The book uses many examples of living things on our own planet, most convincingly the ladybug, to explain eloquently why everything from microbes to large animals are the way they are. For example, why does the ladybug not fall off a leaf? How does it manage to breathe without lungs? How does it survive winter or fly—considering its aerodynamics are very different from an airplane’s?
Having shown that physical factors limit the solutions for life on this planet, Cockell extends the argument to extraterrestrial life. He expects us to find only carbon-based life elsewhere in the universe, which, he contends, is likely to use water as a solvent and have only a limited set of available nutrients and building blocks for biology. We should not be surprised, therefore, to find on some other planet an animal that reminds us of, say, a cow, or a raven, or even a human. So our Cosmic Zoo may be quite limited. Dirk Schulze-Makuch, “How Fundamental Physics Shapes the Diversity of Life ” at Air & Space (Smithsonian)
Taking physics seriously is part of an approach to evolution called “structuralism,” which is sadly neglected when Darwinism rules.
See also: Is Nature now giving space to structuralism?
Structuralism: A term ID folk need to learn more about
Michael Denton, as his book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis reveals, is a structuralist. He thinks that many puzzles of evolution will turn out to relate to as yet unidentified laws of physics and chemistry.
Of course, if one insists, with Stephen Jay Gould, that evolution is random, any such quest is in vain.
Denton himself certainly learned what can happen to those who search for such laws.
Convergent evolution: “Emerging view” that evolution is predictable?