Consider the Platypus
Evolution Through Biology's Most Baffling Beasts
Hardcover ISBN: 0316418390
An award-winning science journalist and comedy writer explores the characteristics of dozens of animal species, from domesticated pets to wild outliers, to offer lighthearted insights into the inner workings of evolution, biology and genetics. 15,000 first printing. Illustrations.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
A Search for Who We Are
Paperback ISBN: 0345384725
"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written, it tells of theorigins of life on earth, describes its variety and charaacter, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and teh complex traces ofhumankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told." FINANCIAL TIMES (LONDON) World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits--self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics--are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS is a triumph of popular science.
The Paradox of Evolution
The Strange Relationship Between Natural Selection and Reproduction
Paperback ISBN: 1633880729
This book examines a little-noted contradiction inherent in the two essential elements of Darwin's theory of biological evolution--natural selection and reproduction. Physiologist Stephen Rothman makes the revolutionary claim that the evolution of life's complex and diverse reproductive mechanisms is not the consequence of natural selection. In so doing, he exposes the deepest question possible about life's nature--its reason for being. In meticulously detailed but accessible terms he lays out the crux of the paradox and offers an intriguing solution within a naturalistic framework. In an ostensibly purposeless universe, somehow purposeful life has evolved. For all living things there are two overarching purposes: survival and the creation of new life. Natural selection is about the survival of existing life, but has no interest in life's future, about whether it persists or perishes. By contrast, reproduction is only about the future of life, and has no interest in existing life except as a means to that end. Where do these purposes come from? As Rothman demonstrates, at every level life is wired to react to danger. Counterintuitively, without the danger to its existence, life would not have come into being. As for reproduction, nature's destructive forces drive the creation of new life. Written with great clarity and informed by deep learning, this elegant, thoughtful work tackles some of the most challenging questions raised by the theory of evolution, while calling to mind Darwin's famous words from the conclusion ofOn the Origin of Species: "There is a grandeur in this view of life."
The Evolution of Beauty
How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World and Us
Hardcover ISBN: 0385537212
A major reevaluation of how evolutionary forces work examines how mating preferences, what Darwin termed, "the taste for the beautiful," have driven adaptive evolution and created an extraordinary range of aesthetic and elaborate ornament in the animal world.
Eyewitness to Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 0375706216
Turning the clock back several billion years, the author introduces readers the first denizens of planet earth--crustaceans called trilobite that ruled the oceans for three hundred million years. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
The Ancestor's Tale
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 0544859936
A renowned scientist and author of The Selfish Gene provides a sweeping chronicle of more than four billion years of life on Earth, shedding new light on evolutionary theory and history, sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical disperal, and other topics.
Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
Paperback ISBN: 074320011x
A look inside the often hidden world of parasites turns the clock back to the beginning of life on Earth to answer key questions about these highly evolved and resilient life forms.
Survival of the Beautiful
Art, Science, and Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 1608193888
"The peacock's tail," said Charles Darwin, "makes me sick." That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetics than with the practical. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty-and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.
How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory
Hardcover ISBN: 0393239896
A portrait of Darwin as an inveterate experimenter describes how he used his home, garden, and the surrounding woodlands as a field station where he conducted hands-on experiments to test his ideas for the theory of evolution.
The Beak of the Finch
A Story of Evolution in Our Time
Paperback ISBN: 067973337x
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch. In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.