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Books

Evolution


The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition--with a new Introduction by the Author

The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition--with a new Introduction by the Author Lowest new price: $8.25
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Author: Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands of readers to rethink their beliefs about life.
In his internationally bestselling, now classic volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.
This 30th anniversary edition of Dawkins' fascinating book retains all original material, including the two enlightening chapters added in the second edition. In a new Introduction the author presents his thoughts thirty years after the publication of his first and most famous book, while the inclusion of the two-page original Foreword by brilliant American scientist Robert Trivers shows the enthusiastic reaction of the scientific community at that time. This edition is a celebration of a remarkable exposition of evolutionary thought, a work that has been widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights, and that continues to stimulate whole new areas of research today.

Features:

  • ISBN13: 9780199291151
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The Tree Where Man Was Born (Penguin Classics)

The Tree Where Man Was Born (Penguin Classics) Lowest new price: $11.34
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Author: Peter Matthiessen

A timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise

A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published. Peter Matthiessen exquisitely combines nature and travel writing to portray the sights, scenes, and people he observed firsthand in several trips over the course of a dozen years. From the daily lives of wild herdsmen and the drama of predator kills to the field biologists investigating wild creatures and the anthropologists seeking humanity's origins in the rift valley, The Tree Where Man Was Born is a classic of journalistic observation. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by groundbreaking British primatologist Jane Goodall.

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DNA of the Gods: The Anunnaki Creation of Eve and the Alien Battle for Humanity

DNA of the Gods: The Anunnaki Creation of Eve and the Alien Battle for Humanity Lowest new price: $10.76
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Author: Chris H. Hardy Ph.D.

An in-depth study of humanity’s Anunnaki origins and the Anunnaki battle for an intelligent versus enslaved humanity

• Explains the genetic engineering of humanity by an Anunnaki scientist Ninmah

• Shows how the concepts of sin and the inferiority of women arose from Enlil’s will to keep humanity underdeveloped, clashing with Enki’s and Ninmah’s plan to make us equal in intelligence

• Reveals how humanity’s long history of conflict was shaped by the battle between Enki and his brother Enlil

Further developing the revolutionary work of Zecharia Sitchin, Chris Hardy shows that the “gods” of ancient myth, visitors from the planet Nibiru, created us using their own “divine” DNA--first through DNA extraction from their own ribs’ marrow and later by direct relations with early human females. Drawing upon multiple sacred texts, Hardy details the genetic engineering of humanity by Anunnaki scientist Ninmah, with the help of Enki and Hermes. She reveals how Ninmah’s first female human creation, Tiamat/Eve, contained more alien DNA than the earlier male one, Adamu, and how the biblical Noah represents the perfection of her work.

Examining the war between Anunnaki brothers Enki and Enlil, Hardy reveals how the concepts of sin and the inferiority of women were born out of Enlil’s attempts to enslave and then wipe out humanity, repeatedly thwarted by Enki and Ninmah. The author further explains how the sacred sexuality taught to humans--still seen in Tantric practice--became suppressed millennia later by the patriarchal concept of original sin and how innocent Eve took the blame for the expulsion from Eden and fall from Grace.

Showing that the god who created us was not the same god who expelled us from Eden, Hardy explains that there will be no apocalypse because the Good/Evil duality has never truly existed--it has been only enemy gods fighting and implicating humanity in the wake of their own competition for power. With a full psychological understanding of how the ancient “gods” have shaped humanity’s ongoing history of conflict, we can move beyond the framework of “(my) Good versus (your) Evil” imposed by Enlil and begin to steer our own planetary destiny.

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The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease Lowest new price: $15.79
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Author: Daniel Lieberman
Brand: Pantheon

In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman—chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field—gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.
 
The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.
 
While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of “dysevolution,” a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally—provocatively—he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment.

(With charts and line drawings throughout.)

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Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain Lowest new price: $6.86
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Author: Maryanne Wolf

"Human beings were never born to read," writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child's life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.

Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today's technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.

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The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition Lowest new price: $3.14
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Author: Charles Darwin

The classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.



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The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology Lowest new price: $11.71
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Author: Ray Kurzweil

For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

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The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic

The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic Lowest new price: $13.50
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Author: Jonathan Rottenberg

Nearly every depressed person is assured by doctors, well-meaning friends and family, the media, and ubiquitous advertisements that the underlying problem is a chemical imbalance. Such a simple defect should be fixable, yet despite all of the resources that have been devoted to finding a pharmacological solution, depression remains stubbornly widespread. Why are we losing this fight?

In this humane and illuminating challenge to defect models of depression, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg argues that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion. In other words, it is a low mood gone haywire. Drawing on recent developments in the science of mood—and his own harrowing depressive experience as a young adult—Rottenberg explains depression in evolutionary terms, showing how its dark pull arises from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors ensure their survival. Moods, high and low, evolved to compel us to more efficiently pursue rewards. While this worked for our ancestors, our modern environment—in which daily survival is no longer a sole focus—makes it all too easy for low mood to slide into severe, long-lasting depression.

Weaving together experimental and epidemiological research, clinical observations, and the voices of individuals who have struggled with depression, The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures—and makes a strong case for de-stigmatizing this increasingly common condition. In so doing, Rottenberg offers hope in the form of his own and other patients’ recovery, and points the way towards new paths for treatment.

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The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (P.S.)

The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (P.S.) Lowest new price: $5.05
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Author: Jared M. Diamond

The Development of an Extraordinary Species

We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet -- having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art -- while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? In this fascinating, provocative, passionate, funny, endlessly entertaining work, renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning author and scientist Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world . . . and the means to irrevocably destroy it.

Jared Diamond states the theme of his book up-front: "How the human species changed, within a short time, from just another species of big mammal to a world conqueror; and how we acquired the capacity to reverse all that progress overnight." The Third Chimpanzee is, in many ways, a prequel to Diamond's prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns examines "the fates of human societies," this work surveys the longer sweep of human evolution, from our origin as just another chimpanzee a few million years ago. Diamond writes:

It's obvious that humans are unlike all animals. It's also obvious that we're a species of big mammal down to the minutest details of our anatomy and our molecules. That contradiction is the most fascinating feature of the human species.

The chapters in The Third Chimpanzee on the oddities of human reproductive biology were later expanded in Why Is Sex Fun? Here, they're linked to Diamond's views of human psychology and history.

Diamond is officially a physiologist at UCLA medical school, but he's also one of the best birdwatchers in the world. The current scientific consensus that "primitive" humans created ecological catastrophes in the Pacific islands, Australia, and the New World owes a great deal to his fieldwork and insight. In Diamond's view, the current global ecological crisis isn't due to modern technology per se, but to basic weaknesses in human nature. But, he says, "I'm cautiously optimistic. If we will learn from our past that I have traced, our own future may yet prove brighter than that of the other two chimpanzees." --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design Lowest new price: $9.99
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Author: Stephen C. Meyer

When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.  

In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

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