Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World
Paperback ISBN: 0691050082
Extending the human life-span past 120 years. The "green" revolution. Evolution and human psychology. These subjects make today's newspaper headlines. Yet much of the science underlying these topics stems from a book published nearly 140 years ago--Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Far from an antique idea restricted to the nineteenth century, the theory of evolution is one of the most potent concepts in all of modern science.In Darwin's Spectre, Michael Rose provides the general reader with an introduction to the theory of evolution: its beginning with Darwin, its key concepts, and how it may affect us in the future. First comes a brief biographical sketch of Darwin. Next, Rose gives a primer on the three most important concepts in evolutionary theory--variation, selection, and adaptation. With a firm grasp of these concepts, the reader is ready to look at modern applications of evolutionary theory. Discussing agriculture, Rose shows how even before Darwin farmers and ranchers unknowingly experimented with evolution. Medical research, however, has ignored Darwin's lessons until recently, with potentially grave consequences. Finally, evolution supplies important new vantage points on human nature. If humans weren't created by deities, then our nature may be determined more by evolution than we have understood. Or it may not be. In this question, as in many others, the Darwinian perspective is one of the most important for understanding human affairs in the modern world.Darwin's Spectre explains how evolutionary biology has been used to support both valuable applied research, particularly in agriculture, and truly frightening objectives, such as Nazi eugenics. Darwin's legacy has been a comfort and a scourge. But
Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life
How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew
Hardcover ISBN: 0521762782
"Evolutionary theory answers one of the most profound and fundamental questions human beings have ever asked themselves, a question that has plagued reflective minds for as long as reflective minds have existed in the universe: Why are we here? How did we come to exist on this planet? In a lot of ways, this is a very ordinary planet"--
Hardcover ISBN: 0306453282
Twelve contributions elucidate some of the salient points and the rich potential in taking a Darwinian approach to archaeological problems. They are grouped in sections on cultural and behavioral selection, individuals and dual inheritance, and cognition and the evolution of mental adaptations. A sampling of topics: the change from biface to flake technology, multiple code structures in the replication of human culture, weak modularity and the evolution of human social behavior, and the origin of art. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
The Darwinian Tourist
Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes
Hardcover ISBN: 0199584389
In The Darwinian Tourist, biologist Christopher Wills takes us on a series of adventures--exciting in their own right--that demonstrate how ecology and evolution have interacted to create the world we live in. Some of these adventures, like his SCUBA dives in the incredibly diverse Lembeh Strait in Indonesia or his encounter with a wild wolf cub in western Mongolia, might have been experienced by any reasonably intrepid traveller. Others, like his experience of being hammered by a severe earthquake off the island of Yap while sixty feet down in the ocean, filming manta rays, stand far outside the ordinary. With his own stunning color photographs of the wildlife he discovered on his travels, Wills not only takes us to these far-off places but, more important, draws out the evolutionary stories behind the wildlife and shows how our understanding of the living world can be deepened by a Darwinian perspective. In addition, the book offers an extensive and unusual view of human evolution, examining the entire sweep of our evolutionary story as it has taken place throughout the Old World. The reader comes away with a renewed sense of wonder about the world's astounding diversity, along with a new appreciation of the long evolutionary history that has led to the wonders of the present-day. When we lose a species or an ecosystem, Wills shows us, we also lose many millions of years of history. Published to coincide with the International Year for Biodiversity, The Darwinian Tourist is packed with globe-trotting exploits, brilliant color photography, and eye-opening insights into the evolution of humanity and the natural world.