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The major evolutionary transitions

Nature volume 374, pages 227232 (16 March 1995) | Download Citation

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Abstract

There is no theoretical reason to expect evolutionary lineages to increase in complexity with time, and no empirical evidence that they do so. Nevertheless, eukaryotic cells are more complex than prokaryotic ones, animals and plants are more complex than protists, and so on. This increase in complexity may have been achieved as a result of a series of major evolutionary transitions. These involved changes in the way information is stored and transmitted.

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Affiliations

  1. Collegium Budapest (Institute for Advanced Study), Szentharomsag u. 2., H-1014 Budapest and Ecological Modelling Research Group, Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eotvos University, Ludovika ter 2, H-1083 Budapest, Hungary;

    • Eörs Szathmáry
  2. School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK.

    • John Maynard Smith

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https://doi.org/10.1038/374227a0

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