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Shock Lobsters

Richard Fortey: The Burgess Shale

1 October 1998
The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals 
by Simon ConwayMorris.
Oxford, 242 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 19 850256 7
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... Shale and its mysterious, extinct creatures were discovered in Western Canada as long ago as 1909. Simon ConwayMorris was one of the scientists who did the hard work of interpreting the fossils. In the late Seventies and early Eighties he was noted for two things: at every symposium he presented some new oddity from ...

How to Make a Mermaid

Adrian Woolfson: A theology of evolution

5 February 2004
Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe 
by Simon ConwayMorris.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £18.95, September 2003, 0 521 82704 3
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... anything like human beings would appear again. According to this view, we are flukes. Not so, says Simon ConwayMorris in Life’s Solution. There are ‘deeper structures and potentialities, if not inevitabilities’ at the heart of organic evolution, and biological possibility may, because of ‘physical ...

Coloured Spots v. Iridescence

Steven Rose: Evolutionary Inevitability

22 March 2018
Improbable Destinies: How Predictable Is Evolution? 
by Jonathan Losos.
Allen Lane, 364 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 241 20192 3
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... Life (1989). Gould discussed the bizarre fossils uncovered by the Cambridge palaeontologist Simon ConwayMorris in an outcrop of rock in the Canadian Rockies, known as the Burgess Shale. The shale was formed 511 million years ago, in the period when animal life was first emerging. Buried within it ...

Genetic Mountaineering

Adrian Woolfson: The evolution of evolvability

6 February 2003
A New Kind of Science 
by Stephen Wolfram.
Wolfram Media, 1197 pp., £40, May 2002, 1 57955 008 8
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... certain types of complex system. Historical contingency, too, has a role in the new synthesis. Simon ConwayMorris has argued that if the Earth hadn’t been hit by the meteorite that probably made the dinosaurs extinct, the history of life would have been quite different. One of the most important recent ...

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