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Are we still evolving? Scientists have grappled with this question since the time of Darwin. 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.
- Introduction The Many Faces Of Natural Selection
- Authorities Disagree
- Natural Selection Can Be Subtle
- Living at the Edge of Space
- Besieged by Invisible Armies
- Perils of the Civil Service
- Farewell to the Master Race Our Stormy Evolutionary History
- The Road We Did Not Take
- Why Are We Such Evolutionary Speed Demons?
- Bottlenecks and Selective Sweeps
- Sticking Out Like Cyranos Nose Selection For Diversity
- Going to Extremes
- How Brain Function Evolves
- The Final Objection
- Our Evolutionary Future
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.