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De Evolution

Author: Jeff Frank
Publisher: Page Publishing Inc
ISBN: 1684096626
Size: 11.22 MB
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A large sophisticated telescope complex sits atop a dormant volcano in one of Earth's most remote locations. Some incredibly bright but fiercely independent folks operate it much of the time. They detect, map, and perform threat analysis of near-Earth objects. Shortly after the world narrowly escapes an extinction event, they start collecting pieces of a related cosmic puzzle. When they've connected enough of them, an intriguing and disturbing picture emerges. Yet the most revealing pieces don't reveal themselves until after all life on Earth already has begun marching in lockstep toward possible oblivion.

Evolution

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 1588365387
Size: 69.33 MB
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“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear. In this lively, deeply erudite work, Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J. Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea,” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace, to Watson and Crick’s stunning discovery of the DNA double helix, and to the triumphant neo-Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology today. Along the way, Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective: the social and philosophical earthquake that was the French Revolution; the development, in England, of a laissez-faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world, where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in U.S. public schools, even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directions. Throughout, Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists, explorers, and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward. Here are portraits of Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, Haeckel, Galton, Huxley, Mendel, Morgan, Fisher, Dobzhansky, Watson and Crick, W. D. Hamilton, E. O. Wilson, and many others. Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values, the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life, religion, origins, and the theory itself, and remains controversial, especially in the United States (where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision). Replete with fresh material and new insights, Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery. From the Hardcover edition.

Prehistory

Author: Colin Renfrew
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 1588368084
Size: 38.93 MB
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In Prehistory, the award-winning archaeologist and renowned scholar Colin Renfrew covers human existence before the advent of written records–which is to say, the overwhelming majority of our time here on earth. But Renfrew also opens up to discussion, and even debate, the term “prehistory” itself, giving an incisive, concise, and lively survey of the past, and how scholars and scientists labor to bring it to light. Renfrew begins by looking at prehistory as a discipline, particularly how developments of the past century and a half–advances in archaeology and geology; Darwin’s ideas of evolution; discoveries of artifacts and fossil evidence of our human ancestors; and even more enlightened museum and collection curatorship–have fueled continuous growth in our knowledge of prehistory. He details how breakthroughs such as radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis have helped us to define humankind’s past–how things have changed–much more clearly than was possible just a half century ago. Answers for why things have changed, however, continue to elude us, so Renfrew discusses some of the issues and challenges past and present that confront the study of prehistory and its investigators. In the book’s second part, Renfrew shifts the narrative focus, offering a summary of human prehistory from early hominids to the rise of literate civilization that is refreshingly free from conventional wisdom and grand “unified” theories. The author’s own case studies encompass a vast geographical and chronological range–the Orkney Islands, the Balkans, the Indus Valley, Peru, Ireland, and China–and help to explain the formation and development of agriculture and centralized societies. He concludes with a fascinating chapter on early writing systems, “From Prehistory to History.” In this invaluable, brief account of human development prior to the last four millennia, Colin Renfrew delivers a meticulously researched and passionately argued chronicle about our life on earth, and our ongoing quest to understand it. From the Hardcover edition.

Evolution

Author: Peter J. Bowler
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520236936
Size: 28.35 MB
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The comprehensive and authoritative source on the development and impact on one of the most controversial of scientific theories.

Summer For The Gods

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786721936
Size: 32.74 MB
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In the summer of 1925, the sleepy hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee, became the setting for one of the 20th century's most contentious dramas: the Scopes trial that pit William Jennings Bryan and the anti-Darwinists against a teacher named John Scopes into a famous debate over science, religion, and their place in public education That trial marked the start of a battle that continues to this day-in Dover, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Cobb County, Georgia, and many other cities and states throughout the country. Edward Larson's classic, Summer for the Gods, received the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1998 and is the single most authoritative account of a pivotal event whose combatants remain at odds in school districts and courtrooms. For this edition, Larson has added a new preface that assesses the state of the battle between creationism and evolution, and points the way to how it might potentially be resolved.

Sex Race And Science

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801855115
Size: 21.66 MB
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In the first book to explore the theory and practice of eugenics in the American South, Edward J. Larson shows how the quest for "strong bloodlines"expressed itself in state laws and public policies from the Progressive Era through World War II. Larson shows how the seemingly broad-based eugenics movement was in fact a series of distinct campaigns by small groups of determined individuals for legislation at the state level.

