Preface to the First English Edition of The Mechanisms of Evolution

This edition constitutes a slight modification of the Second Edition of the original book, published in Czech under the title Evoluční Biologie (Evolutionary Biology). The most important change was the omission of the chapter on Molecular Phylogenetics; in contrast to the Czech technical literature, several modern and probably better textbooks of Molecular Phylogenetics and Molecular Taxonomy are available in English and it is thus not necessary to include this portion of inorganic material in a textbook on evolutionary biology. For similar reasons, the original title Evolutionary Biology was changed to The Mechanisms of Evolution. The English title better reflects the contents and the structure of the text and the Czech edition was published under the title Evolutionary Biology only in relation to the business strategy of the Czech Publisher, as no other textbook of evolutionary biology was available in Czech. There are a number good English textbooks of evolutionary biology, some of which are actually entitled Evolutionary Biology. The major differences, and I believe also the major advantages, of the present textbook are, firstly, the substantial emphasis placed on the mechanisms involved in the various evolutionary phenomena and, secondly, my knowledge, not only of the mainstream of traditional evolutionary biology, but also of a branch of evolutionary science that evolved independently for many years in relative isolation in the Soviet Union and its political satellites.

I would like to thank Dr. Madeleine Štulíková for her careful translation of the text.


                                                                                 In Prague, 1 December 2010

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more
Draft translation from: Evoluční biologie, 2. vydání (Evolutionary biology, 2nd edition), J. Flegr, Academia Prague 2009. The translation was not done by biologist, therefore any suggestion concerning proper scientific terminology and language usage are highly welcomed. You can send your comments to flegratcesnet [dot] cz. Thank you.