"Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection." His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.
One of the New York Public Library's "25 Books to Remember" for 1999
Homosexuality in its myriad forms has been scientifically documented in more than 450 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and other animals worldwide. Biological Exuberance is the first comprehensive account of the subject, bringing together accurate, accessible, and nonsensationalized information. Drawing upon a rich body of zoological research spanning more than two centuries, Bruce Bagemihl shows that animals engage in all types of nonreproductive sexual behavior. Sexual and gender expression in the animal world displays exuberant variety, including same-sex courtship, pair-bonding, sex, and co-parenting—even instances of lifelong homosexual bonding in species that do not have lifelong heterosexual bonding.
Part 1, "A Polysexual, Polygendered World," begins with a survey of homosexuality, transgender, and nonreproductive heterosexuality in animals and then delves into the broader implications of these findings, including a valuable perspective on human diversity. Bagemihl also examines the hidden assumptions behind the way biologists look at natural systems and suggests a fresh perspective based on the synthesis of contemporary scientific insights with traditional knowledge from indigenous cultures.
Part 2, "A Wondrous Bestiary," profiles more than 190 species in which scientific observers have noted homosexual or transgender behavior. Each profile is a verbal and visual "snapshot" of one or more closely related bird or mammal species, containing all the documentation required to support the author's often controversial conclusions.
Lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched, filled with fascinating facts and astonishing descriptions of animal behavior, Biological Exuberance is a landmark book that will change forever how we look at nature.
And yet the idea of innate limits—of biology as destiny—dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."
This classic work of scientific literature, presenting the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, is still both relevant and controversial in the twenty-first century.
THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:
A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related
In the Madre de Dios—Mother of God—region of Peru, where the Amazon River begins its massive flow, the Andean Mountain cloud forests fall into lowland Amazon Rainforest, creating the most biodiversity-rich place on the planet. In January 2006, when he was just a restless eighteen-year-old hungry for adventure, Paul Rosolie embarked on a journey to the west Amazon that would transform his life.
Venturing alone into some of the most inaccessible reaches of the jungle, he encountered giant snakes, floating forests, isolated tribes untouched by outsiders, prowling jaguars, orphaned baby anteaters, poachers in the black market trade in endangered species, and much more. Yet today, the primordial forests of the Madre de Dios are in danger from developers, oil giants, and gold miners eager to exploit its natural resources.
In Mother of God, this explorer and conservationist relives his amazing odyssey exploring the heart of this wildest place on earth. When he began delving deeper in his search for the secret Eden, spending extended periods in isolated solitude, he found things he never imagined could exist. “Alone and miniscule against a titanic landscape I have seen the depths of the Amazon, the guts of the jungle where no men go, Rosolie writes. “But as the legendary explorer Percy Fawcett warned, ‘the few remaining unknown places of the world exact a price for their secrets.’”
Illustrated with 16 pages of color photos.
Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes.
A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.
In The Wolf's Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of "trophic cascades" and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinating and wide-ranging work provides clear explanations of the science surrounding keystone predators and considers how this notion can help provide practical solutions for restoring ecosystem health and functioning.
Eisenberg examines both general concepts and specific issues, sharing accounts from her own fieldwork to illustrate and bring to life the ideas she presents. She considers how resource managers can use knowledge about trophic cascades to guide recovery efforts, including how this science can be applied to move forward the bold vision of rewilding the North American continent. In the end, the author provides her own recommendations for local and landscape-scale applications of what has been learned about interactive food webs.
At their most fundamental level, trophic cascades are powerful stories about ecosystem processes—of predators and their prey, of what it takes to survive in a landscape, of the flow of nutrients. The Wolf's Tooth is the first book to focus on the vital connection between trophic cascades and restoring biodiversity and habitats, and to do so in a way that is accessible to a diverse readership.
This profound and elegant book derives both its title and its outlook from Samuel Butler’s 1863 essay, “Darwin Among the Machines.” Observing the beginnings of miniaturization, self-reproduction, and telecommunication among machines, Butler predicted that nature’s intelligence, only temporarily subservient to technology, would resurface to claim our creations as her own. Updating Butler’s arguments, Dyson distills the historical record to chronicle the origins of digital telecommunications and the evolution of digital computers, beginning long before the time of Darwin and exploring the limits of Darwinian evolution to suggest what lies beyond. Weaving a cohesive narrative of his brilliant predecessors, Dyson constructs a straightforward, convincing, and occasionally frightening view of the evolution of mind in the global network, on a level transcending our own. Dyson concludes that we are in the midst of an experiment that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life.
