the mathematical framework for evolutionary processes. It provides a compelling (I will use this word too often in this review) introduction to evolution and how to formalize it. A good treatment on fitness landscapes (though this is one of the weaker sections of the book - only in cpmparison with the rest of the book though, as it is still excellent).Good coverage of standard topics like evolutionary games, with a very orderly presentation in which understanding is built up from games in infinite populations to games in finite populations with a great treatment of the classic prisoner's dilemma game and an explanation of why each strategy works. I had not thought through the impact of errors on the popular Tit for Tat or Forgiving Tit for Tat. The implications of this are far reaching. Then there are the chapters on evolutionary graph theory and spatial games. Wow. These alone will open wide fields for future research. Absolutely necessary reading. The book concludes with good applications of evolutionary dynamics to HIV, virulence and parasites and cancer. The final chapter on languages evolution is powerful and the insight into coherence threshold and how it determines the maximum size of a search space (with the universal grammar as the search space for language learning) can be applied in many other fields.

Speaking of other fields, I believe that the approach taken in this book to evolutionary dynamics will eventually replace much of what is now called economics. Economic activity is not about finding equilibriums in the allocation of scarce resources. It is about the competition of replicators in dynamic fitness space. Organizations are a form of replicator. In fact may products are also replicators and trends towards modular and configurable systems, collaborative design, just in time production, local production, etc. will make them more so. This book provides some of the formal tools needed to think about these questions. As an example, the model of value provided by Tom Nagle see The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing (5th Edition)when combined with cost to serve provides a definition of advantage which can be interpreted as fitness. The system of features-benefits-value drivers with the value driver equations and data can be modeled using the concepts from von Neuman of reproduction and replication (see von Neuman's The Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata - why isn't this book in print and in wide circulation?). There are other obvious applications. I would love to see a blend (mashup if you prefer) of evolutionary dynamics and parametric design (see Elements of Parametric Design, or even music composed using some of these equations ...

I will reread this book soon and expect to reference it many times. And I hope a soft cover edition at a lower price comes out so that I can give it to many people.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must for anybody interested in evolution 31. Mai 2008
Von PST - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The author picks a variety of sunjects related to evolution (HIV, cancer, language....), and mathematically shows, why it has to be that way!
The mathematics involved is simple (I am an engineer, and I had absolutely no problems understanding the math), yet rigorous enough.

In my opinion, mathematics is not necessary to understand the principles of Darwin's Great Theory (unlike Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory, where without math, you are lost), it greatly helps to make it unassailable.

I recommend this book to anybody interested in the Theory of Evolution, who is not totally afraid of mathematics.
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