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Selection’s sieve

Nobel prize-winner Manfred Eigen's latest work lays out the case for why evolution by natural selection is a "law of physics"

By Philip Ball  

It’s not hard to find reasons why the new book From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity (OUP, 2013) by 1967 chemistry Nobel laureate Manfred Eigen has barely had any reviews. The title alone is enough to put you off. And once you see the book in all its glory – 700 pages of densely argued, equation-peppered text – you can be forgiven for leaving it to an indefinite “later”. It is the kind of book scientists don’t tend to write any more: Eigen’s version of the Principia, basically an immensely long technical paper that doesn’t merely popularize old ideas but…

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