Books  Ecological & Biological Sciences  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

Pragmatic Evolution: Applications of Evolutionary Theory

Edited By: Aldo Poiani

350 pages, 4 colour & 32 b/w illustrations, 6 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Nov 2011 | #194623 | ISBN-13: 9780521760553
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £79.99 $105/€90 approx

About this book

Of what use is evolutionary science to society? Can evolutionary thinking provide us with the tools to better understand and even make positive changes to the world? Addressing key questions about the development of evolutionary thinking, this book explores the interaction between evolutionary theory and its practical applications.

Featuring contributions from leading specialists, "Pragmatic Evolution" highlights the diverse and interdisciplinary applications of evolutionary thinking: their potential and limitations. The fields covered range from palaeontology, genetics, ecology, agriculture, fisheries, medicine, neurobiology, psychology and animal behaviour; to information technology, education, anthropology and philosophy. Detailed examples of useful and current evolutionary applications are provided throughout. An ideal source of information to promote a better understanding of contemporary evolutionary science and its applications, this book also encourages the continued development of new opportunities for constructive evolutionary applications across a range of fields.

Evolution theory is usually regarded as the study of how biological diversity arose. Here we see that it also has vital applications in many fields of human endeavour including medicine and food production. Aldo Poiani has done society a great service by producing this unique compilation.
- Paul Harvey, University of Oxford


List of contributors
Introduction Aldo Poiani

Part I. Evolution, Ecology and Conservation
1. Evolution, missing links and climate change: recent advances in understanding transformational macroevolution John Long
2. Evolutionary perspectives in conservation genetics Kamal Ibrahim and Roberta Torunsky

Part II. Evolution and Food Production
3. Evolution in agriculture Steve Wratten, Mark Gillespie and Aldo Poiani
4. The evolutionary ecology of pollination and the functional biology of agricultural plants Martin Burd, Angelica Mart#nez Bauer and Mani R. Shrestha
5. The dawn of Darwinian fishery management Mikko Heino, Adriaan Rijnsdorp and Ulf Dieckmann

Part III. Evolution and Medicine
6. Evolution: a basic science for medicine Randolph Nesse
7. Evolutionary insights for immunological interventions Paul W. Ewald and Holly A. Swain Ewald
8. Neuroevolution and neurodegeneration: two sides of the same coin? Jonathan Foster, Peter Boord and Michael Smith
9. Evolution, music and neurotherapy Alan Harvey

Part IV. Evolution and Psychology
10. Antecedents of teenage pregnancy: using an evolutionary perspective in the search for mechanisms David Coall, Tomas E. Dickins and Daniel Nettle
11. Flourishing and fitness: an evolutionary perspective on health capability Jim Chisholm

Part V. Evolution and Computing
12. Natural computation: evolving solutions to complex problems David Green
13. Harnessing the swarm: technological applications of collective intelligence Suzanne Sadedin and Edgar A. Duenez-Guzman

Part VI. Evolution and Society
14. Evolutionary arguments against the de facto re-pathologising of homosexuality Aldo Poiani
15. Teaching evolution and the nature of science Douglas Futuyma
16. Evolutionary ideologies Jonathan Marks
17. Can Darwinism offer existential reassurance at times of personal or social crisis? Michael Ruse


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Aldo Poiani is an evolutionary ecologist at the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia. He has published widely in the fields of avian cooperative breeding and host-parasite interactions, including aspects related to behaviour, endocrinology and comparative biology. He is the author of "Animal Homosexuality: A Biosocial Perspective".

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