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US paperback
Jun 2000
Quantum Evolution: Life in the Multiverse
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W. W. Norton & Company
Quantum Evolution: Life in the Multiverse
by Johnjoe McFadden
Living organisms differ from inanimate objects in being able to utilize processes that are able to manipulate individual particles, such as electron transfer in the energy metabolism chain or the transport of ions through cell membranes, in ways directed by a single molecule, DNA. Such processes are described by quantum mechanics than the classical physics of bulk matter. The implications of this have never been fully explored. McFadden presents a startling new theory according to which quantum principles enable organisms to initiate such specific actions as directing favorable mutations of genes, as well as providing the basis for consciousness and volition. Dr. McFadden is a Reader in Molecular Biology at the University of Surrey, UK.
"McFadden's bold hypothesis that quantum physics plays a key role in the origin and evolution of life looks increasingly plausible. The weird behaviour of matter and information at the quantum level could be just what is needed to explain life's astonishing properties."
     -- Paul Davies, author of The Fifth Miracle

"A highly enjoyable read with clear explanations of molecular biology and quantum physics--and then speculations in search of a borderland between them. It is not a question of whether quantum mechanics is needed to understand biochemical processes, but exactly where, and at what level."
     -- Graham Cairns-Smith, author of Seven Clues to the Origin of Life

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