We’ve been told, again and again, that life is unfair. But what if we’re wrong simply to resign ourselves to this situation? What if we have the power—and more, the duty—to change society for the better?
We do. And our very nature inclines us to do so. That’s the provocative argument Peter Corning makes in The Fair Society. Drawing on the evidence from our evolutionary history and the emergent science of human nature, Corning shows that we have an innate sense of fairness. While these impulses can easily be subverted by greed and demagoguery, they can also be harnessed for good. Corning brings together the latest findings from the behavioral and biological sciences to help us understand how to move beyond the Madoffs and Enrons in our midst in order to lay the foundation for a new social contract—a Biosocial Contract built on a deep understanding of human nature and a commitment to fairness. He then proposes a sweeping set of economic and political reforms based on three principles of fairness—equality, equity, and reciprocity—that together could transform our society and our world.
At this crisis point for capitalism, Corning reveals that the proper response to bank bailouts and financial chicanery isn’t to get mad—it’s to get fair.
As Peter Gray and Kermyt Anderson reveal, fatherhood actually alters a man’s sexuality, rewires his brain, and changes his hormonal profile. This book presents a uniquely detailed picture of how being a parent fits with men’s broader social and work lives, how fatherhood evolved, and how it differs across cultures and through time.
What did George Schaller note when studying the lions of the Serengeti? How does Piotr Naskrecki use relational databases and electronic field notes? In what way is Bernd Heinrich’s approach “truly Thoreauvian,” in E. O. Wilson’s view? Pioneering a new niche in the study of plants and animals in their native habitat, Field Notes on Science and Nature allows readers to peer over the shoulders and into the notebooks of a dozen eminent field workers, to study firsthand their methods, materials, and fleeting impressions.
Recording field observations is an indispensable scientific skill, but researchers are not generally willing to share their personal records. Here, for the first time, are reproductions of actual pages from notebooks. And in essays abounding with fascinating anecdotes, the authors reflect on the contexts in which the notes were taken.
Covering disciplines as diverse as ecology, paleontology, anthropology, botany, and animal behavior, Field Notes offers specific examples that professional naturalists can emulate to fine-tune their own field methods, along with practical advice that amateur naturalists and students can use to document their adventures.
Long ago, fish fins evolved into the limbs of land vertebrates and tetrapods. During this transition, some elements of the fin were carried over while new features developed. Lizard limbs, bird wings, and human arms and legs are therefore all evolutionary modifications of the original tetrapod limb.
A comprehensive look at the current state of research on fin and limb evolution and development, this volume addresses a wide range of subjects—including growth, structure, maintenance, function, and regeneration. Divided into sections on evolution, development, and transformations, the book begins with a historical introduction to the study of fins and limbs and goes on to consider the evolution of limbs into wings as well as adaptations associated with specialized modes of life, such as digging and burrowing. Fins into Limbs also discusses occasions when evolution appears to have been reversed—in whales, for example, whose front limbs became flippers when they reverted to the water—as well as situations in which limbs are lost, such as in snakes.
With contributions from world-renowned researchers, Fins into Limbs will be a font for further investigations in the changing field of evolutionary developmental biology.
"Many topics of interest to health professionals, such as vegetarianism, dietary fibers, lactose intolerance, favism, cannibalism and changes in nutritional status wrought by the decline of hunter-gathering and the rise of horticulture. Many sections will appeal to the general reader."
--Journal of Applied Nutrition
The old adage "you are what you eat" may be more accurate than anyone could have ever imagined. This unprecedented interdisciplinary effort by scholars in primatology, biological anthropology, archaeology, nutrition, psychology, agricultural economics, and cultural anthropology suggests that there is a systematic theory behind why humans eat what they eat.
Includes discussions ranging in time from prehistory to the present, and from the most simple societies to the most complex, including South American Indian groups, African hunter-gatherers, and countries such as India, Bangladesh, Peru, and Mexico.
"Exceptionally well-edited. High quality individual papers are of comparable scope and are uniformly well referenced and detailed in presentation of supporting data Introductory and concluding chapters as well as section overviews create an integrated whole."
--Science Books & Films
"Should be of value to all nutrition educators who have an interest in the social, cultural, and international aspects of foods and nutrition."
--Journal of Nutrition Education
Macroecology is an approach to science that emphasizes the description and explanation of patterns and processes at large spatial and temporal scales. Some scientists liken it to seeing the forest through the trees, giving the proverbial phrase an ecological twist. The term itself was first introduced to the modern literature by James H. Brown and Brian A. Maurer in a 1989 paper, and it is Brown’s classic 1995 study, Macroecology, that is credited with inspiring the broad-scale subfield of ecology. But as with all subfields, many modern-day elements of macroecology are implicit in earlier works dating back decades, even centuries.
