Sex, Time, and Power offers a tantalizing answer to an age-old question: Why did big-brained Homo sapiens suddenly emerge some 150,000 years ago? The key, according to Shlain, is female sexuality. Drawing on an awesome breadth of research, he shows how, long ago, the narrowness of the newly bipedal human female’s pelvis and the increasing size of infants’ heads precipitated a crisis for the species. Natural selection allowed for the adaptation of the human female to this environmental stress by reconfiguring her hormonal cycles, entraining them with the periodicity of the moon. The results, however, did much more than ensure our existence; they imbued women with the concept of time, and gave them control over sex—a power that males sought to reclaim. And the possibility of achieving immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures that went on to dominate so much of human history.
From the nature of courtship to the evolution of language, Shlain’s brilliant and wide-ranging exploration stimulates new thinking about very old matters.
Presenting new data and weighing relevant evidence, the book introduces novel viewpoints on nutrition, diabetes, fertility, pediatrics, immune response, and psychiatry. The book brings anthropologically sophisticated, evidence-based discussions to common beliefs such as the role decreased parasite load plays in increasing vulnerability to certain diseases, variations in human environments and human adaptability, daily protein requirements, reasons for early pregnancy loss, and optimal mother-infant sleeping arrangements, as well as fresh ideas about syndromes as diverse as delusions and polycystic ovary syndrome.
A critical assessment of evolutionary medicine and its potential to unlock the mysteries behind some of today’s most baffling chronic diseases, this book provides physicians with a more accurate view of the body and a better ability to assess health and disease.
Shlain asserts that Leonardo’s genius came from a unique creative ability that allowed him to understand and excel in a wide range of fields. From here Shlain jumps off and discusses the history of and current research on human creativity that involves different modes of thinking and neuroscience .The author also boldly speculates on whether or not the qualities of Leonardo’s brain and his creativity presage the future evolution of the human species.
Leonardo’s Brain uses da Vinci as a starting point for an exploration of human creativity. With his lucid style, and his remarkable ability to discern connections in a wide range of fields, Shlain brings the reader into the world of history’s greatest mind.