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Human Natures

Author: Paul R. Ehrlich
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781559637794
Size: 64.90 MB
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Explores the impact and inconsistancies of human evolution upon human nature, examining the physical, intellectual, cultural, and sexual aspects of human development and behaviors in the light of current scientific theory.

Human Natures

Author: Paul R. Ehrlich
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597262668
Size: 31.85 MB
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The Bell Curve, The Moral Animal, The Selfish Gene -- these and a host of other books and articles have made a seemingly overwhelming case that our genes determine our behavior. Now, in a new book that is sure to stir controversy, one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists shows why most of those claims of genetic destiny cannot be true, and explains how the arguments often stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution itself. "You can't change human nature," the saying goes. But you can, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich shows us in Human Natures, and in fact, evolution is the story of those changing natures. He makes a compelling case that "human nature" is not a single, unitary entity, but is as diverse as humanity itself, and that changes in culture and other environmental variations play as much of a role in human evolution as genetic changes. We simply don't have enough genes to specify behavior at the level that is often asserted. Never has knowledge of our evolutionary past been more important to our future. Developing intelligent strategies for antibiotic use, pest control, biodiversity protection -- and even for establishing more equitable social arrangements -- all depend on understanding evolution and how it works. Using personal anecdote, vivid example, and stimulating narrative, Ehrlich guides us through the thicket of controversies over what science can and cannot say about the influence of our evolutionary past on everything from race to religion, from sexual orientation to economic development. A major work of synthesis and scholarship, Human Natures gives us the fruit of a lifetime's thought and research on evolution and environment by a modern master of scientific understanding. Ehrlich's innovative vision lights the way to a fresh view of human nature and evolution, bringing insight and clarity to urgent questions of where we are as a species, and where we may be headed.

Human Natures

Author: Paul R. Ehrlich
Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780142000533
Size: 35.91 MB
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A primer on human genetics and evolution argues that human nature is not so much the result of genetic coding, but rather is heavily influenced by cultural conditioning and environmental factors. Reprint.

The Annihilation Of Nature

Author: Gerardo Ceballos
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421417189
Size: 66.35 MB
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This book shows us the face of Earth’s sixth great mass extinction, revealing that this century is a time of darkness for the world’s birds and mammals. In The Annihilation of Nature, three of today’s most distinguished conservationists tell the stories of the birds and mammals we have lost and those that are now on the road to extinction. These tragic tales, coupled with eighty-three color photographs from the world’s leading nature photographers, display the beauty and biodiversity that humans are squandering. Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich serve as witnesses in this trial of human neglect, where the charge is the massive and escalating assault on living things. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy. Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world’s wild birds and mammals. Thousands of populations have already disappeared, other populations are dwindling daily, and soon our descendants may live in a world containing but a minuscule fraction of the birds and mammals we know today. The Annihilation of Nature is a clarion call for engagement and action. These outspoken scientists urge everyone who cares about nature to become personally connected to the victims of our inadequate conservation efforts and demand that restoration replace destruction. Only then will we have any hope of preventing the worst-case scenario of the sixth mass extinction.

Nature Revealed

Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801883293
Size: 27.82 MB
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Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson is one of the leading biologists and philosophical thinkers of our time. In this compelling collection, Wilson's observations range from the tiny glands of ants to the nature of the living universe. Many of the pieces are considered landmarks in evolutionary biology, ecology, and behavioral biology. Wilson explores topics as diverse as slavery in ants, the genetic basis of societal structure, the discovery of the taxon cycle, the original formulation of the theory of island biogeography, a critique of subspecies as a unit of classification, and the conservation of life's diversity. Each article is presented in its original form, dating from Wilson's first published article in 1949 to his most recent exploration of the natural world. Preceding each piece is a brief essay by Wilson that explains the context in which the article was written and provides insights into the scientist himself and the debates of the time. This collection enables us to share Wilson's various vantage points and to view the complexities of nature through his eyes. Wilson aficionados, along with readers discovering his work for the first time, will find in this collection a world of beauty, complexity, and challenge.

