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Biology

AGE OF EMPATHY: NATURE'S LESSONS FOR A KINDER SOCIETY

AGE OF EMPATHY: NATURE'S LESSONS FOR A KINDER SOCIETY

Author: DE WAAL, FRANS
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In this thought-provoking book, the acclaimed author of Our Inner Ape examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans.

Are we our brothers' keepers? Do we have an instinct for compassion? Or are we, as is often assumed, only on earth to serve our own survival and interests?

By studying social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution, Frans de Waal demonstrates that animals-and humans-are "preprogrammed to reach out." He has found that chimpanzees care for mates that are wounded by leopards, elephants offer "reassuring rumbles" to youngsters in distress, and dolphins support sick companions near the water's surface to prevent them from drowning. From day one humans have innate sensitivities to faces, bodies, and voices; we've been designed to feel for one another.

De Waal's theory runs counter to the assumption that humans are inherently selfish, which can be seen in the fields of politics, law, and finance. But he cites the public's outrage at the U.S. government's lack of empathy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a significant shift in perspective-one that helped Barack Obama become elected and ushered in what perhaps could become an Age of Empathy. Through a better understanding of empathy's survival value in evolution, de Waal suggests, we can work together toward a more just society based on a more generous and accurate view of human nature.

Written in layman's prose with a wealth of anecdotes, wry humor, and incisive intelligence, The Age of Empathy is essential reading for our embattled times.

"An important and timely message about the biological roots of human kindness."--Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape

ANIMAL BEAUTY: ON THE EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL AESTHETICS

ANIMAL BEAUTY: ON THE EVOLUTION OF BIOLOGICAL AESTHETICS

Author: NUSSLEIN-VOLHARD, CHRISTIANE
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An illustrated exploration of colors and patterns in the animal kingdom, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals.

Are animals able to appreciate what humans refer to as "beauty"? The term scarcely ever appears nowadays in a scientific description of living things, but we humans may nonetheless find the colors, patterns, and songs of animals to be beautiful in apparently the same way that we see beauty in works of art. In Animal Beauty, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard describes how the colors and patterns displayed by animals arise, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Watercolor drawings illustrate these amazing instances of animal beauty.

Darwin addressed the topic of ornament in his 1871 book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and did not hesitate to engage with criteria of beauty, convinced that animals experienced color and ornament as attractive and agreeable in the same way that we do, and that the role this played in mate choice pointed to a "sexual selection" distinct from natural selection. Nüsslein-Volhard examines key examples of ornament and sexual selection in the animal kingdom and lays the groundwork for biological aesthetics. Noting that color patterns have not been a research priority--perhaps because they appeared to be nonessential luxuries rather than functional necessities--Nüsslein-Volhard looks at recent scientific developments on the topic. In part because of Nüsslein-Volhard's own research on the zebrafish, it is now possible to decipher the molecular genetic mechanisms that lead to production of colors in animal skin and its appendages and control its pattern and distribution.

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ANIMAL VIRUSES AND HUMANS, A NARROW DIVIDE

Author: ANDIMAN, WARREN A.
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"Frighteningly fascinating."--Booklist

"Gripping stories, filled with details that are in equal part delicious and disgusting, but always fascinating."--Lisa Sanders, MD, author of Every Patient Tells a Story and the New York Times Magazine "Diagnosis" column

"To reproduce promiscuously and to wreak havoc wherever they can find a home," this is the sole raison d'être of viruses writes Dr. Warren Andiman, an HIV/AIDS researcher who has been on the front lines battling infectious diseases for over forty years. In Animal Viruses and Humans: A Narrow Divide, Andiman traces the history of eight zoonotic viruses --deadly microbes that have made the leap directly from animals to human populations: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Swine influenza, Hantavirus, Monkeypox, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Rabies, Ebola, and Henipaviruses (Nipah and Hendra). He also illustrates the labor intensive and fascinating detective work that infectious disease specialists must do to uncover the source of an outbreak.

Andiman also looks to the future, envisioning the effects on zoonoses (diseases caused by zoonotic viruses) of climate change, microenvironmental damage, population shifts, and globalization. He reveals the steps that we can, and must, take to stem the spread of animal viruses, explaining, "The zoonoses I've chosen to write about . . . are meant to describe only a small sample of what is already out there but, more menacingly, what is inevitably on its way, in forms we can only imagine."

Warren Andiman, MD is professor emeritus of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Yale Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN

ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN

Author: GRANDIN, TEMPLE
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The best-selling animal advocate Temple Grandin offers the most exciting exploration of how animals feel since The Hidden Life of Dogs.

In her groundbreaking and best-selling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her distinguished career as an animal scientist to deliver extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest life--on their terms, not ours.

It's usually easy to pinpoint the cause of physical pain in animals, but to know what is causing them emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals. Then she explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals. Whether it's how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures.

Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience.

This is essential reading for anyone who's ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.

