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.
Dancing At The Dead Sea
Tracking The World's Environmental Hotspots
Hardcover ISBN: 0226532003
A combination of scientific analysis and travel literature examines not just the origin but the ultimate fate of our world, taking a tour through the world's environmental hotspots, including the island of Madagascar, the Arctic desert of Banks Island, and the Galapagos archipelago, and profiling the individuals working to preserve these endangered areas.
The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
Paperback ISBN: 006093736x
Considers the global impact of the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, documenting the resulting immense tsunami that killed some 40,000 people, its impact on the weather for several years, and its role in anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 200,000 first printing.
The Growth of Biological Thought
Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance
Paperback ISBN: 0674364465
An incisive study of the development of the biological sciences chronicles the origins, maturation, and modern views of the classification of life forms, the evolution of species, and the inheritance and variation of characteristics
Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0805063315
A guide to non-traditional sexual expression, presented in the form of answers to written letters, draws on the author's expertise in evolutionary biology and considers such topics as necrophilia, bestiality, sex changes, virgin births, and male pregnancy. 50,000 first printing.
The Symbolic Species
The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain
Hardcover ISBN: 0393038386
Theorizing that the human brain and language developed in concert, a study of the origin of language argues that the seeds of language grew and developed in pair bonding between proto- and early-human males and females.
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe
A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
Paperback ISBN: 0812973402
A no-holds-barred memoir by a young female neurosurgeon journeys inside the world of brain surgery to provide a sometimes shocking view of her field, describing her tools of the trade in the operating room, the tough ethical dilemmas confronting doctors, some of her own most bizarre cases, trends in the neurosurgical field, and possible advances on the horizon. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.