The Molecular Basis of Evolution

By Christian B. Anfinsen | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The writing of this book has been stimulated by the excitement and promise of contemporary protein chemistry and genetics and by the possibilities of integration of these fields toward a greater understanding of the fundamental forces underlying the evolutionary process. It has become, inevitably, a highly personal volume expressing the experimental and philosophical outlook which has resulted from a process of serf-education in an unfamiliar area of science. As with many biochemists, pure biology, including genetics, has not been a major exposure in my education, and the process of learning something about these subjects has been both a revelation and a struggle. Various kind, and frequently amused, friends, versed in the complexities of modern genetics, have sifted through these pages, and I hope that most of the misinterpretations and frank mistakes have been eliminated.

It has been highly interesting of late to observe how many scientists, working either in protein chemistry or in genetics, or for that matter in relatively unrelated fields, have arrived at long-range research plans that are similar to my own, down to almost the last detail of experimental planning. This book, therefore, will undoubtedly represent the point of view of numerous other biologically oriented individuals. On the other hand, some of the ideas to be discussed are so new and controversial that for every well-informed reader of this book who,

-vii-

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