Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 0393338770
Profiles three British voyagers who became fierce defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution, tracing the lives and scientific discoveries of Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley and Alfred Wallace during respective voyages to the southern hemisphere. Reprint.
Before the Dawn
Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors
Paperback ISBN: 014303832x
A provocative alternate history of humanity's ancient ancestry and the evolution of human nature draws on ground-breaking scientific findings to offer insight into such debated issues as the evolution of language and race, the domestication of companion animals, and the defeat of the Neanderthals. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Evolution and the Meaning of Life
Paperback ISBN: 068482471x
Offers a wider perspective on Darwin's scientific theory of natural selection, explaining how it extends beyond biology, analyzing current controversies over the origins of life and inherent biases, and challenging popular philosophies
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 Ancestor's Tale
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
Paperback ISBN: 061861916x
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 dispersal, and other topics. Reprint.
Why Darwin Matters
The Case Against Intelligent Design
Paperback ISBN: 0805083065
A former evangelical Christian and creationist refutes the pseudoscientific arguments of proponents of Intelligent Design and explains why the scientific evidence reveals that evolution is more than just a theory and how it transforms life through the process of natural selection. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans
Paperback ISBN: 0809016478
How language evolved has been called “the hardest problem in science.” In Adam’s Tongue, Derek Bickerton—long a leading authority in this field—shows how and why previous attempts to solve that problem have fallen short. Taking cues from topics as diverse as the foraging strategies of ants, the distribution of large prehistoric herbivores, and the construction of ecological niches, Bickerton produces a dazzling new alternative to the conventional wisdom. Language is unique to humans, but it isn’t the only thing that sets us apart from other species—our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units—words—automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft. Written in Bickerton’s lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first to thoroughly integrate the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.’
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.
Darwin's Lost World
The Hidden History of Animal Life
Paperback ISBN: 0199548986
It greatly puzzled Darwin that the most ancient rocks, those dating before the Cambrian period, seemed to be barren of fossils when he would expect them to be teeming with life. Decades of work by modern paleontologists have indeed brought us amazing fossils from far beyond the Cambrian, from the depths of the Precambrian. Yet hidden in these depths is a great mystery--something happened around the Cambrian to dramatically speed up evolution and produce many of the early forms of animals we know today--and scientists don't really know what provided that spark. In this vibrantly written book, Martin Brasier, a leading paleontologist working on early life, takes us into the deep, dark ages of the Precambrian to explore Darwin's Lost World. Brasier is a master storyteller. As he explains what we now know of the strange creatures of these truly ancient times--540 million years ago--he takes readers to many far flung places around the globe, interweaving an engaging account of cutting-edge science with colorful and amusing anecdotes from his expeditions to Siberia, Outer Mongolia, and other remote places. As he shows, decoding the evidence in these ancient rocks--piecing together the puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion--is very challenging work. What they have discovered is that, just at the beginning of the Cambrian period, animals (mostly worms) began burrowing into the mud. Why they suddenly began burrowing, and how this might have changed the atmosphere, may be important clues to the mystery. Brasier gives his own take on the emerging answers, as one of the leading players in the field. A richly readable account of exciting expeditions and leading-edge science, Darwin's Lost World is a must-have book for all natural history buffs. "A rollicking account of Brasier's adventures seeking an answer to a question that vexed Charles Darwin." --Library Journal "Engaging." --New Scientist "If there is one book in this crop that Darwin himself would surely have appreciated, it is Darwin's Lost World." --Financial Times