Evolution for Everyone

Author: David Sloan Wilson

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 9780440336808

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 477

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: What Everyone Needs to Know

Author: Robin Dunbar

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190922894

Category: Science

Page: 289

View: 801

After two centuries of intensive scientific effort, we now have the luxury of a theory that provides a general explanation for that richness, often in quite considerable detail. That theory is Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's theory is famous for two reasons. One is that it is the second most successful theory in the history of science (after quantum theory in physics) in terms of its ability both to explain what we see in the natural world and to stimulate new ideas and research that have uncovered rich seams of novel findings. The second has been its ability, as a theory, to provide a unifying framework for a disparate array of disciplines that do not always see themselves as natural allies. That array includes not just the various life sciences (ecology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and animal behaviour), but also "hard" sciences like chemistry, the softer sciences like medicine, sociology, anthropology and economics, and even the humanities. History, linguistics, literature - all fall under the purview of evolutionary theory"--
The Neighborhood Project

Author: David Sloan Wilson

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 9780316175258

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 430

After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth. Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own. Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy. With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics, The Neighborhood Project is a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.
The Neighborhood Project

Author: David Sloan Wilson

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 9780316175258

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 156

After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth. Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own. Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy. With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics, The Neighborhood Project is a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.
This View of Life

Author: David Sloan Wilson

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9781101870211

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 310

It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.
Life in the Market Ecosystem

Author: Stuart K. Hayashi

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739186695

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 777

View: 224

Life in the Market Ecosystem, the second book in the Nature of Liberty trilogy, confronts evolutionary psychology head on. It describes the evolutionary psychologists’ theory of gene-culture co-evolution, which states that although customs and culture are not predetermined by anyone’s genetic makeup, one’s practice of a custom can influence the likelihood of that person having children and grandchildren. Therefore, according to the theory, customs count as evolutionary adaptations. Extending that theory further, as entire systems of political economy—capitalism, socialism, and hunter-gatherer subsistence—consist of multiple customs and institutions, it follows that an entire political-economic system can likewise be classified as an evolutionary adaptation. Considering that liberal-republican capitalism has, insofar as the system has been implemented, done more to reduce the mortality rate and secure human fertility than other models of societal structure, it stands to reason that liberal-republican capitalism is itself a beneficent evolutionary adaptation. Moreover, as essential tenets of Rand’s Objectivism—individualism, observation-based rationality, and peaceable self-interest—have been integral to the development of the capitalist ecosystem, important aspects of the Objectivism are worthwhile adaptations as well. This book shall uphold that position, as well as combat critiques by evolutionary psychologists and environmentalists who denounce capitalism as self-destructive. Instead, capitalism is the most sustainable and fairest political model. This book argues that of all the philosophies, Objectivism is the one that is most fit for humanity.
Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite

Author: Robert Kurzban

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691154398

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 871

The evolutionary psychology behind human inconsistency We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind. Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves. This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a "self" with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no "I." Instead, each of us is a contentious "we"--a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world. In clear language, full of wit and rich in examples, Kurzban explains the roots and implications of our inconsistent minds, and why it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.
Friends

Author: Robin Dunbar

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 9781408711729

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 797

'Fascinating...In essence, the number and quality of our friendships may have a bigger influence on our happiness, health and mortality risk than anything else in life save for giving up smoking' Guardian, Book of the Day Friends matter to us, and they matter more than we think. The single most surprising fact to emerge out of the medical literature over the last decade or so has been that the number and quality of the friendships we have has a bigger influence on our happiness, health and even mortality risk than anything else except giving up smoking. Robin Dunbar is the world-renowned psychologist and author who famously discovered Dunbar's number: how our capacity for friendship is limited to around 150 people. In Friends, he looks at friendship in the round, at the way different types of friendship and family relationships intersect, or at the complex of psychological and behavioural mechanisms that underpin friendships and make them possible - and just how complicated the business of making and keeping friends actually is. Mixing insights from scientific research with first person experiences and culture, Friends explores and integrates knowledge from disciplines ranging from psychology and anthropology to neuroscience and genetics in a single magical weave that allows us to peer into the incredible complexity of the social world in which we are all so deeply embedded. Working at the coalface of the subject at both research and personal levels, Robin Dunbar has written the definitive book on how and why we are friends.
Not Everyone Calls Me Father

Author: Edwin Daschbach

Publisher: Society of the Divine Word (SVD)

ISBN: 0966452518

Category: Appalachian Region

Page: 182

View: 784

"77 Articles/columns offering a contextualist understanding of scripture - in response to fundamentalism - explaining catholic belief and addressing ethical subjects. Centrist biblical scholarship and up-to-date theology used throughout - many of the articles were essentially columns in appalachian weeklies, a summary for people on-the-go."
Darwin in der Stadt Die rasante Evolution der Tiere im Großstadtdschungel

Author: Menno Schilthuizen

Publisher: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag

ISBN: 9783423434454

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 672

Echtzeitevolution: ein neuer Blick auf das geheime Leben der Städte Amseln sind größer, dicker und lauter als ihre Artgenossen draußen im Wald und haben jede Scheu vor Menschen, Hunden und Katzen verloren. Regenwürmer kommen bestens zurecht in verdreckter Innenstadterde. Motten fliegen nicht mehr ins Licht. Gras gedeiht prächtig auf zinkdurchsetztem Boden. Und Kojoten warten an Ampeln. Tiere legen ererbte Verhaltensweisen ab. Man kann Evolution in Echtzeit beobachten, und das mitten in der Stadt. Das ist das große Wunder, das in diesem Buch gewürdigt wird.