Foundations of Macroecology charts the evolutionary trajectory of these concepts—from the species-area relationship and the latitudinal gradient of species richness to the relationship between body size and metabolic rate—through forty-six landmark papers originally published between 1920 and 1998. Divided into two parts—“Macroecology before Macroecology” and “Dimensions of Macroecology”—the collection also takes the long view, with each paper accompanied by an original commentary from a contemporary expert in the field that places it in a broader context and explains its foundational role. Providing a solid, coherent assessment of the history, current state, and potential future of the field, Foundations of Macroecology will be an essential text for students and teachers of ecology alike.
As Pittsburgh and its surrounding area grew into an important commercial and industrial center, a group of families emerged who were distinguished by their wealth and social position. Joseph Rishel studies twenty of these families to determine the degree to which they formed a coherent upper class and the extent to which they were able to maintain their status over time. His analysis shows that Pittsburgh's elite upper class succeeded in creating the institutions needed to sustain a local aristocracy and possessed the ability to adapt its accumulated advantages to social and economic changes.
The Fragile Wisdom
Grazyna Jasienska Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress RA778.J43 2013 | Dewey Decimal 613.04244
Women’s physiology evolved to aid reproduction, not to reduce disease. Any trait—however detrimental to post-reproductive health—is preserved in the next generation if it increases the chances of having offspring who will survive and reproduce. For this reason, the author argues, many common diseases are especially difficult for women to prevent.
From Eve to Evolution provides the first full-length study of American women’s responses to evolutionary theory and illuminates the role science played in the nineteenth-century women’s rights movement. Kimberly A. Hamlin reveals how a number of nineteenth-century women, raised on the idea that Eve’s sin forever fixed women’s subordinate status, embraced Darwinian evolution—especially sexual selection theory as explained in The Descent of Man—as an alternative to the creation story in Genesis.
Hamlin chronicles the lives and writings of the women who combined their enthusiasm for evolutionary science with their commitment to women’s rights, including Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Eliza Burt Gamble, Helen Hamilton Gardener, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These Darwinian feminists believed evolutionary science proved that women were not inferior to men, that it was natural for mothers to work outside the home, and that women should control reproduction. The practical applications of this evolutionary feminism came to fruition, Hamlin shows, in the early thinking and writing of the American birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger.
Much scholarship has been dedicated to analyzing what Darwin and other male evolutionists had to say about women, but very little has been written regarding what women themselves had to say about evolution. From Eve to Evolution adds much-needed female voices to the vast literature on Darwin in America.
Upon its publication, The Origin of Species was critically embraced in Europe and North America. But how did Darwin’s theories fare in other regions of the world? Adriana Novoa and Alex Levine offer here a history and interpretation of the reception of Darwinism in Argentina, illuminating the ways culture shapes scientific enterprise.
In order to explore how Argentina’s particular interests, ambitions, political anxieties, and prejudices shaped scientific research, From Man to Ape focuses on Darwin’s use of analogies. Both analogy and metaphor are culturally situated, and by studying scientific activity at Europe’s geographical and cultural periphery, Novoa and Levine show that familiar analogies assume unfamiliar and sometimes startling guises in Argentina. The transformation of these analogies in the Argentine context led science—as well as the interaction between science, popular culture, and public policy—in surprising directions. In diverging from European models, Argentine Darwinism reveals a great deal about both Darwinism and science in general.
Novel in its approach and its subject, From Man to Ape reveals a new way of understanding Latin American science and its impact on the scientific communities of Europe and North America.
Throughout Front Yard America, Schroeder inquires into the functions, values, and meanings that Americans have found in the domestic landscapes of back yards and front yards, walls and fences, porches and patios.
The worldwide prominence of snakes in religion, myth, and folklore underscores our deep connection to the serpent - but why, when so few of us have firsthand experience? The surprising answer, this book suggests, lies in the singular impact of snakes on primate evolution. Predation pressure from snakes, Lynne Isbell tells us, is ultimately responsible for the superior vision and large brains of primates - and for a critical aspect of human evolution.
Stephen Jay Gould Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QH366.2.G6593 2011 | Dewey Decimal 508
Gould shows why a more accurate way of understanding our world is to look at a given subject within its own context, to see it as a part of a spectrum of variation and then to reconceptualize trends as expansion or contraction of this “full house” of variation, and not as the progress or degeneration of an average value, or single thing.