ANT AND THE PEACOCK

ANT AND THE PEACOCK

Author: CRONIN, HELENA
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The "ant" and the "peacock" stand for two puzzles in Darwinism--altruism and sexual selection. How can natural selection favor those, such as the worker ant, that renounce tooth and claw in favor of the public-spirited ways of the commune? And how can "peacocks"--flamboyant, ornamental and apparently useless--be tolerated by the grimly economical Darwinian reaper? Helena Cronin has a deep understanding of today's answers to these riddles and their roots in the nineteenth century; the analysis is new and exciting and the explanations lucid and compelling.
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APPETITE FOR WONDER, AN: THE MAKING OF A SCIENTIST

Author: DAWKINS, RICHARD
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An Appetite for Wonder is a disarming account of world-famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins's early life, from his childhood in colonial East Africa to the writing of one of the twentieth century's seminal works, The Selfish Gene.

ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE?

ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE?

Author: DE WAAL, FRANS
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Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition--in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos--to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal--and human--intelligence.

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BIOLOGY AS IDEOLOGY

Author: LEWONTIN, RICHARD C.
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Following in the fashion of Stephen Jay Gould and Peter Medawar, one of the world's leading scientists examines how pure science is in fact shaped and guided by social and political needs and assumptions.
BLIND WATCHMAKER: WHY THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION REVEALS A UNIVERSE WITHOUT DESIGN

BLIND WATCHMAKER: WHY THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION REVEALS A UNIVERSE WITHOUT DESIGN

Author: DAWKINS, RICHARD
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The Blind Watchmaker is the seminal text for understanding evolution today. In the eighteenth century, theologian William Paley developed a famous metaphor for creationism: that of the skilled watchmaker. In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins crafts an elegant riposte to show that the complex process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automatic. If natural selection can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is a blind one--working without foresight or purpose.

In an eloquent, uniquely persuasive account of the theory of natural selection, Dawkins illustrates how simple organisms slowly change over time to create a world of enormous complexity, diversity, and beauty.

BLUEPRINT: HOW DNA MAKES US WHO WE ARE

BLUEPRINT: HOW DNA MAKES US WHO WE ARE

Author: PLOMIN, ROBERT
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A top behavioral geneticist makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.

In Blueprint, behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin describes how the DNA revolution has made DNA personal by giving us the power to predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses from birth. A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent lifelong sources of our psychological individuality--the blueprint that makes us who we are. Plomin reports that genetics explains more about the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Nature, not nurture, is what makes us who we are. Plomin explores the implications of these findings, drawing some provocative conclusions--among them that parenting styles don't really affect children's outcomes once genetics is taken into effect. This book offers readers a unique insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology. The paperback edition has a new afterword by the author.

BONOBO AND THE ATHEIST: IN SEARCH OF HUMANISM AMONG THE PRIMATES

BONOBO AND THE ATHEIST: IN SEARCH OF HUMANISM AMONG THE PRIMATES

Author: DE WAAL, FRANS
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For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a "Johnny-come-lately" role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy.

But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book's title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life?

Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Ever a pioneering thinker, de Waal delivers a heartening and inclusive new perspective on human nature and our struggle to find purpose in our lives.

BOUNDARIES OF HUMANITY

BOUNDARIES OF HUMANITY

Author: SHEEHAN
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To the age-old debate over what it means to be human, the relatively new fields of sociobiology and artificial intelligence bring new, if not necessarily compatible, insights. What have these two fields in common? Have they affected the way we define humanity? These and other timely questions are addressed with colorful individuality by the authors of The Boundaries of Humanity.

Leading researchers in both sociobiology and artificial intelligence combine their reflections with those of philosophers, historians, and social scientists, while the editors explore the historical and contemporary contexts of the debate in their introductions. The implications of their individual arguments, and the often heated controversies generated by biological determinism or by mechanical models of mind, go to the heart of contemporary scientific, philosophical, and humanistic studies.

BREASTS: A NATURAL AND UNNATURAL HISTORY

BREASTS: A NATURAL AND UNNATURAL HISTORY

Author: WILLIAMS, FLORENCE
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In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.

CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO DARWIN

Author: HODGE, JONATHAN
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The naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin (1809-82) ranks as one of the most influential scientific thinkers of all time. In the nineteenth century his ideas about the history and diversity of life - including the evolutionary origin of humankind - contributed to major changes in the sciences, philosophy, social thought and religious belief. The Cambridge Companion to Darwin has established itself as an indispensable resource for anyone teaching or researching Darwin's theories and their historical and philosophical interpretations. Its distinguished team of contributors examines Darwin's main scientific ideas and their development; Darwin's science in the context of its times; the influence of Darwinian thought in recent philosophical, social and religious debate; and the importance of Darwinian thought for the future of naturalist philosophy. For this second edition, coverage has been expanded to include two new chapters: on Darwin, Hume and human nature, and on Darwin's theories in the intellectual long run, from the pre-Socratics to the present.
CHEMISTRY: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

CHEMISTRY: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

Author: ATKINS, PETER
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Most people remember chemistry from their schooldays as largely incomprehensible, a subject that was fact-rich but understanding-poor, smelly, and so far removed from the real world of events and pleasures that there seemed little point, except for the most introverted, in coming to terms with its grubby concepts, spells, recipes, and rules. Peter Atkins wants to change all that.

