Children Of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace Of Human Evolution

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Basic Books, Sep 24, 1999 - Science - 320 pages
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Are we still evolving? Scientists have grappled with this question since the time of Darwin. Now, in this provocative book, biologist Christopher Wills argues that we are not only continuing to evolve but that our pace of change is accelerating. He examines the rapid, short-term evolutionary change taking place in people living at the earth's extremes (even as babies, Tibetans can draw in more oxygen than lowlanders), and the new physiology of those who participate in extreme sports. But the more we shape our environment, the more it seems to shape us: Whether the future has us wiring our brains into vast electronic databases, or popping “smart drugs” that alter the brain's very biochemical structure, new environmental pressures are speeding up our evolution in ways that we cannot now predict but that will help us to survive the future.

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CHILDREN OF PROMETHEUS: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Building on earlier ideas (presented in The Runaway Brain, 1993, and Exons, Introns and Talking Genes, 1991), Wills, an English evolutionary biologist transplanted to the Univ. of Calif., San Diego ... Read full review

Children of Prometheus: the accelerating pace of human evolution

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Some believe that our species is no longer evolving in a positive direction because modern medicine enables even unfit individuals to survive and reproduce. Wills (biology, Univ. of California, San ... Read full review


Authorities Disagree
Natural Selection Can Be Subtle
Living at the Edge of Space
Besieged by Invisible Armies
Perils of the Civil Service
The Road We Did Not Take
Why Are We Such Evolutionary Speed Demons?
Bottlenecks and Selective Sweeps
Sticking Out Like Cyrano s Nose
Going to Extremes
The Final Objection

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About the author (1999)

Christopher Wills is Professor of Biology at the University of California at San Diego. His books include Yellow Fever, Black Goddess and Children of Prometheus. Jeffrey Bada is Professor of Marine Chemistry and Director of the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Exobiology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

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