Just as the exchange of coded molecular instructions brought life as we know it to the early earth’s primordial soup, and as language and mind combined to form the culture in which we live, so, in the digital universe, are computer programs and worldwide networks combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured. Nature, argues Dyson, is on the side of the machines.
Developed at MIT in collaboration with award-winning high school teachers, BioBuilder teaches the foundational ideas of the emerging synthetic biology field, as well as key aspects of biological engineering that researchers are exploring in labs throughout the world. These lessons will empower teachers and students to explore and be part of solving persistent real-world challenges.Learn the fundamentals of biodesign and DNA engineeringExplore important ethical issues raised by examples of synthetic biologyInvestigate the BioBuilder labs that probe the design-build-test cycleTest synthetic living systems designed and built by engineersMeasure several variants of an enzyme-generating genetic circuitModel "bacterial photography" that changes a strain’s light sensitivityBuild living systems to produce purple or green pigmentOptimize baker’s yeast to produce ?-carotene
Under the editorial guidance of agroecology experts Martha Rosemeyer and the internationally renowned Dr. Stephen R. Gliessman, The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices establishes a framework for how this conversion can be accomplished and presents case studies from around the world that illustrate how the process is already underway. The book provides a four-stage transition process for achieving sustainability and an in-depth analysis of the global efforts to make farms more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
An international team of chapter contributors explores ways to lessen dependency on fossil fuels and pesticides, and examines each step in the conversion process. They also describe the process of monitoring change toward sustainable agriculture while integrating social and economic analysis within scientific practices. Serving as both a core textbook for students and a comprehensive reference for agricultural practitioners, this volume is a valuable resource for the change that is needed in our food system now and in the future.
At last, many unanswered questions about the earth’s creation can be resolved with confidence. For example, how long did it take? Where did it take place? What about evolution, fossils, dinosaurs and cave men? Well-supported answers are here.
For those who have been challenged to explain the earth’s creation from an LDS viewpoint, this book will be helpful and enlightening. And for those who enjoy contemplating both the discoveries of science and the revelations of God, this book will be extremely stimulating and thought-provoking.
Readers have commented:
Dan from Canada: “This book has enlightened my mind and given me the wonderful opportunity to see the intermeshing between science and our religion.”
Paul from Texas: “Well-supported viewpoint and thought-provoking reading.... I appreciate Brother Skousen’s heavy usage of scriptural references and quotes from trustworthy Church leaders.”
Kristy from Utah: “Answered a lot of questions I had from my geology classes and gave me a deeper appreciation for this awesome planet we live on and the creator of it.”
Kelly from California: “This book explained so much about issues that had previously confused or bothered me.”
Jerome from Georgia: “Life altering, made me a better person.... If you really want to understand the ‘Big Picture’ then this book is a must read.”
Dave from Washington: “One unexpected blessing received from reading this book was an enhanced Temple worship experience.”
Ed from Iowa: “If you are LDS, this will open your eyes to things that are incredible and you will not look at the world we live in in the same way again.”
Devon: “Scholarly material well presented for the layman.”
This eBook includes the original index, illustrations, footnotes, table of contents and page numbering from the printed format.
Through a collection of essays about Louisiana's natural history, Ouchley details an amazing array of plants and animals found in the Bayou State. Baldcypress, orchids, feral hogs, eels, black bears, bald eagles, and cottonmouth snakes live in the well over a hundred bayous of the region. Collectively, Ouchley's vignettes portray vibrant and complex habitats. But human interaction with the bayou and our role in its survival, Ouchley argues, will determine the future of these intricate ecosystems.
Bayou-Diversity narrates the story of the bayou one flower, one creature at a time, in turn illustrating the bigger picture of this treasured and troubled Louisiana landscape.
The story behind the stunning, extreme weapons we see in the animal world--teeth and horns and claws--and what they can tell us about the way humans develop and use arms and other weapons
In Animal Weapons, Doug Emlen takes us outside the lab and deep into the forests and jungles where he's been studying animal weapons in nature for years, to explain the processes behind the most intriguing and curious examples of extreme animal weapons—fish with mouths larger than their bodies and bugs whose heads are so packed with muscle they don't have room for eyes. As singular and strange as some of the weapons we encounter on these pages are, we learn that similar factors set their evolution in motion. Emlen uses these patterns to draw parallels to the way we humans develop and employ our own weapons, and have since battle began. He looks at everything from our armor and camouflage to the evolution of the rifle and the structures human populations have built across different regions and eras to protect their homes and communities. With stunning black and white drawings and gorgeous color illustrations of these concepts at work, Animal Weapons brings us the complete story of how weapons reach their most outsized, dramatic potential, and what the results we witness in the animal world can tell us about our own relationship with weapons of all kinds.
One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated—there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar—there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet.