In this Very Short Introduction to Chemistry, he encourages us to look at chemistry anew, through a chemist's eyes, in order to understand its central concepts and to see how it contributes not only towards our material comfort, but also to human culture. Atkins shows how chemistry provides the infrastructure of our world, through the chemical industry, the fuels of heating, power generation, and transport, as well as the fabrics of our clothing and furnishings.

By considering the remarkable achievements that chemistry has made, and examining its place between both physics and biology, Atkins presents a fascinating, clear, and rigorous exploration of the world of chemistry - its structure, core concepts, and exciting contributions to new cutting-edge technologies.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

CRACKING THE GENOME

CRACKING THE GENOME

Author: DAVIES, KEVIN
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In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the double helix structure of DNA. The discovery was a profound moment in the history of science, but solving the structure of the genetic material did not reveal what the human genome sequence actually was, or what it says about who we are. Cracking the code of life would take another half a century.

In 2001, two rival teams of scientists shared the acclaim for sequencing the human genome. Kevin Davies, founding editor of Nature Genetics, has relentlessly followed the story as it unfolded week by week since the dawn of the Human Genome Project in 1990. Here, in rich human and scientific detail, is the compelling story of one of the greatest scientific feats ever accomplished: the sequencing of the human genome.

In brilliant, accessible prose, Davies captures the drama of this momentous achievement, drawing on his own genetics expertise and on interviews with the key scientists. Davies details the fraught rivalry between the public consortium, chaperoned by Francis Collins, and Celera Genomics, directed by sequencer J. Craig Venter. And in this newly updated edition, Davies sheds light on the secrets of the sequence, highlighting the myriad ways in which genomics will impact human health for the generations to come.

Cracking the Genome is the definitive, balanced account of how the code that holds the answer to the origin of life, the evolution of humanity, and the future of medicine was finally broken.

DARWIN AND DESIGN

DARWIN AND DESIGN

Author: RUSE, MICHAEL
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The intricate forms of living things bespeak design, and thus a creator: nearly 150 years after Darwin's theory of natural selection called this argument into question, we still speak of life in terms of design--the function of the eye, the purpose of the webbed foot, the design of the fins. Why is the argument from design so tenacious, and does Darwinism--itself still evolving after all these years--necessarily undo it?

The definitive work on these contentious questions, Darwin and Design surveys the argument from design from its introduction by the Greeks, through the coming of Darwinism, down to the present day. In clear, non-technical language Michael Ruse, a well-known authority on the history and philosophy of Darwinism, offers a full and fair assessment of the status of the argument from design in light of both the advances of modern evolutionary biology and the thinking of today's philosophers--with special attention given to the supporters and critics of intelligent design.

The first comprehensive history and exposition of Western thought about design in the natural world, this important work suggests directions for our thinking as we move into the twenty-first century. A thoroughgoing guide to a perennially controversial issue, the book makes its own substantial contribution to the ongoing debate about the relationship between science and religion, and between evolution and its religious critics.

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DARWIN'S ARMADA

Author: MCCALMAN, IAIN
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Award-winning cultural historian Iain McCalman tells the stories of Charles Darwin and his staunchest supporters: Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace. Beginning with the somber morning of April 26, 1882--the day of Darwin's funeral--Darwin's Armada steps back and recounts the lives and scientific discoveries of each of these explorers, who campaigned passionately in the war of ideas over evolution and advanced the scope of Darwin's work.

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DARWIN'S GHOSTS: The Secret History of Evolution

Author: STOTT, REBECCA
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

"[An] extraordinarily wide-ranging and engaging book [about] the men who shaped the work of Charles Darwin . . . a book that enriches our understanding of how the struggle to think new thoughts is shared across time and space and people."--The Sunday Telegraph (London)

Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears. Yet when he tried to trace all of the natural philosophers who had laid the groundwork for his theory, he found that history had already forgotten many of them.

Darwin's Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle, walking the shores of Lesbos with his pupils, to Al-Jahiz, an Arab writer in the first century, from Leonardo da Vinci, searching for fossils in the mine shafts of the Tuscan hills, to Denis Diderot in Paris, exploring the origins of species while under the surveillance of the secret police, and the brilliant naturalists of the Jardin de Plantes, finding evidence for evolutionary change in the natural history collections stolen during the Napoleonic wars. Evolution was not discovered single-handedly, Rebecca Stott argues, contrary to what has become standard lore, but is an idea that emerged over many centuries, advanced by daring individuals across the globe who had the imagination to speculate on nature's extraordinary ways, and who had the courage to articulate such speculations at a time when to do so was often considered heresy.

With each chapter focusing on an early evolutionary thinker, Darwin's Ghosts is a fascinating account of a diverse group of individuals who, despite the very real dangers of challenging a system in which everything was presumed to have been created perfectly by God, felt compelled to understand where we came from. Ultimately, Stott demonstrates, ideas--including evolution itself--evolve just as animals and plants do, by intermingling, toppling weaker notions, and developing over stretches of time. Darwin's Ghosts presents a groundbreaking new theory of an idea that has changed our very understanding of who we are.

