521 books for genre «Evolution»

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Evolution's Arrow argues that evolution is directional and progressive, and that this has major consequences for humanity. Without resort to teleology, the book demonstrates that evolution moves in the direction of producing cooperative organisations of greater scale and evolvability - evolution has organised molecular processes into cells, cells into organisms, and organisms into societies. The book founds this position on a new theory of the evolution of cooperation. It shows that self-­interest at the level of the genes does not prevent cooperation from increasing as evolution unfolds. Evolution progresses by discovering ways to build cooperative organisations out of self-­interested individuals. The book also shows that evolution itself has evolved. Evolution has progressively improved the ability of evolutionary mechanisms to discover effective adaptations. And it has produced new and better mechanisms. Evolution's Arrow uses this understanding of the direction of evolution to . . .

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How did humans acquire cognitive capacities far more powerful than any hunting-­and-­gathering primate needed to survive? Alfred Russel Wallace, co-­founder with Darwin of evolutionary theory, set humans outside normal evolution. Darwin thought use of language might have shaped our sophisticated brains, but this remained an intriguing guess--­until now. Combining state-­of-­the-­art research with forty years of writing and thinking about language origins, Derek Bickerton convincingly resolves a crucial problem that biology and the cognitive sciences have systematically avoided. Before language or advanced cognition could be born, humans had to escape the prison of the here and now in which animal thinking and communication were both trapped. Then the brain's self-­organization, triggered by words, assembled mechanisms that could link not only words but the concepts those words symbolized--­a process that had to be under conscious control. Those mechanisms could be used equally for . . .

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Eldredge presents the most up-­to-­date examination of the creation-­evolution confrontation available.

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Why do we want—and why do we do—so many things that are bad for us? And how can we stop? In Mean Genes economist Terry Burnham and biologist Jay Phelan offer advice on how to conquer our own worst enemy—our survival-­minded genes. Having evolved in a time of scarcity, when our ancestors struggled to survive in the wild, our genes are poorly adapted to the convenience of modern society. They compel us to overeat, spend our whole paycheck, and cheat on our spouses. But knowing how they work, Burnham and Phelan show that we can trick these "mean genes" into submission and cultivate behaviors that will help us lead better lives. A lively, humorous guide to our evolutionary heritage, Mean Genes illuminates how we can use an understanding of our biology to beat our instincts—before they beat us.

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This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-­year-­old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle .­This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle , precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoy's fundamentalist views and Darwin's discoveries led to FitzRoy's descent into the abyss.­One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey--­wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-­rattling 'origin of the species' discoveries--­was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey--­not because of Darwin's scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give...

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"Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-­creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey.­"--

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This pioneering work, originally published in 1972, was the first to argue irrefutably the equal role of women in human evolution.

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How did life begin? What was 'snowball earth'? Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? Are we all descended from 'African Eve'? Will humans be responsible for the next major extinction? These and many other fundamental questions are addressed in this masterly account of The Story of Life, by eminent biologist and teacher Richard Southwood. The story unfolds with the formation of the earth around four thousand million years ago. Life first emerged a hundred million years later, and it took another fifteen million years for more complex life-­forms to appear. Periods of relative calm were punctuated by five major extinctions, with innumerable minor jolts along the way. Then, five million years ago, an able ape evolved that gradually came to dominate and control the other animals and plants. The future now lies in the hands of this single species, Homo sapiens. In this carefully crafted story, Southwood's love of his subject, and for the life he describes, shines through, to engage and . . .

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Books for genre Evolution