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"What the hell do you want?" snarled Frogman at Raff Cody, as the boy stepped innocently onto the reputed murderer's property. Fifteen years old, Raff, along with his older cousin, Junior, had only wanted to catch a glimpse of Frogman's 1000-pound alligator. Thus, begins the saga of Anthill, which follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, whose improbable love of the "strange, beautiful, and elegant" world of ants ends up transforming his own life and the citizens of Nokobee County. Battling both snakes bites and cynical relatives who just don't understand his consuming fascination with the outdoors, Raff explores the pristine beauty of the Nokobee wildland. And in doing so, he witnesses the remarkable creation and destruction of four separate ant colonies, whose histories are epics that unfold on picnic grounds, becoming a young naturalist in the process. An extraordinary undergraduate at Florida State University, Raff, despite his scientific promise, opts for Harvard Law School, believing that the environmental fight must be waged in the courtroom as well as the lab. Returning home a legal gladiator, Raff grows increasingly alarmed by rapacious condo developers who are eager to pave and subdivide the wildlands surrounding the Chicobee River. But one last battle awaits him in his epic struggle. In a shattering ending that no reader will forget, Raff suddenly encounters the angry and corrupt ghosts of an old South he thought had all but disappeared, and learns that war is a genetic imperative, not only for ants but for men as well. Part thriller, part parable, Anthill will not only transfix readers with its stunning twists and startling revelations, but will provide readers with new insights into the meaning of survival in our rapidly changing world.
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist delivers "an astonishing literary achievement" (Anthony Gottlieb, The Economist). Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the "strange, beautiful, and elegant" world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin to threaten the endangered marshlands around which he lives, the book's hero decides to take decisive action. Edward O. Wilson--the world's greatest living biologist--elegantly balances glimpses of science with the gripping saga of a boy determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.
The book before you . . . carries the urgent warning that we are rapidly altering and destroying the environments that have fostered the diversity of life forms for more than a billion years.With those words, Edward O. Wilson opened the landmark volume Biodiversity (National Academy Press, 1988). Despite this and other such alarms, species continue to vanish at a rapid rate, taking with them their genetic legacy and potential benefits. Many disappear before they can even be identified.Biodiversity II is a renewed call for urgency. This volume updates readers on how much we already know and how much remains to be identified scientifically. It explores new strategies for quantifying, understanding, and protecting biodiversity, including New approaches to the integration of electronic data, including a proposal for a U.S. National Biodiversity Information Center.Application of techniques developed in the human genome project to species identification and classification.The Gap Analysis Program of the National Biological Survey, which uses layered satellite, climatic, and biological data to assess distribution and better manage biodiversity.The significant contribution of museum collections to identifying and categorizing species, which is essential for understanding ecological function and for targeting organisms and regions at risk. The book describes our growing understanding of how megacenters of diversity (e.g., rainforest insects, coral reefs) are formed, maintained, and lost; what can be learned from mounting bird extinctions; and how conservation efforts for neotropical primates have fared. It also explores ecosystem restoration, sustainable development, and agricultural impact.Biodiversity II reinforces the idea that the conservation of our biological resources is within reach as long as we pool resources; better coordinate the efforts of existing institutions--museums, universities, and government agencies--already dedicated to this goal; and enhance support for research, collections, and training. This volume will be important to environmentalists, biologists, ecologists, educators, students, and concerned individuals.
"Biophilia" is the term coined by Edward O. Wilson to describe what he believes is humanity's innate affinity for the natural world. In his landmark book Biophilia, he examined how our tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes might be a biologically based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species. That idea has caught the imagination of diverse thinkers.The Biophilia Hypothesis brings together the views of some of the most creative scientists of our time, each attempting to amplify and refine the concept of biophilia. The variety of perspectives -- psychological, biological, cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic -- frame the theoretical issues by presenting empirical evidence that supports or refutes the hypothesis. Numerous examples illustrate the idea that biophilia and its converse, biophobia, have a genetic component: fear, and even full-blown phobias of snakes and spiders are quick to develop with very little negative reinforcement, while more threatening modern artifacts -- knives, guns, automobiles -- rarely elicit such a response people find trees that are climbable and have a broad, umbrella-like canopy more attractive than trees without these characteristics people would rather look at water, green vegetation, or flowers than built structures of glass and concrete The biophilia hypothesis, if substantiated, provides a powerful argument for the conservation of biological diversity. More important, it implies serious consequences for our well-being as society becomes further estranged from the natural world. Relentless environmental destruction could have a significant impact on our quality of life, not just materially but psychologically and even spiritually.
