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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.
¿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.
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.
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.
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.
In his new Preface E. O. Wilson reflects on how he came to write this book: how "The Insect Societies" led him to write "Sociobiology," and how the political and religious uproar that engulfed that book persuaded him to write another book that would better explain the relevance of biology to the understanding of human behavior.
"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 6 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.
New York Times Bestseller From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career. Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends "the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first" (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls "a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition," Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a "great blessing and a terrible curse" (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth's biosphere.
View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities"
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