The Red Queen

Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141965452

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 6731

Sex is as fascinating to scientists as it is to the rest of us. A vast pool of knowledge, therefore, has been gleaned from research into the nature of sex, from the contentious problem of why the wasteful reproductive process exists at all, to how individuals choose their mates and what traits they find attractive. This fascinating book explores those findings, and their implications for the sexual behaviour of our own species. It uses the Red Queen from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – who has to run at full speed to stay where she is – as a metaphor for a whole range of sexual behaviours. The book was shortlisted for the 1994 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books. ‘Animals and plants evolved sex to fend off parasitic infection. Now look where it has got us. Men want BMWs, power and money in order to pair-bond with women who are blonde, youthful and narrow-waisted ... a brilliant examination of the scientific debates on the hows and whys of sex and evolution’ Independent.

The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062296027

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 838

The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

The Agile Gene

How Nature Turns on Nurture

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062200887

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 3433

Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature-versus-nurture debate in a thoughtful book about the roots of human behavior. Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. With the decoding of the human genome, we now know that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues, and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.

Liars and Outliers

Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

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Author: Bruce Schneier

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118239016

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 2814

In today's hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms of trust is crucial. Issues of trust are critical to solving problems as diverse as corporate responsibility, global warming, and the political system. In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explain how society induces trust. He shows the unique role of trust in facilitating and stabilizing human society. He discusses why and how trust has evolved, why it works the way it does, and the ways the information society is changing everything.

Evolution and Human Behavior

Darwinian Perspectives on Human Nature

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Author: John Cartwright

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262531702

Category: Psychology

Page: 376

View: 6066

The book covers fundamental issues such as the origins and function of sexual reproduction, mating behavior, human mate choice, patterns of violence in families, altruistic behavior, the evolution of brain size and the origins of language, the modular mind, and the relationship between genes and culture.

Sociology in Perspective

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Author: Mark Kirby

Publisher: Heinemann

ISBN: 9780435331603

Category: Sociology

Page: 831

View: 5771

This text, specifically for AQA specifications, is designed to be easy and encouraging for students to use. The book contains updated material and activities together with a new chapter on study skills. It also indicates clearly where activities meet the new evidence requirements for key skills.

Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction in Evolutionary Narratives

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Author: Venla Oikkonen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136200177

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 3501

Since the early 1990s, evolutionary psychology has produced widely popular visions of modern men and women as driven by their prehistoric genes. In Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction in Evolutionary Narratives, Venla Oikkonen explores the rhetorical appeal of evolutionary psychology by viewing it as part of the Darwinian narrative tradition. Refusing to start from the position of dismissing evolutionary psychology as reactionary or scientifically invalid, the book examines evolutionary psychologists’ investments in such contested concepts as teleology and variation. The book traces the emergence of evolutionary psychological narratives of gender, sexuality and reproduction, encompassing: Charles Darwin’s understanding of transformation and sexual difference Edward O. Wilson’s evolutionary mythology and the evolution-creationism controversy Richard Dawkins’ molecular agency and new imaging technologies the connections between adultery, infertility and homosexuality in adaptationist thought. Through popular, literary and scientific texts, the book identifies both the imaginative potential and the structural weaknesses in evolutionary narratives, opening them up for feminist and queer revision. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of the humanities and social sciences, particularly in gender studies, cultural studies, literature, sexualities, and science and technology studies.

Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives E-Book

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Author: Jane Coad,Melvyn Dunstall

Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences

ISBN: 0702045934

Category: Medical

Page: 472

View: 7740

Anatomy & Physiology for Midwives 3rd edition builds on the success of the first two editions with electronic ancillaries, more accessible, woman-centred language and strengthened links with good practice. The book provides a thorough review of anatomy and physiology applicable to midwifery, from first principles through to current research, utilizing case studies for reflection. A comprehensive and well-illustrated textbook that is an essential purchase for all students of midwifery.

The Adam Smith Review

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Author: Fonna Forman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135092559

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 7408

Adam Smith’s contribution to economics is well-recognised but in recent years scholars have been exploring anew the multidisciplinary nature of his works. The Adam Smith Review is a refereed annual review that provides a unique forum for interdisciplinary debate on all aspects of Adam Smith’s works, his place in history, and the significance of his writings to the modern world. It is aimed at facilitating debate between scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, thus emulating the reach of the Enlightenment world which Smith helped to shape. The seventh volume of the series contains contributions from specialists across a range of disciplines, including Christopher Berry, Maureen Harkin, Edith Kuiper, N.B. Leddy, Catriona Seth, Henry C. Clarke, Deidre Dawson, Dionysios Drosos, Ioannis A.Tassopoulos, Jeremy Jennings, Ryan Patrick Hanley, Fotini Vaki, Spiros Tegos, Nicholas J. Theocarakis, Chandran Kukathas, Donald Winch, Fonna Forman, Craig Smith, Nicholas Phillipson, Chad Flanders, Emily Nacol, Andrea Radasanu, Rachel Zuckert, Michael L. Fraser, Ian S. Ross, Daniel B. Klein, Douglas J. Den Uyl, James A. Harris, Geoffrey Kellow, Paul Dumouchel, Jan Horst Keppler, Paul Oslington, Adrian Walsh, Spencer J. Pack, and Dennis C. Rasmussen. Topics examined include: Smith and Women Adam Smith in Greece Nicholas Phillipson's Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life Michael L. Fraser's The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today

Breaking the Spell

Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

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Author: Daniel C. Dennett

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101218860

Category: Religion

Page: 464

View: 2160

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.