Los sabios y apasionados consejos de E.O. Wilson a las nuevas generaciones de científicosQuerido amigo:Después de medio siglo de enseñar a estudiantes y a jóvenes profesionales de la ciencia, he tenido el privilegio y la suerte de haber aconsejado a muchos cientos de jóvenes de talento y ambiciosos. Como resultado, he acumulado un conocimiento profundo, una filosofía, en realidad, de lo que es necesario saber para tener éxito en el ámbito de la ciencia. Espero que puedas sacar provecho de los pensamientos y relatos que te ofreceré a lo largo de las cartas que siguen.Ante todo, y muy importante, te exhorto a permanecer en el camino que has escogido y a seguirlo tan lejos como te sea posible. El mundo te necesita, y mucho.Edmund O. Wilson«Inspirador... Debería estar en las estanterías de todos los institutos y bibliotecas.»Library Journal«Quiero expresar mi agradecimiento. Gracias por recordarme, a mí y a otros miles, por qué nos convertimos en científicos.»Bill Stevens, The New York Times Book ReviewEdward O. Wilson aconseja a los investigadores presentes y futuros, y comparte su sabiduría con las nuevas generaciones de científicos. Lo hace a través de anécdotas autobiográficas que han forjado su carrera como científico, sus éxitos y sus fracasos, animado por la motivación que lo ha llevado a convertirse en uno de los biólogos más importantes del mundo.En este momento de la historia de la humanidad en el que nuestra supervivencia está más vinculada que nunca a los conocimientos científicos, Wilson insiste en que el talento no reside en la inteligencia matemática, sino en la pasión por plantear un problema y saber resolverlo. Desde la colisión de las estrellas hasta la exploración de los bosques tropicales y las profundidades de los océanos, Wilson infunde en sus lectores el amor por la creatividad científica y elrespeto por el humilde lugar que ocupa el ser humano en el ecosistema del planeta. Un libro para científicos, jóvenes y no tan jóvenes, sobre la pasión y el placer por el descubrimiento.
Benvolgut amic:Al cap de mig segle d'ensenyar estudiants i joves professionals de l'àmbit de la ciència, he tingut el privilegi i la sort d'haver aconsellat centenars de joves ambiciosos i de gran talent. De resultes d'això, he adquirit un coneixement profund, una filosofia, en realitat, d'allò que cal saber per tenir èxit en el terreny de la ciència. Espero que treguis profit dels pensaments i els relats que t'ofereixo al llarg de les cartes que llegiràs tot seguit.En primer lloc, i molt important, t'exhorto a perseverar en el camí que has escollit i a seguir-lo fins tan lluny com et sigui possible anar. El món et necessita, i molt.Edmund O. Wilson«Inspirador... Hauria d'estar als prestatges de tots els instituts i biblioteques.» Library Journal
¿De dónde venimos? ¿Qué somos? ¿Adónde vamos? En una obra apasionante que culmina el trabajo de toda una vida, Edward O. Wilson plantea estas tres cuestiones fundamentales y demuestra que la religión, la filosofía y la reflexión no pueden dar respuestas por sí solas, y que la única forma realista de resolver el enigma de nuestra condición humana pasa por la erudición científica. El más insigne sucesor de Darwin rediseña la historia de la evolución y recurre a su vasto conocimiento de la biología y del comportamiento social para revelar cómo la "selección de grupo" puede ser el único modelo que explique el origen del hombre, su dominación, y su posterior conquista del planeta. El resultado es una obra revolucionaria, la historia de la evolución humana y animal más importante desde El origen de las especies.
Author that behind disciplines as diverse as physics, biology, anthropology and the arts, lies a small number of natural laws, whose interlocking he calls consilience.
The book that launched a movement: "Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all" (Oliver Sacks). Called "one of the greatest men alive" by The Times of London, E. O. Wilson proposes an historic partnership between scientists and religious leaders to preserve Earth's rapidly vanishing biodiversity.
In this daring work, Edward O. Wilson proposes an alliance between science and religion to save Earth's vanishing biodiversity.
