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Nature's Oracle The Life and Work of W. D. Hamilton

ISBN: 9780198607274 | 019860727X
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 3/1/2013

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W.D.Hamilton (1936-2000) was responsible for a revolution in thinkingabout evolutionary biology - a revolution that changed our understanding of lifeitself.He played a central role in the realization that what matters in evolution isnot the survival of the individual but of the survival of its genes. Thisprovided the solution to the long standing problem of animal altruism that vexedeven Darwin himself, and in due course resulted in terms like selfish genes, kinselection, and sociobiology becoming familiar to a wider public. Hamilton wenton to solve many more major problems, and open up ever new fields - he shapedmuch of our current understanding of central problems including the evolution ofsexual reproduction and ageing. He became world famous and garneredinternational prizes.But this is all in hindsight. In fact, Hamilton's recognition came late - hiscareer is a classic case of misunderstood genius. In this illuminating andmoving biography Ullica Segerstrale documents Hamilton's extraordinary life andwork, revealing a man of immense intellectual curiosity, an uncompromisingtruth-seeker, a naturalist and jungle explorer, a risk-taker, an unconventionalscientist with a poet's soul and a deep concern for life on earth and mankind'sfuture.

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