Compelling evidence that the most important assumptions on which Darwinism rests are wrong.The controversial best-seller that sent Oxford University and Nature magazine into a frenzy has at last come to the United States. Shattering the Myths of Darwinism exposes the gaping holes in an ideology that has reigned unchallenged over the scientific world for a century. Darwinism is considered to be hard fact, the only acceptable explanation for the formation of life on Earth, but with keen insight and objectivity Richard Milton reveals that the theory totters atop a shambles of outdated and circumstantial evidence which in any less controversial field would have been questioned long ago. Sticking to the facts at hand and tackling a vast array of topics, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism offers compelling evidence that the theory of evolution has become an act of faith rather than a functioning science, and that not until the scientific method is applied to it and the right questions are asked will we ever get the true answers to the mystery of life on Earth.
Richard Dawkins transformed our view of God in his blockbuster, The God Delusion, which sold more than 2 million copies in English alone. He revolutionized the way we see natural selection in the seminal bestseller The Selfish Gene. Now, he launches a fierce counterattack against proponents of Intelligent Design in his New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Show on Earth.Intelligent Design is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to teach the controversy behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence--from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics--to make the airtight case that we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection. His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master's vision of life, in all its splendor.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book 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. With a new preface.
The metaphor of Mount Improbable represents the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in the seemingly "designed" complexity of living things. Dawkins skillfully guides the reader on a breathtaking journey through the mountain's passes and up its many peaks to demonstrate that following the improbable path to perfection takes time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins's eloquent descriptions of extraordinary adaptations such as the teeming populations of figs, the intricate silken world of spiders, and the evolution of wings on the bodies of flightless animals. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time.
Climbing Mount Improbable is a book of great impact and skill, written by the most prominent Darwinian of our age.
The first collection of essays from renowned scientist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins's essays are an enthusiastic testament to the power of rigorous, scientific examination, and they span many different corners of his personal and professional life. He revisits the meme, the unit of cultural information that he named and wrote about in his groundbreaking work The Selfish Gene. He makes moving tributes to friends and colleagues, including a eulogy for novelist Douglas Adams; he shares correspondence with the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; and he visits with the famed paleoanthropologists Richard and Maeve Leakey at their African wildlife preserve. He concludes the essays with a vivid note to his ten-year-old daughter, reminding her to remain curious, to ask questions, and to live the examined life.
In this companion volume to the seven-part PBS series, an award-winning science writer tells the story of the theory of evolution, from Darwin's seminal insights to the cutting-edge developments in 21st century science that have confirmed and extended Darwin's theories.Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was written long before paleontologists and geologists worked out the chronology of life on Earth, long before biologists uncovered the molecules that underlie heredity and natural selection. Author Carl Zimmer begins by allowing students to look over Darwin's shoulder as he reads the scientific theories of his day, studies at university, explores the natural world, and forms one of the most controversial scientific theories of all time. Featuring more than 150 color illustrations, this remarkable book presents a rich and up-to-date view that guides students through the evolution of Darwin's great theory and introduces them to the research of leading scholars in the life sciences such as Stephen Jay Gould, Sarah Hrdy, Mary-Claire King, and Steven Pinker. Students will see how many of Darwin's ideas have been vindicated, and how evolution also turns out to work in ways he never anticipated. In a rich narrative that will appeal to both science majors and nonmajors, Zimmer explores the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution in our lives today. Afterall, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we cannot tackle many of our gravest challenges-from the lethal resurgence of antibiotic resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before use-without a sound understanding of evolution. Beginning with an introduction by renowned paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution provides the most up-to-date information on topics ranging from Darwinian medicine, sexual selection, and the origins of language to evolutionary psychology and the controversies surrounding creationism. With Evolution, your students will take part in a remarkable scientific journey, from the emergence to the triumph of an idea. The Evolution Project--a groundbreaking public television series and web site--offers teachers a free 40-page teacher's guide tied to state and national science high school biology curricula, and multimedia classroom resources such as online student lessons, short classroom videos, a web library, teacher methodology videos, and an online course for high school teachers to deepen teachers' understanding of evolutionary concepts and help them address obstacles to teaching evolution. For more information, and to order other educational resources or videos of the series, visit www.pbs.org/evolution.
A radical reappraisal of Charles Darwin from the bestselling author of Victoria: A Life.
With the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin--hailed as the man who discovered evolution--was propelled into the pantheon of great scientific thinkers, alongside Galileo, Copernicus, and Newton. Eminent writer A. N. Wilson challenges this long-held assumption. Contextualizing Darwin and his ideas, he offers a groundbreaking critical look at this revered figure in modern science.
In this beautifully written, deeply erudite portrait, Wilson argues that Darwin was not an original scientific thinker, but a ruthless and determined self-promoter who did not credit the many great sages whose ideas he advanced in his book. Furthermore, Wilson contends that religion and Darwinism have much more in common than it would seem, for the acceptance of Darwin's theory involves a pretty significant leap of faith.
Armed with an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, Wilson explores how Darwin and his theory were very much a product of their place and time. The Survival of the Fittest was really the Survival of Middle Class families like the Darwins--members of a relatively new economic strata who benefited from the rising Industrial Revolution at the expense of the working classes. Following Darwin's theory, the wretched state of the poor was an outcome of nature, not the greed and neglect of the moneyed classes. In a paradigm-shifting conclusion, Wilson suggests that it remains to be seen, as this class dies out, whether the Darwinian idea will survive, or whether it, like other Victorian fads, will become a footnote in our intellectual history.
Brilliant, daring, and ambitious, Charles Darwin explores this legendary man as never before, and challenges us to reconsider our understanding of both Darwin and modern science itself.
Evolution is not merely the process that ruled the rise and fall of the dinosaurs over hundreds of millions of years. It also happens rapidly, so quickly and so frequently that it changes how all of us live our lives. Drugs fail because diseases like HIV and tuberculosis evolve in a matter of months, neatly sidestepping pharmacology. Insects adapt and render harmless the most powerful pesticides in a matter of years, not centuries. While the ecological impact of human technology has been well publicized, the evolutionary consequences of antibiotic and antiviral use, insecticide applications, and herbicide bioengineering have been largely unexplored. In "The Evolution Explosion," Stephen R. Palumbi examines these practical and critical aspects of modern evolution with a simple, yet forceful style that contains both an urgent message and a sense of humor.
The award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli, national bestselling author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, investigates the environmental and economic impact termites inflict on human societies in this fascinating examination of one of nature's most misunderstood insects.Are we more like termites than we ever imagined? In Underbug, the award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli introduces us to the enigmatic creatures that collectively outweigh human beings ten to one and consume $40 billion worth of valuable stuff annually--and yet, in Margonelli's telling, seem weirdly familiar. Over the course of a decade-long obsession with the little bugs, Margonelli pokes around termite mounds and high-tech research facilities, closely watching biologists, roboticists, and geneticists. Her globe-trotting journey veers into uncharted territory, from evolutionary theory to Edwardian science literature to the military industrial complex. What begins as a natural history of the termite becomes a personal exploration of the unnatural future we're building, with darker observations on power, technology, historical trauma, and the limits of human cognition. Whether in Namibia or Cambridge, Arizona or Australia, Margonelli turns up astounding facts and raises provocative questions. Is a termite an individual or a unit of a superorganism? Can we harness the termite's properties to change the world? If we build termite-like swarming robots, will they inevitably destroy us? Is it possible to think without having a mind? Underbug burrows into these questions and many others--unearthing disquieting answers about the world's most underrated insect and what it means to be human.