Before the transition in forestry can be made from conventional approaches of the past century to the ecosystem approach of the next, a consensus must be reached on the meaning of "sustainable forestry." Defining Sustainable Forestry presents the results of a national conference convened by The Wilderness Society, American Forests, and the World Resources Institute to help establish a common framework upon which to guide the future development of forestry.
View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities" "In the Amazon Basin the greatest violence sometimes begins as a flicker of light beyond the horizon. There in the perfect bowl of the night sky, untouched by light from any human source, a thunderstorm sends its premonitory signal and begins a slow journey to the observer, who thinks: the world is about to change. " Watching from the edge of the Brazilian rain forest, witness to the sort of violence nature visits upon its creatures, Edward O. Wilson reflects on the crucible of evolution, and so begins his remarkable account of how the living world became diverse and how humans are destroying that diversity. Wilson, internationally regarded as the dean of biodiversity studies, conducts us on a tour through time, traces the processes that create new species in bursts of adaptive radiation, and points out the cataclysmic events that have disrupted evolution and diminished global diversity over the past 600 million years. The five enormous natural blows to the planet (such as meteorite strikes and climatic changes) required 10 to 100 million years of evolutionary repair. The sixth great spasm of extinction on earth--caused this time entirely by humans--may be the one that breaks the crucible of life. Wilson identifies this crisis in countless ecosystems around the globe: coral reefs, grasslands, rain forests, and other natural habitats. Drawing on a variety of examples such as the decline of bird populations in the United States, the extinction of many species of freshwater fish in Africa and Asia, and the rapid disappearance of flora and fauna as the rain forests are cut down, he poignantly describes the death throes of the living world's diversity--projected to decline as much as 20 percent by the year 2020. All evidence marshaled here resonates through Wilson's tightly reasoned call for a spirit of stewardship over the world's biological wealth. He makes a plea for specific actions that will enhance rather than diminish not just diversity but the quality of life on earth. Cutting through the tangle of environmental issues that often obscure the real concern, Wilson maintains that the era of confrontation between forces for the preservation of nature and those for economic development is over; he convincingly drives home the point that both aims can, and must, be integrated. Unparalleled in its range and depth, Wilson's masterwork is essential reading for those who care about preserving the world biological variety and ensuring our planet's health.
Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and scientific case study of some of the biologically richest and most endangered ecosystems in North America. Ecologist Reed Noss tells the story of how southern grasslands arose and persisted over time and addresses questions that are fundamental for conserving these vital yet poorly understood ecosystems.The author examines the natural history of southern grasslands, their origin and history (geologic, vegetation, and human), biological hotspots and endangered ecosystems, and physical determinants of grassland distribution, including ecology, soils, landform and hydrology fire, herbivores, and ecological interactions. The final chapter presents a general conservation strategy for southern grasslands, including prioritization, protection, restoration, and management, along with a prognosis for the future.In addition to offering fascinating new information about these little-studied ecosystems, Noss demonstrates how natural history is central to the practice of conservation. Natural history has been on a declining trajectory for decades, as theory and experimentation have dominated the field of ecology. Ecologists are coming to realize that these divergent approaches are in fact complementary, and that pursuing them together can bring greater knowledge and understanding of how the natural world works and how we can best conserve it.Forgotten Grasslands of the South explores the overarching importance of ecological processes in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and is the first book of its kind to apply natural history, in a modern, comprehensive sense, to the conservation of biodiversity across a broad region. It sets a new standard for scientific literature and is essential reading not only for those who study and work to conserve the southern grasslands but also for everyone who is fascinated by the natural world.
Our world is far richer than previously conceived, yet so ravaged by human activity that half its species could be gone by the end of the present century. These two contrasting themes - unexpected magnificence and underestimated peril - have originated during the past two decades of research. In this timely and important new book, one of our greatest living scientists describes exactly what treasures of the natural world we are about to lose forever and what we can do right now to save them. Destruction of natural habitats, the rampant spread of invasive species, pollution, uncontrolled population growth and over harvesting are the main threats to our natural world. Wilson explains how each of these elements works to undo the web of life that supports us, and why it is in our best interests to stop it. The Future of Life is a magisterial accomplishment - both a moving description of the world's astonishing animals and plants and a guidebook for the protection of all its species, including our own.
Definitely philisophical in nature. A scientist/philosophers view of life, nature etc. Not casual reading.