Praise for Darwin's Ghosts

"Absorbing . . . Stott captures the breathless excitement of an investigation on the cusp of the unknown. . . . A lively, original book."--The New York Times Book Review

"Stott's research is broad and unerring; her book is wonderful. . . . An exhilarating romp through 2,000 years of fascinating scientific history."--Nature

"Stott brings Darwin himself to life. . . . [She] writes with a novelist's flair. . . . Darwin and the 'ghosts' so richly described in Ms. Stott's enjoyable book are the descendants of Aristotle and Bacon and the ancestors of today's scientists."--The Wall Street Journal

"Riveting . . . Stott has done a wonderful job in showing just how many extraordinary people had speculated on where we came from before the great theorist dispelled all doubts."--The Guardian (U.K.)

DARWIN'S ORIGIN OF SPECIES: A Biography

DARWIN'S ORIGIN OF SPECIES: A Biography

Author: BROWNE, JANET
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Charles Darwin's foremost biographer, Janet Browne, delivers a vivid and accessible introduction to the book that permanently altered our understanding of what it is to be human. A sensation on its publication in 1859, The Origin of the Species profoundly shocked Victorian readers by calling into question the belief in a Creator with its description of evolution through natural selection. And Darwin's seminal work is nearly as controversial today. In her illuminating study, Browne delves into the long genesis of Darwin's theories, from his readings as a university student and his five-year voyage on the Beagle, to his debates with contemporaries and experiments in his garden. She explores the shock to Darwin when he read of competing scientist's similar discoveries and the wide and immediate impact of Darwin's theories on the world. As one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press' "Books That Changed the World" series, Browne's history takes readers inside The Origin of the Species and shows why it can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published.
DESCENT OF MAN

DESCENT OF MAN

Author: DARWIN, CHARLES
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Applying his controversial theory of evolution to the origins of the human species, Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man was the culmination of his life's work.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin refused to discuss human evolution, believing the subject too 'surrounded with prejudices'. He had been reworking his notes since the 1830s, but only with trepidation did he finally publish The Descent of Man in 1871. The book notoriously put apes in our family tree and made the races one family, diversified by 'sexual selection' - Darwin's provocative theory that female choice among competing males leads to diverging racial characteristics. Named by Sigmund Freud as 'one of the ten most significant books' ever written, Darwin's Descent of Man continues to shape the way we think about what it is that makes us uniquely human.

In their introduction, James Moore and Adrian Desmond, acclaimed biographers of Charles Darwin, call for a radical re-assessment of the book, arguing that its core ideas on race were fired by Darwin's hatred of slavery. The text is the second and definitive edition and this volume also contains suggestions for further reading, a chronology and biographical sketches of prominent individuals mentioned.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

DESCENT OF MAN PART 1

DESCENT OF MAN PART 1

Author: DARWIN, CHARLES
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Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) has been widely recognized since his own time as one of the most influential writers in the history of Western thought. His books were widely read by specialists and the general public, and his influence had been extended by almost continuous public debate over the past 150 years. New York University Press's new paperback edition makes it possible to review Darwin's public literary output as a whole, plus his scientific journal articles, his private notebooks, and his correspondence.
This is complete edition contains all of Darwin's published books, featuring definitive texts recording original pagination with Darwin's indexes retained. The set also features a general introduction and index, and introductions to each volume.

DESCENT OF MAN PART 2

DESCENT OF MAN PART 2

Author: DARWIN, CHARLES
$35.00
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Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) has been widely recognized since his own time as one of the most influential writers in the history of Western thought. His books were widely read by specialists and the general public, and his influence had been extended by almost continuous public debate over the past 150 years. New York University Press's new paperback edition makes it possible to review Darwin's public literary output as a whole, plus his scientific journal articles, his private notebooks, and his correspondence.
This is complete edition contains all of Darwin's published books, featuring definitive texts recording original pagination with Darwin's indexes retained. The set also features a general introduction and index, and introductions to each volume.

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DIVERSITY OF LIFE

Author: WILSON, EDWIN
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In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction the disappearance of whole species is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the loss of biodiversity is a far more complex problem and it is irreversible. Defining a new environmental ethic, Wilson explains why we must rescue whole ecosystems, not only individual species. He calls for an end to conservation versus development arguments, and he outlines the massive shift in priorities needed to address this challenge. No writer, no scientist, is more qualified than Edward O. Wilson to describe, as he does here, the grandeur of evolution and what is at stake. "Engaging and nontechnical prose. . . . Prodigious erudition. . . . Original and fascinating insights." John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, front page review "Eloquent. . . . A profound and enduring contribution." Alan Burdick, Audubon"
DOES ALTRUISM EXIST?: CULTURE, GENES, AND THE WELFARE OF OTHERS

DOES ALTRUISM EXIST?: CULTURE, GENES, AND THE WELFARE OF OTHERS

Author: WILSON, DAVID SLOAN
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A powerful treatise that demonstrates the existence of altruism in nature, with surprising implications for human society

Does altruism exist? Or is human nature entirely selfish? In this eloquent and accessible book, famed biologist David Sloan Wilson provides new answers to this age-old question based on the latest developments in evolutionary science.

