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 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.
Inheritors of the Earth
How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction
Hardcover ISBN: 1610397274
It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have irrevocably damaged the natural world. Throughout history we've introduced species and infectious diseases to foreign shores; hunted slow-moving (and slower-reproducing) mammals to extinction; and polluted previously pristine tracts of land. Now we are in the midst of the planet's sixth mass extinction event--for which we are the main culprit. Yet as distinguished ecologist Chris D. Thomas argues, this gloomy narrative obscures a more hopeful truth. In Inheritors of the Earth, he tells the remarkable story of how nature is fighting back. He complicates the standard picture of today's ecological reality, revealing that we are actually witnessing the first stages of a new mass acceleration of ecological and evolutionary diversity. Urbanization and the mass cultivation of agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and human modification of ecosystems has stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of every living species. Most remarkably, he shows, our actions may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level ever in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the chocolate colored comma butterfly in York to the scarlet-beaked, turkey-sized New Zealand takahe, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we are so reluctant to embrace new forms of life, as well as why we see human activities as fundamentally unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts, however violent, of a technological age. Combining a naturalist's eye for wildlife with an ecologist's wide lens, Inheritors of the Earth offers an authoritative account of the Anthropocene present and future, a challenge to conventional views of almost everything we do that relates to our interaction with the environment, and an illuminating reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God
Hardcover ISBN: 0061828505
Greg Gaffin--a founder of the punk band Bad Religion, who also happens to lecturing professor of evolution at UCLA--describes his own coming of age as an artist, as well as the formation of his naturalist worldview on questions involving God, science and human meaning. 40,000 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.
At the Water's Edge
Fish With Fingers, Whales With Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea
Paperback ISBN: 0684856239
Everybody Out of the Pond At the Water's Edge will change the way you think about your place in the world. The awesome journey of life's transformation from the first microbes 4 billion years ago to Homo sapiens today is an epic that we are only now beginning to grasp. Magnificent and bizarre, it is the story of how we got here, what we left behind, and what we brought with us. We all know about evolution, but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. Darwin's idea of natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution -- microevolution -- but it could only point us toward a complete explanation, still to come, of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Now, drawing on the latest fossil discoveries and breakthrough scientific analysis, Carl Zimmer reveals how macroevolution works. Escorting us along the trail of discovery up to the current dramatic research in paleontology, ecology, genetics, and embryology, Zimmer shows how scientists today are unveiling the secrets of life that biologists struggled with two centuries ago. In this book, you will find a dazzling, brash literary talent and a rigorous scientific sensibility gracefully brought together. Carl Zimmer provides a comprehensive, lucid, and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.
The Blind Watchmaker
Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
Paperback ISBN: 0393315703
Clarifies the seemingly implausible aspects of Darwin's theory, drawing on the famous watch comparison argued by William Paley, the eighteenth-century theologian
The Book That Changed America
How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation
Hardcover ISBN: 052542833x
Traces the impact of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" on a diverse group of writers, abolitionists, and social reformers, including Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott, against a backdrop of growing tensions and transcendental idealism in 1860 America.
Climbing Mount Improbable
Paperback ISBN: 0393316823
Arguing that the perfection of the human body is the result of improbable mutation, a prominent Darwinian uses the metaphor of climbing a mountain to illustrate how natural perfection is due to the unending journey of DNA through time