Perhaps more than any other scientist of our century, Edward O. Wilson has scrutinized animals in their natural settings, tweezing out the dynamics of their social organization, their relationship with their environments, and their behavior, not only for what it tells us about the animals themselves, but for what it can tell us about human nature. He has brought the fascinating and sometimes surprising results of these studies to general readers through a remarkable collection of books, including The Diversity of Life, The Ants, On Human Nature, and Sociobiology. The grace and precision with which he writes of seemingly complex topics has earned him two Pulitzer prizes, and the admiration of scientists and general readers around the world.In Search of Nature presents for the first time a collection of Edward O. Wilson's seminal short writings, addressing in brief and eminently readable form the themes that have actively engaged this remarkable intellect throughout his career. The essays' central theme is that wild nature and human nature are closely interwoven, and, not without optimism, Wilson concludes that we are smart enough and have time enough to avoid an environmental catastrophe of civilization-threatening dimensions if we are willing both to redirect our science and technology, and reconsider our self-image as a species.From "the little things that run the world"-- invertebrate species that make life possible for everyone and everything -- to many scientists' emergent belief in the human species' innate affinity for other living things, known as biophilia, Wilson sets forth clear and compelling reasons why humans should concern themselves with species loss.In Search of Nature is a lively and accessible introduction to the writings of one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century. Imaginatively illustrated by noted artist Laura Southworth, it is a book all readers will treasure.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants comes this dynamic and visually spectacular portrait of Earth's ultimate superorganism. The Leafcutter Ants is the most detailed and authoritative description of any ant species ever produced. With a text suitable for both a lay and a scientific audience, the book provides an unforgettable tour of Earth's most evolved animal societies. Each colony of leafcutters contains as many as five million workers, all the daughters of a single queen that can live over a decade. A gigantic nest can stretch thirty feet across, rise five feet or more above the ground, and consist of hundreds of chambers that reach twenty-five feet below the ground surface. Indeed, the leafcutters have parlayed their instinctive civilization into a virtual domination of forest, grassland, and cropland--from Louisiana to Patagonia. Inspired by a section of the authors' acclaimed The Superorganism, this brilliantly illustrated work provides the ultimate explanation of what a social order with a half-billion years of animal evolution has achieved.
Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist Edward O. Wilson imparts the wisdom of his storied career to the next generation. Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Reflecting on his coming-of-age in the South as a Boy Scout and a lover of ants and butterflies, Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career--both his successes and his failures--and his motivations for becoming a biologist. At a time in human history when our survival is more than ever linked to our understanding of science, Wilson insists that success in the sciences does not depend on mathematical skill, but rather a passion for finding a problem and solving it. From the collapse of stars to the exploration of rain forests and the oceans' depths, Wilson instills a love of the innate creativity of science and a respect for the human being's modest place in the planet's ecosystem in his readers.
National Book Award Finalist. How did humanity originate and why does a species like ours exist on this planet? Do we have a special place, even a destiny in the universe? Where are we going, and perhaps, the most difficult question of all, "Why?" In The Meaning of Human Existence, his most philosophical work to date, Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist Edward O. Wilson grapples with these and other existential questions, examining what makes human beings supremely different from all other species. Searching for meaning in what Nietzsche once called "the rainbow colors" around the outer edges of knowledge and imagination, Wilson takes his readers on a journey, in the process bridging science and philosophy to create a twenty-first-century treatise on human existence--from our earliest inception to a provocative look at what the future of mankind portends. Continuing his groundbreaking examination of our "Anthropocene Epoch," which he began with The Social Conquest of Earth, described by the New York Times as "a sweeping account of the human rise to domination of the biosphere," here Wilson posits that we, as a species, now know enough about the universe and ourselves that we can begin to approach questions about our place in the cosmos and the meaning of intelligent life in a systematic, indeed, in a testable way. Once criticized for a purely mechanistic view of human life and an overreliance on genetic predetermination, Wilson presents in The Meaning of Human Existence his most expansive and advanced theories on the sovereignty of human life, recognizing that, even though the human and the spider evolved similarly, the poet's sonnet is wholly different from the spider's web. Whether attempting to explicate "The Riddle of the Human Species," "Free Will," or "Religion"; warning of "The Collapse of Biodiversity"; or even creating a plausible "Portrait of E.T.," Wilson does indeed believe that humanity holds a special position in the known universe. The human epoch that began in biological evolution and passed into pre-, then recorded, history is now more than ever before in our hands. Yet alarmed that we are about to abandon natural selection by redesigning biology and human nature as we wish them, Wilson soberly concludes that advances in science and technology bring us our greatest moral dilemma since God stayed the hand of Abraham.