From an evolutionary viewpoint, Wilson argues, altruism is inextricably linked to the functional organization of groups. "Groups that work" undeniably exist in nature and human society, although special conditions are required for their evolution. Humans are one of the most groupish species on earth, in some ways comparable to social insect colonies and multi-cellular organisms. The case that altruism evolves in all social species is surprisingly simple to make.

Yet the implications for human society are far from obvious. Some of the most venerable criteria for defining altruism aren't worth caring much about, any more than we care much whether we are paid by cash or check. Altruism defined in terms of thoughts and feelings is notably absent from religion, even though altruism defined in terms of action is notably present. The economic case for selfishness can be decisively rejected. The quality of everyday life depends critically on people who overtly care about the welfare of others. Yet, like any other adaptation, altruism can have pathological manifestations. Wilson concludes by showing how a social theory that goes beyond altruism by focusing on group function can help to improve the human condition.

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EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A BIOGRAPHY OF CANCER

Author: MUKHERJEE, SIDDHARTHA
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer--from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with--and perished from--for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive--and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

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ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL: NEW SCIENCE OF EVO DEVO

Author: CARROLL, SEAN
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For over a century, opening the black box of embryonic development was the holy grail of biology. Evo Devo--Evolutionary Developmental Biology--is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll explains how we are discovering that complex life is ironically much simpler than anyone ever expected.
EPIDEMICS AND SOCIETY: FROM THE BLACK DEATH TO THE PRESENT

EPIDEMICS AND SOCIETY: FROM THE BLACK DEATH TO THE PRESENT

Author: SNOWDEN, FRANK M.
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A "brilliant and sobering" (Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal) look at the history and human costs of pandemic outbreaks

As seen on "60 Minutes"

The World Economic Forum #1 book to read for context on the coronavirus outbreak

This sweeping exploration of the impact of epidemic diseases looks at how mass infectious outbreaks have shaped society, from the Black Death to today, and in a new preface addresses the global threat of COVID-19. In a clear and accessible style, Frank M. Snowden reveals the ways that diseases have not only influenced medical science and public health, but also transformed the arts, religion, intellectual history, and warfare.

A multidisciplinary and comparative investigation of the medical and social history of the major epidemics, this volume touches on themes such as the evolution of medical therapy, plague literature, poverty, the environment, and mass hysteria. In addition to providing historical perspective on diseases such as smallpox, cholera, and tuberculosis, Snowden examines the fallout from recent epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola and the question of the world's preparedness for the next generation of diseases.

ESSAY ON CLASSIFICATION

ESSAY ON CLASSIFICATION

Author: AGASSIZ, LOUIS
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A major influence on the development of American scientific culture, Swiss-born Louis Agassiz (1807-73) was one of the great scientists of his day. A student of anatomist Georges Cuvier, Agassiz adapted his teacher's pioneering techniques of comparative anatomy to paleontology, and he rose to prominence as a distinguished systematist, paleontologist, and educator. Agassiz introduced science to ordinary citizens to an unprecedented degree; people around the world read his books, sent him specimens, and consulted his opinion.
Agassiz was also a staunch opponent of the theory of evolution, and he was among the last of the reputable scientists who continued to reject the concept after the publication of The Origin of the Species. All of nature bore testimony to a divine plan, Agassiz believed, and he could not reconcile himself to a theory that did not invoke God's design. Ironically, his 1851 Essay on Classification provided Darwin and other evolutionists with evidence from the fossil record to support the theory of natural selection.
A treasure of historically valuable insights that contributed to the development of evolutionary biology, this volume introduced the landmark contention that paleontology, embryology, ecology, and biogeography are inextricably linked in classifications that reveal the true relationships between organisms. Its emphasis on advanced and original work gave major impetus to the study of science directly from nature, and it remains a classic of American scientific literature.
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EVER SINCE DARWIN: Reflections in Natural History

Author: GOULD, STEPHEN JAY
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More than any other modern scientist, Stephen Jay Gould has opened up to millions the wonders of evolutionary biology. His genius as an essayist lies in his unmatched ability to use his knowledge of the world, including popular culture, to illuminate the realm of science.
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EVOLUTION FOR EVERYONE: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

Author: WILSON, DAVID SLOAN
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With stories that entertain as much as they inform, renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, when properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin of life to the nature of religion.

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 Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. Now everyone can move beyond the sterile debates about creationism and intelligent design to share Darwin's panoramic view of animal and human life, seamlessly connected to each other.

Evolution, as Wilson explains, is not just about dinosaurs and human origins, but about why all species behave as they do--from beetles that devour their own young, to bees that function as a collective brain, to dogs that are smarter in some respects than our closest ape relatives. And basic evolutionary principles are also the foundation for humanity's capacity for symbolic thought, culture, and morality.

In example after example, Wilson sheds new light on Darwin's grand theory and how it can be applied to daily life. By turns thoughtful, provocative, and daringly funny, Evolution for Everyone addresses some of the deepest philosophical and social issues of this or any age. In helping us come to a deeper understanding of human beings and our place in the world, it might also help us to improve that world.

