Guns, Germs and Steel
The Fates of Human Societies
Hardcover ISBN: 0393038912
An intriguing study of the rise of civilization argues that human development is not based on race or ethnic differences but rather is linked to biological diversity, discussing the evolution of agriculture, technology, writing, political systems, and religious belief. Tour.
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.
The Meme Machine
Paperback ISBN: 019286212x
What is a meme? First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation: stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture. The meme is also one of the most important--and controversial--concepts to emerge since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago. In The Meme Machine Susan Blackmore boldly asserts: "Just as the design of our bodies can be understood only in terms of natural selection, so the design of our minds can be understood only in terms of memetic selection." Indeed, Blackmore shows that once our distant ancestors acquired the crucial ability to imitate, a second kind of natural selection began, a survival of the fittest amongst competing ideas and behaviors. Ideas and behaviors that proved most adaptive--making tools, for example, or using language--survived and flourished, replicating themselves in as many minds as possible. These memes then passed themselves on from generation to generation by helping to ensure that the genes of those who acquired them also survived and reproduced. Applying this theory to many aspects of human life, Blackmore offers brilliant explanations for why we live in cities, why we talk so much, why we can't stop thinking, why we behave altruistically, how we choose our mates, and much more. With controversial implications for our religious beliefs, our free will, our very sense of "self," The Meme Machine offers a provocative theory everyone will soon be talking about.
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Fates of Human Societies
Paperback ISBN: 0393317552
An intriguing study of the rise of civilization argues that human development is not based on race or ethnic differences but rather is linked to biological diversity, discussing the evolution of agriculture, technology, writing, political systems, and religious belief. Reprint.
Summer for the Gods
The Scopes Trial And America's Continuing Debate over Science And Religion
Paperback ISBN: 046507510x
In the summer of 1925, the sleepy hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee, became the setting for one of the 20th century’s most contentious dramas: the Scopes trial that pit William Jennings Bryan and the anti-Darwinists against a teacher named John Scopes into a famous debate over science, religion, and their place in public education That trial marked the start of a battle that continues to this day-in Dover, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Cobb County, Georgia, and many other cities and states throughout the country. Edward Larson’s classic, Summer for the Gods, received the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1998 and is the single most authoritative account of a pivotal event whose combatants remain at odds in school districts and courtrooms. For this edition, Larson has added a new preface that assesses the state of the battle between creationism and evolution, and points the way to how it might potentially be resolved.
Darwin's Sacred Cause
Hardcover ISBN: 0547055269
Explores the important influence of abolitionism and Darwin's hatred of slavery on the development of his theory of evolution, in a study that examines the scientist's theories about human origins and the moral center of his evolutionary work.
The Cambridge Companion to Darwin
Paperback ISBN: 0521777305
Charles Darwin remains the subject of continuing energetic debate in the fields of philosophy, history of science, biology and history of ideas. This volume offers a collection of newly commissioned essays from experts in their fields, and will provide a student readership with an accessible guide through Darwin's thought.
The Humans Who Went Extinct
Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived
Paperback ISBN: 0199239193
Hailed by Dan Agin in The Huffington Post as "fascinating...electrifying...an apocalyptic vision that puts a chill down one's back," this provocative book offers a new perspective on the extinction of the Neanderthals. Today, we think of Neanderthals as crude and clumsy, easily driven to extinction by the lithe, smart humans who came out of Africa some 100,000 years ago. But Clive Finlayson reminds us that the Neanderthals were another kind of human, and their culture was not so very different from that of our own ancestors. In this book, he presents a wider view of the events that led to the migration of the moderns into Europe, what might have happened during the contact between the two populations, and what finally drove the Neanderthals to extinction. It is a view that considers climate, ecology, and migrations of populations, as well as culture and interaction. His conclusion is that the destiny of the Neanderthals was sealed by ecological factors--in short, a major climate change--and it was a matter of luck that we survived while they perished.