Part I: A perspective that views Darwinism as either being originally pluralistic or having acquired such a pluralistic nature through modifications and borrowings over time.
Part II: A perspective blurring the boundaries between non-Darwinian and Darwinian traditions, either by contending that Darwinism itself was never quite as Darwinian as previously assumed, or that non-Darwinian traditions took on board various Darwinian components, when not fertilizing Darwinism directly.Between a Darwinism reaching out to other research programs and non-Darwinian programs reaching out to Darwinism, the least that can be said is that this interweaving of intellectual threads blurs the historiographical field. This volume aims to open vital new avenues for approaching and reflecting on the development of evolutionary biology.
Already hailed as the best account of biological hermeneutics, Life As Its Own Designer: Darwin’s Origin and Western Thought is a wholly unique book divided into two parts. The first part is philosophical and explores the roots of rationality and the hermeneutics of the natural world with the overriding goal of discovering how narrative can help us to explain life. It analyzes why novelty is so hard to comprehend in the framework of Western thinking and confronts head-on the chasm between evolutionism and traditional rationalistic worldviews. The second part is scientific. It focuses on the life of living beings, treating them as co-creators of their world in the process of evolution. It draws on insights gleaned from the global activity of the Gaian biosphere, considers likeness as demonstrated on homology studies, and probes the problem of evo-devo science from the angle of life itself.
This book is both timely and vital. Past attempts at a third way to view evolution have failed because they were written either by scientists who lacked a philosophical grounding or New Age thinkers who lacked biological credibility. Markoš and his coworkers form an original group of thinkers supremely capable in both fields, and they have fashioned a book that is ideal for researchers and scholars from both the humanities and sciences who are interested in the history and philosophy of biology, biosemiotics, and the evolution of life.
The volume is organized into three main sections: historical perspectives, contested models, and emerging frameworks. The first section explores the origins of the modern idea of organism-environment interaction in the mid-nineteenth century and its development by later psychologists and anthropologists. In the second section, a variety of controversial models—from mathematical representations of evolution to model organisms in medical research—are discussed and reframed in light of recent questions about the interplay between organisms and environment. The third section investigates several new ideas that have the potential to reshape key aspects of the biological and social sciences.
Populations of organisms evolve in response to changing environments; bodies and minds depend on a wide array of circumstances for their development; cultures create complex relationships with the natural world even as they alter it irrevocably. The chapters in this volume share a commitment to unraveling the mysteries of this entangled life.
A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
There are chapters on taxonomy, floral biology, biogeography and regional studies. The regional studies emphasize the importance of Australia having over half of the world’s 62 species, including some ten species published for Australia since the previous book. There are a number of chapters on ecology and biogeography; fish biology and fisheries and dugong biology are prominent chapters. Physiological aspects again play an important part, including new knowledge on the role of hydrogen sulphide in sediments and on photosynthetic processes. Climate change, pollution and environmental degradation this time gain an even more important part of the book. Decline of seagrasses around Australia are also discussed in detail in several chapters. Since the first book was published two new areas have received special attention: blue carbon and genomic studies. Seagrasses are now known to be a very important player in the formation of blue carbon, i.e. carbon that has a long turnover time in soils and sediments. Alongside salt marshes and mangroves, seagrasses are now recognized as playing a very important role in the formation of blue carbon. And because Australia has such an abundance and variety of seagrasses, their role in blue carbon production and turnover is of great importance. The first whole genomes of seagrasses are now available and Australia has played an important role here. It appears that seagrasses have several different suites of genes as compared with other (land) plants and even in comparison with freshwater hydrophytes. This difference is leading to important molecular biological studies where the new knowledge will be important to the understanding and conservation of seagrass ecosystems in Australia. Thus by reason of its natural abundance of diverse seagrasses and a sophisticated seagrass research community in Australia it is possible to produce a book which will be attractive to marine biologists, coastal scientists and conservationists from many countries around the world.
Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? No one knows the answers to such questions, but no one asks them in a more interesting way than Dan Carlin.
In The End is Always Near, Dan Carlin looks at questions and historical events that force us to consider what sounds like fantasy; that we might suffer the same fate that all previous eras did. Will our world ever become a ruin for future archaeologists to dig up and explore? The questions themselves are both philosophical and like something out of The Twilight Zone.
Combining his trademark mix of storytelling, history and weirdness Dan Carlin connects the past and future in fascinating and colorful ways. At the same time the questions he asks us to consider involve the most important issue imaginable: human survival. From the collapse of the Bronze Age to the challenges of the nuclear era the issue has hung over humanity like a persistent Sword of Damocles.
Inspired by his podcast, The End is Always Near challenges the way we look at the past and ourselves. In this absorbing compendium, Carlin embarks on a whole new set of stories and major cliffhangers that will keep readers enthralled. Idiosyncratic and erudite, offbeat yet profound, The End is Always Near examines issues that are rarely presented, and makes the past immediately relevant to our very turbulent present.