EVOLUTION IN FOUR DIMENSIONS: GENETIC, EPIGENETIC, BEHAVIORAL, AND SYMBOLIC VARIATION IN THE HISTORY OF LIFE

EVOLUTION IN FOUR DIMENSIONS: GENETIC, EPIGENETIC, BEHAVIORAL, AND SYMBOLIC VARIATION IN THE HISTORY OF LIFE

Author: JABLONKA, EVA
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A pioneering proposal for a pluralistic extension of evolutionary theory, now updated to reflect the most recent research.

This new edition of the widely read Evolution in Four Dimensions has been revised to reflect the spate of new discoveries in biology since the book was first published in 2005, offering corrections, an updated bibliography, and a substantial new chapter. Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb's pioneering argument proposes that there is more to heredity than genes. They describe four "dimensions" in heredity--four inheritance systems that play a role in evolution: genetic, epigenetic (or non-DNA cellular transmission of traits), behavioral, and symbolic (transmission through language and other forms of symbolic communication). These systems, they argue, can all provide variations on which natural selection can act.

Jablonka and Lamb present a richer, more complex view of evolution than that offered by the gene-based Modern Synthesis, arguing that induced and acquired changes also play a role. Their lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski's lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors' points. Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors refine their arguments against the vigorous skepticism of the fictional "I.M." (for Ipcha Mistabra--Aramaic for "the opposite conjecture"). The extensive new chapter, presented engagingly as a dialogue with I.M., updates the information on each of the four dimensions--with special attention to the epigenetic, where there has been an explosion of new research.

Praise for the first edition

"With courage and verve, and in a style accessible to general readers, Jablonka and Lamb lay out some of the exciting new pathways of Darwinian evolution that have been uncovered by contemporary research."
--Evelyn Fox Keller, MIT, author of Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines

"In their beautifully written and impressively argued new book, Jablonka and Lamb show that the evidence from more than fifty years of molecular, behavioral and linguistic studies forces us to reevaluate our inherited understanding of evolution."
--Oren Harman, The New Republic

"It is not only an enjoyable read, replete with ideas and facts of interest but it does the most valuable thing a book can do--it makes you think and reexamine your premises and long-held conclusions."
--Adam Wilkins, BioEssays

EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: HOW DARWIN'S FORGOTTEN THEORY OF MATE CHOICE SHAPES THE ANIMAL WORLD - AND US

EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: HOW DARWIN'S FORGOTTEN THEORY OF MATE CHOICE SHAPES THE ANIMAL WORLD - AND US

Author: PRUM, RICHARD O.
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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences--what Darwin termed the taste for the beautiful--create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?
Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum--reviving Darwin's own views--thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons--for the mere pleasure of it--is an independent engine of evolutionary change.
Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.
The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

EVOLUTION UNDERGROUND: BURROWS, BUNKERS, AND THE MARVELOUS SUBTERRANEAN WORLD BENEATH OUR FEET

EVOLUTION UNDERGROUND: BURROWS, BUNKERS, AND THE MARVELOUS SUBTERRANEAN WORLD BENEATH OUR FEET

Author: MARTIN, ANTHONY J.
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Humans have gone underground for survival for thousands of years, from underground cities in Turkey to Cold War-era bunkers. But our burrowing roots go back to the very beginnings of animal life on Earth. Many animal lineages alive now--including our own--only survived a cataclysmic meteorite strike 65 million years ago because they went underground.On a grander scale, the chemistry of the planet itself had already been transformed many millions of years earlier by the first animal burrows which altered whole ecosystems. Every day we walk on an earth filled with an underground wilderness teeming with life. Most of this life stays hidden, yet these animals and their subterranean homes are ubiquitous, ranging from the deep sea to mountains, from the equator to the poles. Burrows are a refuge from predators, a safe home for raising young, or a tool to ambush prey. Burrows also protect animals against all types of natural disasters. Filled with spectacularly diverse fauna, acclaimed paleontologist and ichnologist Anthony Martin reveals this fascinating, hidden world that will continue to influence and transform life on this planet.
EVOLUTION'S RAINBOW: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People

EVOLUTION'S RAINBOW: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People

Author: ROUGHGARDEN, JOAN
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In this innovative celebration of diversity and affirmation of individuality in animals and humans, Joan Roughgarden challenges accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation. A distinguished evolutionary biologist, Roughgarden takes on the medical establishment, the Bible, social science--and even Darwin himself. She leads the reader through a fascinating discussion of diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including primates. Evolution's Rainbow explains how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in all aspects of body and behavior. Roughgarden reconstructs primary science in light of feminist, gay, and transgender criticism and redefines our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality. This is a witty, playful, and daring book that has revolutionized our understanding of sexuality.
EVOLUTION: THE FIRST FOUR BILLION YEARS

EVOLUTION: THE FIRST FOUR BILLION YEARS

Author: RUSE, MICHAEL
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Spanning evolutionary science from its inception to its latest findings, from discoveries and data to philosophy and history, this book is the most complete, authoritative, and inviting one-volume introduction to evolutionary biology available. Clear, informative, and comprehensive in scope, Evolution opens with a series of major essays dealing with the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology, with major empirical and theoretical questions in the science, from speciation to adaptation, from paleontology to evolutionary development (evo devo), and concluding with essays on the social and political significance of evolutionary biology today.

