March 31, 1983
The capability to adapt is essential for the life process at all levels of organization, from that of the gene to those of the ecosystem and human society. Unique in its classification of the mechanisms and modes of adaptability at all levels of biological organization, this book presents a framework for analyzing, handling, and describing the interrelations of adaptability processes.
Dr. Conrad offers important new ideas about the functional significance of biological variability and develops new perspectives on the structure-function relation in biology and the dynamics of the evolutionary process. Topics covered include
- logical features of biological organisms and evolution
- physical and thermodynamic basis of adaptability
- systems and information theory approaches to adaptability
- relationship between adaptability and dynamical concepts of stability and instability
- relationship between adaptability and information processing
- genotype-phenotype relationship and the bootstrap model of evolution
- adaptability structure of organisms in the etiology of disease
- ecosystem organization and succession
- applications to agricultural and economic systems
This book will be of great interest to scientists and philosophers concerned with the origin, limits, and predictability of biological systems and with the significance of dynamic modeling. It will also be a useful acquisition for students of computer science, physics, or mathematics who are interested in the application of their disciplines to biological problems.