Am I a Monkey?: Six Big Questions about Evolution by Francisco J. Ayala

By Francisco J. Ayala

Regardless of the continued cultural controversy in the USA, evolution continues to be a cornerstone of technological know-how. during this ebook, Francisco J. Ayala—an evolutionary biologist, member of the nationwide Academy of Sciences, and winner of the nationwide Medal of technological know-how and the Templeton Prize—cuts to the chase in a bold try to deal with, in nontechnical language, six perennial questions on evolution:

• Am I a Monkey?
• Why Is Evolution a Theory?
• what's DNA?
• Do All Scientists settle for Evolution?
• How Did lifestyles Begin?
• Can One think in Evolution and God?

This to-the-point booklet solutions every one of those questions with strength. Ayala's sometimes biting essays refuse to lend credence to disingenuous principles and arguments. He lays out the elemental technology that underlies evolutionary idea, explains how the method works, and soundly makes the case for why evolution isn't a danger to religion.

Brief, incisive, topical, authoritative, Am I a Monkey? will take you an afternoon to learn and an entire life to ponder.

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2. Let h(x, n) = 1 + x + x2 + · · · + xn = calculate h(x, n) using a for loop. n i=0 xi . Write an R program to 3. The function h(x, n) from Exercise 2 is the finite sum of a geometric sequence. It has the following explicit formula, for x = 1, h(x, n) = © 2009 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 1 − xn+1 . 2 The graph produced by Exercise 1. 538178 You should use the computer to calculate the formula rather than doing it yourself. 4. First write a program that achieves the same result as in Exercise 2 but using a while loop.

Document the programs that you use in detail, ideally with citations for specific algorithms. There is no worse feeling than returning to undocumented code that had been written several years earlier to try to find and then explain an anomaly. 9 Exercises 1. Consider the function y = f (x) defined by x f (x) ≤0 −x3 ∈ (0, 1] > 1 √ x2 x Supposing that you are given x, write an R expression for y using if statements. Add your expression for y to the following program, then run it to plot the function f .

X <- 100:110) [1] 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 > i <- c(1, 3, 2) > x[i] [1] 100 102 101 > j <- c(-1, -2, -3) > x[j] [1] 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 © 2009 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 16 R AS A CALCULATING ENVIRONMENT It is possible to have a vector with no elements. The function length(x) gives the number of elements of x. > x <- c() > length(x) [1] 0 Algebraic operations on vectors act on each element separately, that is elementwise. > x <- c(1, 2, 3) > y <- c(4, 5, 6) > x * y [1] 4 10 18 > x + y [1] 5 7 9 > y^x [1] 4 25 216 When you apply an algebraic expression to two vectors of unequal length, R automatically repeats the shorter vector until it has something the same length as the longer vector.

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