A second encyclopedic section travels the spectrum of topics in evolution with concise, informative, and accessible entries on individuals from -Aristotle and Linneaus to Louis Leakey and Jean Lamarck; from T. H. Huxley and E. O. Wilson to Joseph Felsenstein and Motoo Kimura; and on subjects from altruism and amphibians to evolutionary psychology and Piltdown Man to the Scopes trial and social Darwinism. Readers will find the latest word on the history and philosophy of evolution, the nuances of the science itself, and the intricate interplay among evolutionary study, religion, philosophy, and -society.

Appearing at the beginning of the Darwin Year of 2009--the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species--this volume is a fitting tribute to the science Darwin set in motion.

EVOLUTION: The History of an Idea

EVOLUTION: The History of an Idea

Author: BOWLER, PETER
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Since its original publication in 1989, Evolution: The History of an Idea has been recognized as a comprehensive and authoritative source on the development and impact of this most controversial of scientific theories. This twentieth anniversary edition is updated with a new preface examining recent scholarship and trends within the study of evolution.
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EVOLUTIONARY WRITINGS INCLUDING THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Author: DARWIN, CHARLES
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This unique anthology brings together a marvelous collection of Darwin's most accessible and significant writings, providing the most fully rounded picture of his ideas to be found in a single volume. This marvelous book presents readers with the key chapters of his most important books, including excerpts from the Journal of Researches on the Beagle voyage (1845), the Origin of Species (1859), and the Descent of Man (1871), along with the full, authoritative text of Darwin's delightful autobiography Recollections. These writings are accompanied by generous selections of responses from Darwin's nineteenth-century readers, providing a keen sense of the original controversy sparked by his ideas. The wide-ranging Introduction by James A. Secord explores the global impact and origins of Darwin's work and the reasons for its unparalleled significance today. The book also includes a map of the Beagle's voyage, a biographical appendix identifying everyone mentioned in the texts, illustrations from the Journal of Researches, and an index. This generous collection of Darwin's finest writings will make a superb introduction to ideas that truly changed the world.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
EVOLVING OURSELVES: REDESIGNING THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY--ONE GENE AT A TIME

EVOLVING OURSELVES: REDESIGNING THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY--ONE GENE AT A TIME

Author: ENRIQUEZ, JUAN
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An eye-opening, mind-bending exploration of how mankind is reshaping its genetic future, based on the viral TED Talk series "Will Our Kids Be a Different Species?" and "The Next Species of Human."

Are you willing to engineer the DNA of your unborn children and grand-children to be healthier? Better looking? More intelligent? Why are rates of autism, asthma, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer and having far fewer kids?

Futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution for all species--sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example:

- What if life forms are limited only by the bounds of our imagination? Are designer babies and pets, de-extinction, even entirely newspecies fair game?

- As humans, animals, and plants become ever more resistant to disease and aging, what will become the leading causes of death?

- Man-machine interfaces may allow humans to live much longer. What will happen when we transfer parts of our "selves" into clones, into stored cells and machines?

Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. Future humans, perhaps a more diverse, resilient, gentler, and intelligent species, may become better caretakers of the planet--but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth.

Chosen by Nature magazine as a Fall 2016 season highlight.

EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMAL

EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMAL

Author: DARWIN, CHARLES
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In this highly readable study, one of the great pioneers of modern science examines how people and animals display varieties of emotions via their facial expressions. British naturalist Charles Darwin -- who expounded the theory of evolution by natural selection, the principle that launched a scientific revolution -- based this survey on his personal observations. Most of his findings were proven by later research, and today's behavioral scientists continue to draw upon this work for both knowledge and inspiration.
A bestseller when it was first published in 1872, Darwin's inquiry addresses issues related to human origins and psychology in terms of evolutionary values. His methods include the study of facial expressions in infants and children, the insane, animals, painting and sculpture, and among people in different cultures. Also notable is the fact that this is one of the first books to employ photographs in the interests of science. Abounding in anecdotes and literary quotations, the work offers a direct approach that makes it accessible to professionals and amateurs alike -- in fact, to anyone with an inquiring mind.
EXPRESSIVENESS OF THE BODY AND DIVERGENCE OF GREEK AND CHINESE MEDICINE

EXPRESSIVENESS OF THE BODY AND DIVERGENCE OF GREEK AND CHINESE MEDICINE

Author: KURIYAMA, SHINGEHISA
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The true structure and workings of the human body are, we casually assume, everywhere the same, a universal reality. But when we look into the past, our sense of reality wavers: accounts of the body in diverse medical traditions often seem to describe mutually alien, almost unrelated worlds. How can perceptions of something as basic and intimate as the body differ so? In this book, Shigehisa Kuriyama explores this fundamental question, elucidating the fascinating contrasts between the human body described in classical Greek medicine and the body as envisaged by physicians in ancient China. Revealing how perceptions of the body and conceptions of personhood are intimately linked, his comparative inquiry invites us, indeed compels us, to reassess our own habits of feeling and perceiving.

