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November 10, 1951

Time's Arrow and Evolution

JAMA. 1951;147(11):1089. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670280091044

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This book is occupied with the question of whether evolution ever reverses its direction and, more generally, with the problem of the irreversibility of time. If time is a fourth dimension of the universe as we experience it, why do we feel that it differs from the other three in that we are bound to proceed along it, relentlessly, in one direction? Though this question may be unanswerable or even meaningless, the reader is taken through a fascinating review of the philosophical, chemical, physical, and biological aspects of the problem, and the wealth of up-to-date factual material presented makes the adventure profitable. The book can be recommended to students as an introduction to the philosophical aspects of biology.

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