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How Evolution Shapes Our Lives: Essays on Biology and Society

By: Jonathan B Losos(Editor), Richard E Lenski(Editor)

416 pages, 15 b/w illustrations, 10 tables

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Aug 2016 | #231636 | ISBN-13: 9780691170398
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx
Hardback | Jul 2016 | #231635 | ISBN-13: 9780691171876
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $66/€57 approx

About this book

It is easy to think of evolution as something that happened long ago, or that occurs only in "nature," or that is so slow that its ongoing impact is virtually nonexistent when viewed from the perspective of a single human lifetime. But we now know that when natural selection is strong, evolutionary change can be very rapid. In How Evolution Shapes Our Lives, some of the world's leading scientists explore the implications of this reality for human life and society. With some twenty-three essays, How Evolution Shapes Our Lives provides authoritative yet accessible explorations of why understanding evolution is crucial to human life – from dealing with climate change and ensuring our food supply, health, and economic survival to developing a richer and more accurate comprehension of society, culture, and even what it means to be human itself. Combining new essays with essays revised and updated from the acclaimed Princeton Guide to Evolution, this collection addresses the role of evolution in aging, cognition, cooperation, religion, the media, engineering, computer science, and many other areas. The result is a compelling and important book about how evolution matters to humans today.

The contributors are Dan I. Andersson, Francisco J. Ayala, Amy Cavanaugh, Cameron R. Currie, Dieter Ebert, Andrew D. Ellington, Elizabeth Hannon, John Hawks, Paul Keim, Richard E. Lenski, Tim Lewens, Jonathan B. Losos, Virpi Lummaa, Jacob A. Moorad, Craig Moritz, Martha M. Muñoz, Mark Pagel, Talima Pearson, Robert T. Pennock, Daniel E. L. Promislow, Erik M. Quandt, David C. Queller, Robert C. Richardson, Eugenie C. Scott, H. Bradley Shaffer, Joan E. Strassmann, Alan R. Templeton, Paul E. Turner, and Carl Zimmer.

"From understanding the consequences of climate change to understanding the spread of infectious diseases around the globe, the science of evolution has increasing relevance to our lives. Jonathan Losos and Richard Lenski have pulled together a roster of leading scientists to show the many ways that our culture, behavior – even our future – depend vitally on understanding Darwinian evolution."
– Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

"Drawing on recent discoveries to illuminate how evolution impinges on all aspects of our lives, this is a marvelously informative, stimulating, and inspiring book."
– B. Rosemary Grant, Princeton University

"Have you ever wondered why it's important for everyone to understand evolution? This masterful book presents a clear and approachable picture of evolution and what it tells us about our lives and interactions with other species. Compelling examples of the ever-present impact of evolution in many, often unexpected, facets of our lives provides a broad new perspective on its meaning and relevance. If you've ever doubted that evolution matters to your life, this book will convince you that it does."
– Marvalee H. Wake, University of California, Berkeley

"From human evolution to the evolution of antibiotic resistance, from cultural evolution to the cultural importance of evolutionary thought, this is a wonderful and essential volume."
– Simon Levin, Princeton University

"Yet another book about evolution? Yes, and thank goodness. With engaging brief essays by leading experts, this book illustrates the importance of evolution for our lives and planet so vividly that I plan to create a course to share it with students – and to have an excuse to read it again myself."
– Randolph M. Nesse, M.D., director of the Arizona State University Center for Evolution and Medicine

"Evolution is everywhere, it changes everything, and it is relevant to everyone. This volume shows us how, with chapters on topics ranging from language to medicine to biodiversity. Moving beyond superficial summaries, each of the essays is a thoughtful consideration of just how much evolution matters."
– Marlene Zuk, author of Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live


Preface vii
Contributors ix
Chapter 1 How Evolution Shapes Our Lives 1
Richard E. Lenski

Chapter 2 What Is Evolution? 15
Jonathan B. Losos
Chapter 3 Human Evolution 31
John Hawks
Chapter 4 Human Cooperation and Conflict 46
Joan E. Strassmann and David C. Queller
Chapter 5 Human Behavioral Ecology 61
Virpi Lummaa
Chapter 6 Evolutionary Psychology 77
Robert C. Richardson

Chapter 7 Evolutionary Medicine 93
Paul E. Turner
Chapter 8 Aging and Menopause 114
Jacob A. Moorad and Daniel E. L. Promislow
Chapter 9 Evolution of Parasite Virulence 134
Dieter Ebert
Chapter 10 Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance 147
Dan I. Andersson
Chapter 11 Evolution and Microbial Forensics 163
Paul Keim and Talima Pearson

Chapter 12 Domestication and the Evolution of Agriculture 179
Amy Cavanaugh and Cameron R. Currie
Chapter 13 Directed Evolution 191
Erik M. Quandt and Andrew D. Ellington
Chapter 14 Evolution and Computing 206
Robert T. Pennock
Chapter 15 Evolution and Conservation 220
H. Bradley Shaffer
Chapter 16 Adaptation to a Changing World:
Evolutionary Resilience and Climate Change 238
Martha M. Muñoz and Craig Moritz

Chapter 17 Evolution and Religion: Conflict and Dialogue 255
Francisco J. Ayala
Chapter 18 Creationism and Intelligent Design 284
Eugenie C. Scott
Chapter 19 Evolution and the Media 300
Carl Zimmer

Chapter 20 Linguistics and the Evolution of Human Language 313
Mark Pagel
Chapter 21 Cultural Evolution 331
Elizabeth Hannon and Tim Lewens
Chapter 22 Evolution and Notions of Human Race 346
Alan R. Templeton
Chapter 23 The Future of Human Evolution 362
Alan R. Templeton
Index 381

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Jonathan B. Losos is the Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America and Curator of Herpetology at Harvard University. Richard E. Lenski is the John Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University.

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