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Cells to Civilizations:
The Principles of Change That Shape Life
Enrico Coen

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"What are the connections between evolving microbes, an egg that develops into an infant, a child who learns to walk, and the rise of Ancient Rome? For many years, scientists have generally thought these great transformations--evolution, development, learning, and cultural change--occurred through different mechanisms. But geneticist Enrico Coen, in his pioneering new book Cells to Civilization, reveals that these transformations revolve around shared core principles and manifest the same fundamental recipe. Coen blends provocative discussion, the latest scientific research, and colourful examples to demonstrate the links between these critical stages in the history of life."--Chemicals & Chemistry

"Coen's book is ambitious and stimulating. . . . Cells to Civilizations is good material for conversation and a worthwhile read."--Deniz Erezyilmaz, truthdig.com

"[Coen's] prose is every bit as good as Richard Dawkins' or Steve Jones', and his rich illustrations, particularly the way he uses classical and modern art to make his points, refreshes the text and keeps one's focus on the arguments. His clever ideas and engaging and creative writing style suggest that he would make a fascinating dinner companion. I loved this book and will put it on the general reading list for our biology undergraduates. I suspect it will also find resonance with the interested layman."--Charalambos P. Kyriacou, Times Higher Education

"[Cells to Civilizations] was thought provoking, informative, and fun to read."--Choice

"Do not be daunted by the scope of the book, which is written for a wide audience, although it contains enough science for biologists and anthropologists to ponder and argue with Coen. For the rest, it is an easy read, particularly as the biology it contains is peppered with vignettes drawn from painting and art history, which act as a guide for the more dry science that forms the meat of the argument."--Alfonso Martinez Arias, Development Journal

"Cells to Civilizations is a very approachable and thought-provoking reading for everyone involved in education and science."--Monika Biro, American Biology Teacher

"Cells to Civilizations is an intelligent and entertaining book by a distinguished biologist."--Robert C. Richardson, BioScience

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Cells to Civilizations explores the extraordinary transformations that are the basis of life. Simple cells evolve into complex animals. Single cells develop into a human being. Newborns learn how to behave in society. Societies create cultural institutions. Coen shows that a small number of principles applies to all these transformations. This book provided me with a real feeling for the unity of life. It gave me a glimpse of that mysterious and awesome circle through which evolution generates not only life, but also self-understanding."--Chris Frith, emeritus professor, University College London

"This is a charming, clever, and thought-provoking book. With examples and metaphors, the book advances the idea that the same basic principles operate in evolution, development, learning, and culture."--Stephen C. Stearns, Yale University

"This attractive book presents a unified account of the emergence of living organisms and seeks common principles across different levels--from the cell to human culture. The clarity of writing and the use of analogies and works of art to illustrate points will make it valuable to both general readers and specialists. The breadth of this book is unmatched."--Michael Corballis, University of Auckland

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File created: 9/9/2014

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