Evolution

Author: Stephen Baxter
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 9780345457844
Size: 58.38 MB
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It’s the job of a science fiction writer to visualize extrapolations of the future. But there are those who go far beyond, venturing into realms of breathtaking science. That kind of cutting edge talent is as rare as a supernova—and, in its own way, just as powerful. Arthur C. Clarke had it. So did William Gibson. Now, with Evolution, Stephen Baxter delivers what is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year—and shows once again why he belongs among the select company of science fiction writers who matter. Stretching from the distant past into the remote future, from primordial Earth to the stars, Evolution is a soaring symphony of struggle, extinction, and survival, a dazzling epic that combines a dozen scientific disciplines and a cast of unforgettable characters to convey the grand drama of evolution in all its awesome majesty and rigorous beauty. Sixty-five million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, lived a small mammal, a proto-primate of the species Purgatorius. From this humble beginning, Baxter traces the human lineage forward through time. The adventure that unfolds is a gripping odyssey governed by chance and competition, a perilous journey to an uncertain destination along a route beset by sudden and catastrophic upheavals. It is a route that ends, for most species, in stagnation or extinction. Why should humanity escape this fate? A generation from today, a group of concerned scientists—distant descendants of that primitive Purgatorius—gathers on a remote island to discuss this very question. The ceaseless expansion of human civilization has triggered an urgent environmental crisis that must be solved now if the Earth is to survive as a place hospitable to human life. But just when a peaceful solution seems within reach, two acts of shocking violence set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events that will expose the limitations of human intellect and adaptability in the face of the blind and implacable processes of Darwin’s dangerous idea. From the Hardcover edition.

Reinventing Darwin

Author: Niles Eldredge
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
ISBN:
Size: 33.81 MB
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An insider's provocative account of one of the most contentious debates in science toda When Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, two of the world's leading evolutionary theorists, proposed a bold new theory of evolution—the theory of "punctuated equilibria"—they stood the standard interpretation of Darwin on its head. They also ignited a furious debate about the true nature of evolution On the one side are the geneticists. They contend that evolution proceeds slowly but surely, driven by competition among organisms to transmit their genes from generation to generation. On the other are the paleontologists, like Eldredge and Gould, who show in the fossil record that in fact evolution proceeds only sporadically. Long periods of no change—equilibria—are "punctuated" by episodes of rapid evolutionary activity. According to the paleontologists, this pattern shows that evolution is driven far more by environmental forces than by genetic competition How can the prevailing views on evolution be so different? In Reinventing Darwin, Niles Eldredge offers a spirited account of the dispute and an impressive case for the paleontologists' side of the story. With the mastery that only a leading contributor to the debate can provide, he charts the course of theory from Darwin's day to the present and explores the fundamental mysteries and crucial questions that underlie the current quarrels Is evolution fired by a gentle and persistent motor and fueled by the survival instincts of "selfish genes"? Or does it proceed in fits and starts, as the fossil record seems to show? What is the role of environmental changes such as habitat destruction and of cataclysmic events like meteor impacts? Are most species inherently stable, changing only very little until they succumb to extinction? Or are species highly adaptable, changing all the time Eldredge sorts through the major findings and interpretations and presents a lively introduction to the leading edge of evolutionary theory today. Reinventing Darwin offers a rare insider's view of the sometimes contentious, but always stimulating work of scientific inquiry PRAISE FOR NILES ELDREDGE'S PREVIOUS BOOK The Miner's Canary: Unraveling the Mysteries of Extinctio "The Miner's Canary rings with integrity. The author takes care to present opposing views. Some readers, indeed, might view Mr. Eldredge as a little too self-effacing; he is, after all, one of the world's leading experts in his field."—The New York Times Book Review Fossils: The Evolution and Extinction of Specie ". . . an important and informative book. It is also delightfully idiosyncratic. This is no scholarly treatise defending academic argument. It is an essay for everyone interested in the story of earthly life."—The Christian Science Monito Life Pulse: Episodes from the Story of the Fossil Record "This is Earth history on a grand scale; those who enjoy the works of Stephen Jay Gould will appreciate Life Pulse."—Publishers Weekl

Species Of Origins

Author: Karl W. Giberson
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1461643465
Size: 11.28 MB
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In Species of Origins, Karl W. Giberson and Donald A. Yerxa examine America's controversial conversation about creation and evolution. While noting that part of the discord stems from the growing cultural and religious diversity of the United States, they argue powerfully that the real issue is the headlong confrontation between two seemingly incompatible worldviews upon which millions of Americans rely: modern naturalistic science and traditional Judeo-Christian religions.

Against The Gods

Author: Peter L. Bernstein
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470534532
Size: 67.83 MB
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A Business Week, New York Times Business, and USA Today Bestseller "Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The New York Times "An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book." -The Wall Street Journal "A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it." -Business Week "Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read." -The Economist "[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world." -Worth "No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement." -Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers "With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today. "An extremely readable history of risk." -Barron's "Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face." -Money "A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement "There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company." -The Australian