A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.
The Galapagos were once known to the sailors and pirates who encountered them as Las Encantadas: the enchanted islands, home to exotic creatures and dramatic volcanic scenery. In The Galapagos, science writer Henry Nicholls offers a lively natural and human history of the archipelago, charting its evolution from deserted wilderness to scientific resource (made famous by Charles Darwin) and global ecotourism hot spot. He describes the island chain's fiery geological origins as well as the long history of human interaction with it, and draws vivid portraits of the Galapagos' diverse life forms, capturing its awe-inspiring landscapes, its understated flora, its stunning wildlife and, crucially, the origin of new species. Finally, he considers the immense challenges facing the islands and what lies ahead. Nicholls shows that what happens in the Galapagos is not merely an isolated concern, but reflects the future of our species' relationship with nature—and the fate of our planet.
The author examines ten intersecting areas of activity (mass extinction, resource depletion, WMD, climate change, universal toxicity, food crises, population and urban expansion, pandemic disease, dangerous new technologies and self-delusion) which pose manifest risks to civilization and, potentially, to our species’ long-term future. This isn’t a book just about problems. It is also about solutions. Every chapter concludes with clear conclusions and consensus advice on what needs to be done at global level —but it also empowers individuals with what they can do for themselves to make a difference. Unlike other books, it offers integrated solutions across the areas of greatest risk. It explains why Homo sapiens is no longer an appropriate name for our species, and what should be done about it.
Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling features concise and accessible text, numerous examples, and exercises using small but scientific models. The emphasis throughout is on analysis--such as software testing, theory development, robustness analysis, and understanding full models--and on design issues like optimizing model structure and finding good parameter values.The first hands-on introduction to agent-based modeling, from conceptual design to computer implementation to parameterization and analysisProvides an introduction to NetLogo with nine chapters introducing an important modeling concept and showing how to implement it using NetLogo Filled with examples and exercises, with updates and supplementary materials at http://www.railsback-grimm-abm-book.com/ Designed for students and researchers across the biological and social sciences Written by leading practitioners
Leading universities that have adopted this book include:Amherst College Brigham Young University Carnegie Mellon UniversityCornell University Miami University Northwestern University Old Dominion University Portland State University Rhodes College Susquehanna University University College, Dublin University of ArizonaUniversity of British ColumbiaUniversity of Michigan University of South FloridaUniversity of Texas at Austin University of Virginia
In addition to a preceding essay by Edward O. Wilson, this book includes the 16 papers presented by distinguished evolutionists at the colloquium. The papers are organized into sections covering the origins of species barriers, the processes of species divergence, the nature of species, the meaning of â€œspecies,â€ and genomic approaches for understanding diversity and speciation.
Based on the author’s spatial data analysis course at the University of California, Davis, the book is intended for classroom use or self-study by graduate students and researchers in ecology, geography, and agricultural science with an interest in the analysis of spatial data.
Eight-year-old Corey Haas was nearly blind from a hereditary disorder when his sight was restored through a delicate procedure that made medical history. Like something from a science fiction novel, doctors carefully injected viruses bearing healing genes into the DNA of Corey's eyes—a few days later, Corey could see, his sight restored by gene therapy.
THE FOREVER FIX is the first book to tell the fascinating story of gene therapy: how it works, the science behind it, how patients (mostly children) have been helped and harmed, and how scientists learned from each trial to get one step closer to its immense promise, the promise of a "forever fix," - a cure that, by fixing problems at their genetic root, does not need further surgery or medication.
Told through the voices of the children and families who have been the inspiration, experimental subjects, and successes of genetic science, THE FOREVER FIX is compelling and engaging narrative science that tells explores the future of medicine as well as the families and scientists who are breaking new ground every day.
Old Growth in a New World untangles the complexities of the old growth concept and the parallel complexity of old-growth policy and management. It brings together more than two dozen contributors—ecologists, economists, sociologists, managers, historians, silviculturists, environmentalists, timber producers, and philosophers—to offer a broad suite of perspectives on changes that have occurred in the valuing and management of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest over the past thirty years. The book
• introduces the issues and history of old-growth values and conservation in the Pacific Northwest;
• explores old growth through the ideas of leading ecologists and social scientists;
• addresses the implications for the future management of old-growth forests and considers how evolving science and social knowledge might be used to increase conservation effectiveness.
By confronting the complexity of the old-growth concept and associated policy and management challenges, Old Growth in a New World encourages productive discussion on the future of old growth in the Pacific Northwest and offers options for more effective approaches to conserving forest biodiversity.
