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.
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.
Ever Since Darwin
Reflections in Natural History
Paperback ISBN: 0393308189
Stephen Jay Gould reexamines Darwin's theory in light of the findings of modern evolutionary biology and shows the ways in which biological theories have been concocted to justify social ills
The Triumph of an Idea
Paperback ISBN: 0061138401
This remarkable book presents a rich and up–to–date view of evolution that explores the far–reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today. After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges –– from lethal resurgence of antiobiotic–resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us –– with a sound understanding of the science.
Faith versus Fact
Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible
Paperback ISBN: 0143108263
The best-selling author of Why Evolution Is True discusses the negative role of religion in education, politics, medicine and social policy, explaining how religion cannot provide verifiable or responsible answers to world problems.
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.