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This remarkable book presents a rich and up-to-date view of evolution that explores the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today. After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges -- from lethal resurgence of antiobiotic-resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us -- with a sound understanding of the science.
Covering everything from fossilised dinosaurs to intelligent apes, this is an accessible guide to one of the most important scientific theories of all time. Burt Guttman assumes no prior scientific knowledge on the part of the reader, and explains each of the key ideas and concepts, including natural selection, genetics and the evolution of animal behaviour, in a lively and informative way. Looking ahead to the future of evolutionary theory, and assessing its possible implications for the way we understand morality, human nature and our place in the world, this book provides the perfect starting point for understanding what evolution is and why it matters.
"Evolution and Human Destiny" is a methodical examination of the evolution of living matter in general and the development of man and human society in particular. Raising pertinent questions on whether the road of human development will lead steadily upward, or whether it will be interrupted by severe setbacks with all the attendant sufferings for mankind.
A comprehensive survey of the evolutionary science of human sexual behavior, Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior invites us to imagine human sex from the vantage point of our primate cousins, in order to underscore the role of evolution in shaping all that happens, biologically and behaviorally, when romantic passions are aroused.
The role of genetic inheritance dominates current evolutionary theory. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, several evolutionary theorists independently speculated that learned behaviors could also affect the direction and rate of evolutionary change. This notion was called the Baldwin effect, after the psychologist James Mark Baldwin. In recent years, philosophers and theorists of a variety of ontological and epistemological backgrounds have begun to employ the Baldwin effect in their accounts of the evolutionary emergence of mind and of how mind, through behavior, might affect evolution. The essays in this book discuss the originally proposed Baldwin effect, how it was modified over time, and its possible contribution to contemporary empirical and theoretical evolutionary studies. The topics include the effect of the modern evolutionary synthesis on the notion of the Baldwin effect, the nature and role of niche construction in contemporary evolutionary theory, the Baldwin effect in the context of developmental systems theory, the possible role of the Baldwin effect in computational cognitive science biosemiotics, and the emergence of consciousness and language.
This volume explores from multiple perspectives the subtle and interesting relationship between the theory of rational choice and Darwinian evolution. In rational choice theory, agents are assumed to make choices that maximize their utility; in evolution, natural selection 'chooses' between phenotypes according to the criterion of fitness maximization. So there is a parallel between utility in rational choice theory and fitness in Darwinian theory. This conceptual link between fitness and utility is mirrored by the interesting parallels between formal models of evolution and rational choice. The essays in this volume, by leading philosophers, economists, biologists and psychologists, explore the connection between evolution and rational choice in a number of different contexts, including choice under uncertainty, strategic decision making and pro-social behaviour. They will be of interest to students and researchers in philosophy of science, evolutionary biology, economics and psychology.
Raymond L. Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes rising complexity in life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity to store information with relatively open-ended programs, making learning possible. Portraying four species with high brain-to-body ratios&mdashchimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins&mdashNeubauer shows how each shares with humans the capability for complex communication, social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. He describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that humanity is not the only self-aware species and that human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and are emerging in a variety of lineages on our planet. Neubauer ultimately shows that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an extension of a fundamental strategy that organisms have used since the beginning of life on earth to gather information and buffer themselves from environmental fluctuations. Neubauer also views these processes in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that become more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in "self-organizing" structures in both living and non-living forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. In February 2011, NASA announced that the Kepler space telescope had located fifty-four planets in the habitable zones around their stars. Life makes use of the elements most commonly seeded into space by burning and exploding stars, and the evolution of life and intelligence that occurred on our planet may be common across the universe.
In this collection of essays from leading scholars, the dynamic interplay between evolution and Victorian culture is explored for the first time, mapping new relationships between the arts and sciences. Rather than focusing simply on evolution and literature or art, this volume brings together essays exploring the impact of evolutionary ideas on a wide range of cultural activities including painting, sculpture, dance, music, fiction, poetry, cinema, architecture, theatre, photography, museums, exhibitions and popular culture. Broad-ranging, rather than narrowly specialized, each chapter provides a brief introduction to key scholarship, a central section exploring original insights drawn from primary source material, and a conclusion offering overarching principles and a projection towards further areas of research. Each chapter covers the work of significant individuals and groups applying evolutionary theory to their particular art, both as theorists and practitioners. This comprehensive examination of topics sheds light on larger and previously unknown Victorian cultural patterns.
In his lucid overview of the evolution-creationism debate, a Native American scholar points out that science and religion are divorced only in traditional Western thought. The author of "Custer Died For Your Sins" discusses non-Western belief systems, and cites newer research on animal intelligence as an example of efforts toward a paradigm synthesis. Such phenomena as the ancient astronaut thesis and sacred rocks' power remain to be explained in scientific terms.
What is the biological reason for gossip? For laughter? For the creation of art? Why do dogs have curly tails? What can microbes tell us about morality? These and many other questions are tackled by renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. With stories that entertain as much as they inform, Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin of life to the...
Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population's survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals.
As both individuals and societies, we are making decisions today that will have profound consequences for future generations. From preserving the earth’s plants and animals to altering our use of fossil fuels – none of these decisions can be made wisely without a thorough understanding of life’s history on our planet through biological evolution. Companion to the best selling title Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, Evolution in Hawaii examines evolution and the nature of science by looking at a specific part of the world. Tracing the evolutionary pathways in Hawaii, we are able to draw powerful conclusions about evolution’s occurrence, mechanisms, and courses. This practical book has been specifically designed to give teachers and their students an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of evolution using exercises with real genetic data to explore and investigate speciation and the probable order in which speciation occurred based on the ages of the Hawaiian Islands. By focusing on one set of islands, this book illuminates the general principles of evolutionary biology and demonstrate how ongoing research will continue to expand our knowledge of the natural world.
Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.All because you did the right thing.Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her--not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.From the Hardcover edition.
The institutional development of American legislatures, beginning with the first colonial assembly of 1619, has been marked by continuity as well as change. Peverill Squire draws upon a wealth of primary sources to document this institutional history. Beginning with the ways in which colonial assemblies followed the precedents of British institutions, Squire traces the fundamental ways they evolved to become distinct. He next charts the formation of the first state legislatures and the Constitutional Congress, describes the creation of territorial and new state legislatures, and examines the institutionalization of state legislatures in the nineteenth century and their professionalization since 1900. With his conclusion, Squire discusses the historical trajectory of American legislatures and suggests how they might further develop over the coming decades. While Squire's approach will appeal to historians, his focus on the evolution of rules, procedures, and standing committee systems, as well as member salaries, legislative sessions, staff, and facilities, will be valuable to political scientists and legislative scholars.
In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does.Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary...Praise for the novels of Robin Reardon"Stirring...thoughtful and convincing." -Publishers Weekly on Thinking Straight"A compelling story well worth your time...Reardon is an author to watch." -Bart Yates, author of The Brothers Bishop on A Secret Edge
For too long, American Christianity has been poisoned by a narrowness of mind and spirit, demanding we believe the implausible, affirm the absurd, and despise the different. For many, the concepts of original sin, a God who sends people to hell, and Jesus as the only path to God can no longer be stomached. Thus thoughtful people leave the church in droves, no longer willing to diminish their lives or the lives of others for the sake of faith. But what if there were another way? What if God wanted us to grow and change, both in our theology and our beliefs? In The Evolution of Faith, Philip Gulley invites us to put aside slavish obedience to antiquated faith claims and worldviews that no longer ring true, and discover what we really believe, rather than what we've always been taught. Instead of looking for answers outside ourselves, Gulley encourages us to develop our own apologetics, a belief system open to change. In this paradigm, faith should always be seen as a work in progress. Only when we break free from the tenets of Christianity that no longer further the faith can we create a vital and believable Christianity-a Christianity that brings out the best in us, not the worst; a Christianity at home with people of other faiths; a Christianity grateful for scientific knowledge. This is a Christianity many of us have longed for, but haven't yet found. This book is Gulley's effort to discover a Christianity we, and all the world, can live with.
In this sweeping narrative that takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archaeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright's findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy. He explains why spirituality has a role today, and why science, contrary to conventional wisdom, affirms the validity of the religious quest. And this previously unrecognized evolutionary logic points not toward continued religious extremism, but future harmony. Nearly a decade in the making, The Evolution of God is a breathtaking re-examination of the past, and a visionary look forward.
Drawing specifically on the international climate regime, Simone Schiele examines international environmental regimes from a legal perspective and analyses a core feature of international regimes - their ability to evolve over time. In particular, she develops a theoretical framework based on general international law which allows for a thorough examination of the understanding of international law and the options for law-creation in international environmental regimes. The analysis therefore provides both a coherent understanding of the international climate regime and a starting point for further research in other regimes.
History and current status of human rights.
Examines the relations between logic and philosophy over the last 150 years. Logic underwent a major renaissance beginning in the nineteenth century. Cantor almost tamed the infinite, and Frege aimed to undercut Kant by reducing mathematics to logic. These achievements were threatened by the paradoxes, like Russell's. This ferment generated excellent philosophy (and mathematics) by excellent philosophers (and mathematicians) up to World War II. This book provides a selective, critical history of the collaboration between logic and philosophy during this period. After World War II, mathematical logic became a recognized subdiscipline in mathematics departments, and consequently but unfortunately philosophers have lost touch with its monuments. This book aims to make four of them (consistency and independence of the continuum hypothesis, Post's problem, and Morley's theorem) more accessible to philosophers, making available the tools necessary for modern scholars of philosophy to renew a productive dialogue between logic and philosophy.
This book is concerned with the history of metaphysics since Descartes. Taking as its definition of metaphysics 'the most general attempt to make sense of things', it charts the evolution of this enterprise through various competing conceptions of its possibility, scope and limits. The book is divided into three parts, dealing respectively with the early modern period, the late modern period in the analytic tradition and the late modern period in non-analytic traditions. In its unusually wide range, A. W. Moore's study refutes the tired old cliché that there is some unbridgeable gulf between analytic philosophy and philosophy of other kinds. It also advances its own distinctive and compelling conception of what metaphysics is and why it matters. Moore explores how metaphysics can help us to cope with continually changing demands on our humanity by making sense of things in ways that are radically new.
In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce takes up these controversial questions, finding that the evidence supports an innate basis to human morality. As a moral philosopher, Joyce is interested in whether any implications follow from this hypothesis.
The history of India and its civilization dates back to at least 6500 BC which perhaps makes the oldest surviving civilization in the world.
Research during the past two decades has produced major advances in understanding sleep within particular species. Simultaneously, molecular advances have made it possible to generate phylogenetic trees, while new analytical methods provide the tools to examine macroevolutionary change on these trees. These methods have recently been applied to questions concerning the evolution of distinctive sleep state characteristics and functions. This book synthesizes recent advances in our understanding of the evolutionary origins of sleep and its adaptive function, and it lays the groundwork for future evolutionary research by assessing sleep patterns in the major animal lineages.
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