The Culture Of Extinction

Author: Frederic L. Bender
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN:
Size: 59.63 MB
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Global warming, air and water pollution, ozone-layer depletion, species extinction—these are all the results of what philosopher Frederic L. Bender calls our "culture of extinction." In this probing analysis of the basic cultural assumptions and historical factors that have led to the current dire ecological situation, Bender argues that our only chance of avoiding imminent disaster is to recognize and then change the destructive trends in contemporary culture that will surely be our undoing if left unchecked. Bender criticizes many of industrial society's basic assumptions, for example, that we humans are superior to animals, that the Bible justifies our dominion over the Earth, or that we are evolution's highest products. He also reveals the underlying connections between mechanistic science and Earth's devastation under capitalism, and he points out that major modernist philosophies, from Bacon and Descartes to 20th-century empiricism, are in the service of the culture of extinction. Assessing the major trends within contemporary environmentalism, he offers a critical, yet sympathetic, analysis of deep ecology and argues for its rigorous and more inclusive reformulation. Finally, Bender explores deep ecology's affinities with the nondualist worldviews found, for example, in East Asian and Buddhist philosophy, in Native American spirituality, and in Spinoza's philosophy. In conclusion, he offers a way of integrating many insights of the different environmentalist movements and discusses practical steps to put the culture of extinction behind us.

In Search Of Nature

Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597269174
Size: 73.87 MB
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Perhaps more than any other scientist of our century, Edward O. Wilson has scrutinized animals in their natural settings, tweezing out the dynamics of their social organization, their relationship with their environments, and their behavior, not only for what it tells us about the animals themselves, but for what it can tell us about human nature. He has brought the fascinating and sometimes surprising results of these studies to general readers through a remarkable collection of books, including The Diversity of Life, The Ants, On Human Nature, and Sociobiology. The grace and precision with which he writes of seemingly complex topics has earned him two Pulitzer prizes, and the admiration of scientists and general readers around the world. In Search of Nature presents for the first time a collection of Edward O. Wilson’s seminal short writings, addressing in brief and eminently readable form the themes that have actively engaged this remarkable intellect throughout his career. The essays’ central theme is that wild nature and human nature are closely interwoven, and, not without optimism, Wilson concludes that we are smart enough and have time enough to avoid an environmental catastrophe of civilization-threatening dimensions if we are willing both to redirect our science and technology, and reconsider our self-image as a species. From "the little things that run the world"-- invertebrate species that make life possible for everyone and everything -- to many scientists’ emergent belief in the human species' innate affinity for other living things, known as biophilia, Wilson sets forth clear and compelling reasons why humans should concern themselves with species loss.In Search of Nature is a lively and accessible introduction to the writings of one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century. Imaginatively illustrated by noted artist Laura Southworth, it is a book all readers will treasure.

The Cultural Animal

Author: Roy F. Baumeister
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199727392
Size: 54.92 MB
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This book provides a coherent explanation of human nature, which is to say how people think, act, and feel, what they want, and how they interact with each other. The central idea is that the human psyche was designed by evolution to `nable people to create and sustain culture.

Our Posthuman Future

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847653707
Size: 20.46 MB
Format: PDF
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Is a baby whose personality has been chosen from a gene supermarket still a human? If we choose what we create what happens to morality? Is this the end of human nature? The dramatic advances in DNA technology over the last few years are the stuff of science fiction. It is now not only possible to clone human beings it is happening. For the first time since the creation of the earth four billion years ago, or the emergence of mankind 10 million years ago, people will be able to choose their children's' sex, height, colour, personality traits and intelligence. It will even be possible to create 'superhumans' by mixing human genes with those of other animals for extra strength or longevity. But is this desirable? What are the moral and political consequences? Will it mean anything to talk about 'human nature' any more? Is this the end of human beings? Our Posthuman Future is a passionate analysis of the greatest political and moral problem ever to face the human race.

Is Human Nature Obsolete

Author: Harold W. Baillie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262524285
Size: 71.71 MB
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An interdisciplinary exploration of whether modern genetics and bioengineering are leading us to a posthuman future.