Coexisting with Large Carnivores presents a close-up look at the socio-political context of large carnivores and their management in western Wyoming south of Yellowstone National Park, including the southern part of what is commonly recognized as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The book brings together researchers and others who have studied and worked in the region to help untangle some of the highly charged issues associated with large carnivores, their interactions with humans, and the politics that arise from those interactions.
This volume argues that coexistence will be achieved only by a thorough understanding of the human populations involved, their values, attitudes, beliefs, and the institutions through which carnivores and humans are managed. Coexisting with Large Carnivores offers important insights into this complex, dynamic issue and provides a unique overview of issues and strategies for managers, researchers, government officials, ranchers, and everyone else concerned about the management and conservation of large carnivores and the people who live nearby.
Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources comprises 10 volumes on Cereals, Millets and Grasses, Oilseeds, Legume Crops and Forages, Vegetables, Temperate Fruits, Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Industrial Crops, Plantation and Ornamental Crops, and Forest Trees. It contains 125 chapters written by nearly 400 well-known authors from about 40 countries.
This book examines the current state of international environmental law and wildlife conservation through a comparative analysis of the treatment of whales and elephants. In particular, it describes the separate histories of international governance of both whales and elephants, presenting the various treaties through which conservation has been implemented. It is shown that international environmental law is influenced and shaped by important political actors – many with opposing views on how best conservation, and sustainable development, principles are to be implemented. Modern environmental treaties are changing as weaknesses and loopholes are exposed in older, and possibly outdated, treaties such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). Such weaknesses can be seen in the efforts made by some states to circumvent or weaken CITES and the International Whaling Commission and to resume commercial whaling, and further in the efforts of countries to resume trade in ivory. The argument is made that the Convention on Biological Diversity could be used to begin reconciling opposed views and to focus conservation efforts.
The argument is made that effective conservation of species cannot be achieved through individual treaties, but only through a synergistic approach involving multilateral environmental agreements – 'ecosystems of legal instruments'.
The phenotypes of these interactions can be extremely plastic, depending on environmental factors, nutritional status, genetic disposition and developmental stages of the two partners. The book deals with diversity, life history strategies, interactions, applications in agriculture and forestry, methods for isolation, cultivation, and both conventional and molecular methods for identification and detection of these endophytes. The comprehensive reviews demonstrate the high diversity of interactions and will provoke further studies to better understand the mechanisms which determine whether a plant-microbial interaction remains asymptomatic, leads to disease or to a mutualistic interaction.
This book brings together experts in the relevant diverse fields of cetacean research, to provide authoritative descriptions of our current knowledge of the complex behaviour and social organization of whales and dolphins. The authors consider this new information in the context of how different human cultures from around the world view cetaceans and their protection, including attitudes to whaling. They show how new information on issues such as cetacean intelligence, culture and the ability to suffer, warrants a significant shift in global perceptions of this group of animals and how these changes might be facilitated to improve conservation and welfare approaches.
Since the 1980s, studies of non-indigenous species have expanded greatly as a reflection of the rise in popularity that the discipline of invasion biology has gained among ecologists. However, the number of published articles is biased towards terrestrial invaders; invasive events occurring in freshwater systems have been most often neglected or analyzed only in a few regional contexts or for a small number of paradigmatic species. Yet freshwater systems, whose value to humankind is obviously priceless, are particularly vulnerable to non-indigenous species as a direct consequence of the intensity with which humans utilize fresh waters for recreation, food sources, and commerce.
The book examines the identity, distribution, and impact of freshwater non-indigenous species and the dynamics of their invasion. Rather than providing a broad and comprehensive review of the issue, Biological invaders in inland waters focuses on old and new invaders and also raises questions and opens perspectives that provide a starting point for further research. The ultimate purpose of this book is to help define a more general framework for our knowledge of invasions in fresh waters. Such a framework will be indispensable to the planning of a science-based management program.
This book not only examines these complex challenges, but offers workable, policy-oriented solutions. International contributors cover theoretical approaches, new significant national legislation, the concept of traditional knowledge, provider and user country measures and common solutions. Exploring specific, salient examples from across the globe, the authors provide lessons for national regulation and the ongoing negotiations for an international ABS regime. Uniquely, this book also looks at the potential for 'horizontal' development of ABS law and policy, applying lessons from bilateral approaches to other national contexts.
The book begins by describing the field of soils and the major roles of soils in natural landscapes. The chapters that follow cover a range of topics:
Soil parent material Architecture of soils Temperature and soils Water, air, and climate Classification of soils Soil landscapes Plant nutrition Soil organisms Organic matter in soils
The author also discusses global issues such as water and carbon cycles, global warming, and acid rain. He addresses land management for different uses, soil quality, and soil degradation. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book provides practical insights for the evaluation of soils in natural environments and their non-intensive management.