A close-up look at the new science of evolutionary psychology explains how scientists use the theories of natural selection to understand human behavior and discusses the significance of evolutionary psychology to everyday, modern life
Introducing Evolution explores evolutionary theory from its origins to its reception across history and how it has been developed and refined. Drawing on the latest findings from genetics, ecology, and animal behavior, it unravels the central and often misunderstood concepts, notably natural selection and the selfish gene.
The bestselling author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and Magical Child takes us on a fascinating safari of the mind. Drawing upon the latest in brain research, Pearce traces the development of intelligence from infancy to adulthood, cites five negative common practices that threaten our future, and explores possibilities for the unfolding of human intelligence.
Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers "yes " Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original
arguments--drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy--that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.
Charles Darwin changed the direction of modern thought by establishing the basis of evolutionary biology. This fascinating selection of letters, offers a glimpse of his daily experiences, scientific observations, personal concerns and friendships. Beginning with a charming set of letters at the age of twelve, through his university years in Edinburgh and Cambridge up to the publication of his most famous work, On the Origin of Species in 1859, these letters chart one of the most exciting periods of Darwin's life, including the voyage of the Beagle and subsequent studies which led him to develop his theory of natural selection. Darwin's vivid writing style enables the reader to see the world through his own eyes, as he matures from grubby schoolboy in Shropshire to one of the most controversial thinkers of modern times. This is a special Anniversary Edition of the best-selling Burkhardt: Charles Darwin's Letters: A Selection, 1825-1859
On DEATH . . .
What is shared by spawning Pacific salmon, towering trees, and suicidal bacteria? In his lucid and concise exploration of how and why things die, Tyler Volk explains the intriguing ways creatures-including ourselves-use death to actually enhance life. Death is not simply the end of the living, though even in that aspect the Grim Reaper has long been essential to natural selection. Indeed, the exquisite schemes and styles of death that have emerged from evolution have been essential to the great story from life's beginnings in tiny bacteria nearly four thousand million years ago to ancient human rituals surrounding death and continuing to the existential concerns of human culture and consciousness today. Volk weaves together autobiography, biology, Earth history, and results of fascinating studies that show how thoughts of our own mortality affect our everyday lives, to prove how an understanding of what some have called the ultimate taboo can enrich the celebration of life.
. . . and SEX
In Sex, Dorion Sagan takes a delightful, irreverent, and informative romp through the science, philosophy, and literature of humanity's most obsessive subject. Have you ever wondered what the anatomy and promiscuous behaviors of chimpanzees and the sexual bullying of gorillas tell us about ourselves? Why we lost our hair? What amoebas have to do with desire? Linking evolutionary biology to salacious readings of the lives and thoughts of such notables as the Marquis de Sade and Simone de Beauvoir, and discussing works as varied as The Story of O and Silence of the Lambs, Sex touches on a potpourri of interrelated topics ranging from animal genitalia to sperm competition, the difference between nakedness and nudity, jealousy's status as an aphrodisiac and the origins of language, Casanova and music, ovulation and clothes, mother-in-law jokes and alpha females, love and loneliness. A brief, wonderfully entertaining, highly literate foray into the origins and evolution of sex.
Two books in one cover, Death & Sex unravel and answer some of life's most fundamental questions.
"Carter Phipps brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution by showing us that a new science is emerging--one that will holistically integrate our understanding of consciousness, cosmology, and evolution." --Deepak Chopra
Blending cutting-edge ideas with incisive spiritual insights, Evolutionaries is the first popular presentation of an emerging school of thought called "evolutionary spirituality." Carter Phipps, the former executive editor of EnlightenNext magazine, asserts that evolution is not only a scientific but also a spiritual idea in a book whose message has the power to bring new meaning and purpose to life as we know it. Readers will be fascinated and enlightened by Evolutionaries, a book which Deepak Chopra, the world-renowned author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes, Jesus, and Buddha, says "is going to help create a worldview that will influence our vision of the future direction of evolution and also our role in consciously participating in it."
"Wonderful....Jared Diamond conducts his fascinating study of our behavior and origins with a naturalist's eye and a philosopher's cunning." --Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses
In this fascinating, provocative, passionate, funny, endlessly entertaining work, renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scientist Jared Diamond, author of Gun, Germs, and Steel, explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world . . . and the means to irrevocably destroy it.
We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet--having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art--while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins?
The Third Chimpanzee is a tour de force, an iconoclastic, compelling, sometimes alarming look at the unique and marvelous creature that is the human animal.
DNA, the genetic blueprint of all creatures, is a stunningly rich and detailed record of evolution. Every change or new trait, from the gaudy colors of tropical birds to our color vision with which we admire them, is due to changes in DNA that leave a record and can be traced. Just as importantly, the DNA evidence has revealed several profound surprises about how evolution actually works.
Africa does not give up its secrets easily. Buried there lie answers about the origins of humankind. After a century of investigation, scientists have transformed our understanding about the beginnings of human life. But vital clues still remain hidden.
In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, recounting their intense rivalry, personal feuds, and fierce controversies as well as their feats of skill and endurance.
The results have been momentous. Scientists have identified more than twenty species of extinct humans. They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans. They have revealed how early technology, language ability, and artistic endeavour all originated in Africa; and they have shown how small groups of Africans spread out from Africa in an exodus sixty thousand years ago to populate the rest of the world. We have all inherited an African past.