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Randomness in Evolution$
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John Tyler Bonner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157016

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157016.001.0001

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Time, Size, and Complexity

Time, Size, and Complexity

Chapter:
(p.17) Chapter 2 Time, Size, and Complexity
Source:
Randomness in Evolution
Author(s):

John Tyler Bonner

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157016.003.0002

This chapter discusses the evolution of size. It describes the increase in size and complexity over geological time, from multicellularity (cell societies) to animal societies, with an attempt to understand the periods of little change with those of relatively rapid change. It suggests that maximum size will be limited by the mechanical structure of the organism. Therefore, if new designs of the body plan that have arisen by numerous mutations and other genetic changes are such that they can support greater size, and if there is an ever present selection for larger forms, then the size ceiling can be expanded upwards.

Keywords:   size increase, geological time, evolutionary biology, biological randomness, multicellularity, animal societies, evolution

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