The Expressiveness of the Body was awarded the 2001 Welch Medal by the American Association for the History of Medicine.

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EYE: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

Author: LAND, MICHAEL F.
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The eye is one of the most remarkable achievements of evolution, and has evolved up to 40 times in different parts of the animal kingdom. In humans, vision is one of the most important senses, and much of the brain is given over to the processing of visual information. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Land describes the evolution of vision and the variety of eyes found in both humans and animals. He explores the evolution of color vision in primates, and the workings of the human eye to consider how it contributes to our visual ability. He explains how we see in three dimensions and the basic principles of visual perception, including our impressive capacity for pattern recognition and the ability of vision to guide action.
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FLAMINGO'S SMILE

Author: GOULD, STEPHEN JAY
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Evolutionary theory is the theme that binds together these essays on such seemingly disparate topics as the feeding habits of flamingos, flowers and snails that change from male to female and sometimes back again, and the extinction from baseball of the .400 hitter.
FLESH OF MY FLESH: The Ethics of Cloning Humans

FLESH OF MY FLESH: The Ethics of Cloning Humans

Author: PENCE, GREGORY
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One of the first books of its kind, "Flesh of My Flesh" is a collection of articles by today's most respected scientists, philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, and law professors about whether we should allow human cloning. This is a fascinating and comprehensive look at perspectives on this important and complex issue.
FOSSIL CHRONICLES: HOW TWO CONTROVERSIAL DISCOVERIES CHANGED OUR VIEW OF HUMAN EVOLUTION

FOSSIL CHRONICLES: HOW TWO CONTROVERSIAL DISCOVERIES CHANGED OUR VIEW OF HUMAN EVOLUTION

Author: FALK, DEAN
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Two discoveries of early human relatives, one in 1924 and one in 2003, radically changed scientific thinking about our origins. Dean Falk, a pioneer in the field of human brain evolution, offers this fast-paced insider's account of these discoveries, the behind-the-scenes politics embroiling the scientists who found and analyzed them, and the academic and religious controversies they generated. The first is the Taung child, a two-million-year-old skull from South Africa that led anatomist Raymond Dart to argue that this creature had walked upright and that Africa held the key to the fossil ancestry of our species. The second find consisted of the partial skeleton of a three-and-a-half-foot-tall woman, nicknamed Hobbit, from Flores Island, Indonesia. She is thought by scientists to belong to a new, recently extinct species of human, but her story is still unfolding. Falk, who has studied the brain casts of both Taung and Hobbit, reveals new evidence crucial to interpreting both discoveries and proposes surprising connections between this pair of extraordinary specimens.
FUTURE OF LIFE

FUTURE OF LIFE

Author: WILSON, EDWARD O.
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One of the world s most important scientists, Edward O. Wilson is also an abundantly talented writer who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. In this, his most personal and timely book to date, he assesses the precarious state of our environment, examining the mass extinctions occurring in our time and the natural treasures we are about to lose forever. Yet, rather than eschewing doomsday prophesies, he spells out a specific plan to save our world while there is still time. His vision is a hopeful one, as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary. Eloquent, practical and wise, this book should be read and studied by anyone concerned with the fate of the natural world."
GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY

GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY

Author: MUKHERJEE, SIDDHARTHA
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The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller
The basis for the PBS Ken Burns Documentary The Gene: An Intimate History

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies--a fascinating history of the g

GENESIS: THE DEEP ORIGIN OF SOCIETIES

GENESIS: THE DEEP ORIGIN OF SOCIETIES

Author: WILSON, EDWARD O.
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An "endlessly fascinating" (Michael Ruse) work of scientific thought and synthesis, Genesis is Edward O. Wilson's twenty-first-century statement on Darwinian evolution. Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Wilson demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behavior is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. At least seventeen of these species--among them the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp--have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation. Braiding twenty-first- century scientific theory with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations for which Wilson is beloved, Genesis is "a magisterial history of social evolution, from clouds of midges or sparrows to the grotesqueries of ant colonies" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

GOD DELUSION

GOD DELUSION

Author: DAWKINS, RICHARD
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Discovery" magazine has recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwins Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. In his "New York Times" bestseller, Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
GOOD ENOUGH: THE TOLERANCE FOR MEDIOCRITY IN NATURE AND SOCIETY

GOOD ENOUGH: THE TOLERANCE FOR MEDIOCRITY IN NATURE AND SOCIETY

Author: MILO, DANIEL S.
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In this spirited and irreverent critique of Darwin's long hold over our imagination, a distinguished philosopher of science makes the case that, in culture as well as nature, not only the fittest survive: the world is full of the "good enough" that persist too.

Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we've embraced a faulty conception of how evolution--and human society--really works.

Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin's concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due--to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply.

But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives--as in the rest of nature--is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.