Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

Front Cover
Delta Trade Paperbacks, 2007 - Science - 390 pages
7 Reviews
What is the biological reason for gossip?
For laughter? For the creation of art?
Why do dogs have curly tails?
What can microbes tell us about morality?


These and many other questions are tackled by renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. With stories that entertain as much as they inform, Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin of life to the nature of religion. Now everyone can move beyond the sterile debates about creationism and intelligent design to share Darwin’s panoramic view of animal and human life, seamlessly connected to each other.

Evolution, as Wilson explains, is not just about dinosaurs and human origins, but about why all species behave as they do—from beetles that devour their own young, to bees that function as a collective brain, to dogs that are smarter in some respects than our closest ape relatives. And basic evolutionary principles are also the foundation for humanity’s capacity for symbolic thought, culture, and morality.

In example after example, Wilson sheds new light on Darwin’s grand theory and how it can be applied to daily life. By turns thoughtful, provocative, and daringly funny,Evolution for Everyoneaddresses some of the deepest philosophical and social issues of this or any age. In helping us come to a deeper understanding of human beings and our place in the world, it might also help us to improve that world.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sovranty - LibraryThing

This book is an introduction for anyone to incorporating evolution into everything. It is written specifically for those who may feel the sciences (in particular evolution) are intellectually too ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stevil2001 - LibraryThing

My evolutionary biologist fiancée forced this book on me, and like all things that are forced on me, I decided to hate it. But I had to read it, as I was trapped in an airport and I'd exhausted all ... Read full review

Contents

The Future Can Differ from the Past l
1
Clearing the Deck
11
A Third Way of Thinking
17
Prove It
22
Be Careful What You Wish For
28
Monkey Madness
36
How the Dog Got Its Curly Tail
42
Dancing with Ghosts
51
Across the Cooperation Divide
165
The First Laugh
173
The Vital Arts
182
Dr Doolittle Was Right
194
How Many Inventors Does It Take to Make a Lightbulbº
202
15
215
Darwins Cathedral
233
Is There Anyone Out There? Is There Anyone Up There?
254

What Is the Function of a Can Opener? How Do You Know?
58
Your Apprentice License
63
Welcome Home Prodigal Son
67
Teaching the Experts
74
Murder City
82
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Genetic Determinism
92
Theyve Got Personality
100
The Beauty of Abraham Lincoln
115
Love Thy Neighbor Microbe
125
Groups All the Way Down
133
Divided We Fall
139
Winged Minds
144
The Egalitarian Ape
153
Religious Zealot
268
The Social Intelligence of Nations or Evil Aliens Need Not Apply
283
Mr Beeper
296
The Ecology of Good and Evil
305
Mosquitoes Under the Bed
313
The Return of the Amateur Scientist
322
Bon Voyage
344
Acknowledgments
350
Notes
353
Bibliography
367
Web Sites
377
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

David Sloan Wilson is distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University. He is the author of Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, coauthor of Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, and coeditor of The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative.


From the Hardcover edition.

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