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Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life

Within one billion years after the formation of the earth 4.6 billion years ago one-celled organisms had evolved out of organic molecules produced nonbiologically in an atmosphere containing no free oxygen

By Richard E. Dickerson

The Evolution of the Earliest Cells

For some three billion years the only living things were primitive microorganisms. These early cells gave rise to biochemical systems and the oxygen-enriched atmosphere on which modern life depends

By J. William Schopf

The Evolution of Multicellular Plants and Animals

It has been only during the last fifth of the history of life on the earth that multicellular organisms have existed. They appear to have arisen from unicellular organisms on numerous occasions

By James W. Valentine

The Evolution of Ecological Systems

The coevolution of species within ecosystems gives rise to interesting patterns in the total number of species found in a given area, in their relative abundances and in the overall structure of the local food web

By Robert M. May

Adaptation

The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution. Yet natural selection does not lead inevitably to adaptation; indeed, it is sometimes hard to define an adaptation

By Richard C. Lewontin

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, September 1978

  • The Mechanisms of Evolution

  • Science and the Citizen, September 1978

  • The Evolution of Behavior

  • The Evolution of Man

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, September 1978

  • Recommended

    Books, September 1978

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, September 1978

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, September 1978

  • Departments

    The Authors, September 1978

  • Bibliography, September 1978

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September 1978

See the World from a Different Perspective

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