Darwins Spectre

Darwins Spectre by Michael R. Rose 0691050082 9780691050089
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ISBN: 0691050082

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Extending the human life-span past 120 years. The green revolution. Evolution and human psychology. These subjects make todays newspaper headlines. Yet much of the science underlying these topics stems from a book published nearly 140 years ago--Charles DarwinsOn the Origin of Species. Far from an antique idea restricted to the nineteenth century, the theory of evolution is one of the most potent concepts in all of modern science. InDarwins Spectre, Michael Rose provides the general reader with an introduction to the theory of evolution: its beginning with Darwin, its key concepts, and how it may affect us in the future. First comes a brief biographical sketch of Darwin. Next, Rose gives a primer on the three most important concepts in evolutionary theory--variation, selection, and adaptation. With a firm grasp of these concepts, the reader is ready to look at modern applications of evolutionary theory. Discussing agriculture, Rose shows how even before Darwin farmers and ranchers unknowingly experimented with evolution. Medical research, however, has ignored Darwins lessons until recently, with potentially grave consequences. Finally, evolution supplies important new vantage points on human nature. If humans werent created by deities, then our nature may be determined more by evolution than we have understood. Or it may not be. In this question, as in many others, the Darwinian perspective is one of the most important for understanding human affairs in the modern world. Darwins Spectreexplains how evolutionary biology has been used to support both valuable applied research, particularly in agriculture, and truly frightening objectives, such as Nazi eugenics. Darwins legacy has been a comfort and a scourge. But it has never been irrelevant.

Author: Michael R. Rose

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 288

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 2000-01-31

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