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The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited

Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny


In 1995, John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry published their influential book The Major Transitions in Evolution. The “transitions” that Maynard Smith and Szathmáry chose to describe all constituted major changes in the kinds of organisms that existed but, most important, these events also transformed the evolutionary process itself. The evolution of new levels of biological organization, such as chromosomes, cells, multicelled organisms, and complex social groups radically changed the kinds of individuals natural selection could act upon. Many of these events also produced revolutionary cha ... More

Keywords: John Maynard Smith, Eörs Szathmáry, evolutionary biology, biological organization, chromosomes, cells, multicelled organisms, complex social groups, natural selection, macroevolution

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780262015240
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015240.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brett Calcott, editor

Kim Sterelny, editor

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Introduction: A Dynamic View of Evolution

Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

1 The Miscellaneous Transitions in Evolution

Daniel W. McShea and Carl Simpson

II The prokaryote’s tale

Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

III Complexity and the developmental cycle

Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

IV Concluding remarks

14 Concluding Remarks

Eörs Szathmáry and Chrisantha Fernando

End Matter