Edward O. Wilson -- University Professor at Harvard, winner of two Pulitzer prizes, eloquent champion of biodiversity -- is arguably one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. His career represents both a blueprint and a challenge to those who seek to explore the frontiers of scientific understanding. Yet, until now, little has been told of his life and of the important events that have shaped his thought.In Naturalist, Wilson describes for the first time both his growth as a scientist and the evolution of the science he has helped define. He traces the trajectory of his life -- from a childhood spent exploring the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida to life as a tenured professor at Harvard -- detailing how his youthful fascination with nature blossomed into a lifelong calling. He recounts with drama and wit the adventures of his days as a student at the University of Alabama and his four decades at Harvard University, where he has achieved renown as both teacher and researcher.As the narrative of Wilson's life unfolds, the reader is treated to an inside look at the origin and development of ideas that guide today's biological research. Theories that are now widely accepted in the scientific world were once untested hypotheses emerging from one mans's broad-gauged studies. Throughout Naturalist, we see Wilson's mind and energies constantly striving to help establish many of the central principles of the field of evolutionary biology.The story of Wilson's life provides fascinating insights into the making of a scientist, and a valuable look at some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time.
No one who cares about the human future can afford to ignore Edward O. Wilson's book. On Human Nature begins a new phase in the most important intellectual controversy of this generation: Is human behavior controlled by the species' biological heritage? Does this heritage limit human destiny?<P><P> With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, the author of Sociobiology challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. He shows how...evolution has left its traces on the most distinctively human activities, how patterns of generosity, self-sacrifice, and worship, as well as sexuality and aggression, reveal their deep roots in the life histories of primate bands that hunted big game in the last Ice Age. His goal is nothing less than the completion of the Darwinian revolution by bringing biological thought into the center of the social sciences and the humanities.<P> Wilson presents a philosophy that cuts across the usual categories of conservative, liberal, or radical thought. In systematically applying the modern theory of natural selection to human society, he arrives at conclusions far removed from the social Darwinist legacy of the last century. Sociobiological theory, he shows, is compatible with a broadly humane and egalitarian outlook. Human diversity is to be treasured, not merely tolerated, he argues. Discrimination against ethnic groups, homosexuals, and women is based on a complete misunderstanding of biological fact.<P> But biological facts can never take the place of ethical choices. Once we understand our human nature, we must choose how "human" in the fullest, biological sense, we wish to remain. We cannot make this choice with the aid of external guides or absolute ethical principles because our very concept of right and wrong is wholly rooted in our own biological past. This paradox is fundamental to the evolution of consciousness in any species; there is no formula for escaping it. To understand its essence is to grasp the full predicament of the human condition.<P> Pulitzer Prize Winner
"Wilson brilliantly analyzes the force, at once creative and destructive, of our biological inheritance and daringly advances a grand theory of the origins of human culture." -STEPHEN GREENBLATT, author of The Swerve on Edward O. Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth"Hass [is] a philosophically attentive observer, deep thinker, and writer who dazzles and rousts." -Booklist on Robert Hass' What Light Can DoIn this shimmering conversation (the outgrowth of an event co-sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and Poets House), Edward O. Wilson, renowned scientist and proponent of "consilience" or the unity of knowledge, finds an ardent interlocutor in Robert Hass, whose credo as U.S. poet laureate was "imagination makes communities." As they explore the many ways that poetry and science enhance each other, they travel from anthills to ancient Egypt and to the heights and depths of human potential. A testament to how science and the arts can join forces to educate and inspire, it ends in a passionate plea for conservation of all the planet's species.Edward O. Wilson, a biologist, naturalist, and bestselling author, has received more than 100 awards from around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize. A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.Robert Hass' poetry is rooted in the landscapes of his native northern California. He has been awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He is a professor of English at University of California-Berkeley.
Grade 9 Textbook.
First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. "Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters" (Peter Matthiessen, for Time's 100 Most Influential People of the Century).This fortieth anniversary edition celebrates Rachel Carson's watershed book with a new introduction by the author and activist Terry Tempest Williams and a new afterword by the acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, who tells the story of Carson's courageous defense of her truths in the face of ruthless assault from the chemical industry in the year following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death in 1964.
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.
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