The conventional wisdom in evolutionary theory draws on the well-known tenets of neo-Darwinism that organisms changed through mutation and maintained their existence through the survival of the fittest. The author challenges this view.
He re-evaluates the work of men like Lamarck, with his ideas about the heredity of acquired characteristics, Goethe and his Morphology of Life, Haeckel and the Recapitulation Theory inherent in ontogeny, as well as, most importantly, Roux and his Entwicklungsmechanik. Nishihara then goes on to explore the importance of biomechanical factors in living organisms and in the development of vertebrates, particularly mammals, and he traces in fascinating detail the descent of the mammals and the evolution of their organs and systems, especilally the face, from the relatively simple archae-ascidian of 500 million years ago.
The author also refers to and persuasively explains his own experimental research that has demonstrated the workability of his ideas about the role of biomechanics in evolution and their applicability to modern medicine and health. Their long-term impact promises to be revolutionary.
UPFRONT PUBLISHING (LEICESTERSHIRE)/2002