No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
See below for a selection of the latest books from Evolution category. Presented with a red border are the Evolution books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Evolution books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
A dazzlingly erudite synthesis of history, philosophy, anthropology, genetics, sociology, economics, epidemiology, statistics, and more (Frank Bruni, New York Times), Blueprint shows how and why evolution has placed us on a humane path -- and how we are united by our common humanity. For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions -- our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations -- we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society. In Blueprint, Nicholas A. Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. With many vivid examples -- including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots, and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own -- Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness. In a world of increasing political and economic polarization, it's tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilization, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped, and are still shaping, our genes today.
An argument that health is optimal responsiveness and is often best treated at the system level. Medical education centers on the venerable no-fault concept of homeostasis, whereby local mechanisms impose constancy by correcting errors, and the brain serves mainly for emergencies. Yet, it turns out that most parameters are not constant; moreover, despite the importance of local mechanisms, the brain is definitely in charge. In this book, the eminent neuroscientist Peter Sterling describes a broader concept: allostasis (coined by Sterling and Joseph Eyer in the 1980s), whereby the brain anticipates needs and efficiently mobilizes supplies to prevent errors. Allostasis evolved early, Sterling explains, to optimize energy efficiency, relying heavily on brain circuits that deliver a brief reward for each positive surprise. Modern life so reduces the opportunities for surprise that we are driven to seek it in consumption: bigger burgers, more opioids, and innumerable activities that involve higher carbon emissions. The consequences include addiction, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and climate change. Sterling concludes that solutions must go beyond the merely technical to restore possibilities for daily small rewards and revivify the capacities for egalitarianism that were hard-wired into our nature. Sterling explains that allostasis offers what is not found in any medical textbook: principled definitions of health and disease: health as the capacity for adaptive variation and disease as shrinkage of that capacity. Sterling argues that since health is optimal responsiveness, many significant conditions are best treated at the system level.
An engaging journey into the biological principles underpinning a beloved science-fiction franchise In Star Trek, crew members travel to unusual planets, meet diverse beings, and encounter unique civilizations. In these remarkable space adventures, does Star Trek reflect biology and evolution as we know it? What can the science in the science fiction of Star Trek teach us? In Live Long and Evolve, biologist and die-hard Trekkie Mohamed Noor takes readers on a fun, fact-filled scientific journey. Noor offers Trekkies, science-fiction fans, and anyone curious about how life works a cosmic gateway into introductory biology, including the definitions and origins of life, DNA, reproduction, and evolutionary processes. Giving readers irresistible insights, Live Long and Evolve looks at some of the powerful science behind one of the most popular science-fiction series.
An endlessly fascinating (Michael Ruse) work of scientific thought and synthesis, Genesis is Edward O. Wilson's twenty-first-century statement on Darwinian evolution. Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Wilson demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behavior is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. At least seventeen of these species-among them the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp-have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation. Braiding twenty-first- century scientific theory with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations for which Wilson is beloved, Genesis is a magisterial history of social evolution, from clouds of midges or sparrows to the grotesqueries of ant colonies (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The relationship between brain and mind is one of the most baffling problems in science but potentially one of the most interesting. First published in 1985, this collection of original essays traces the development of mind in animals and human beings from its origins in the evolution of larger brains with a capacity for creating mental models of the environment. Examples are given of the way in which the brain may use this increased capacity to represent both the physical and social worlds, and the authors suggest that this type of mental activity might underly what human beings recognize in themselves as 'awareness' or 'consciousness'. Brain and Mind brings together much of the latest research and provides a useful framework for the study of this increasingly important subject. The contributors are experts in a wide range of disciplines and draw their conclusions from a broad base of clinical and experimental evidence. Students of psychology, zoology, anatomy, medicine and philosophy, as well as anyone who has wondered about their own mind and its relation to the brain, will find this a fascinating and stimulating source.
The most up-to-date book on invertebrates, providing a new framework for understanding their place in the tree of life In The Invertebrate Tree of Life, Gonzalo Giribet and Gregory Edgecombe, leading authorities on invertebrate biology and paleontology, utilize phylogenetics to trace the evolution of animals from their origins in the Proterozoic to today. Phylogenetic relationships between and within the major animal groups are based on the latest molecular analyses, which are increasingly genomic in scale and draw on the soundest methods of tree reconstruction. Giribet and Edgecombe evaluate the evolution of animal organ systems, exploring how current debates about phylogenetic relationships affect the ways in which aspects of invertebrate nervous systems, reproductive biology, and other key features are inferred to have developed. The authors review the systematics, natural history, anatomy, development, and fossil records of all major animal groups, employing seminal historical works and cutting-edge research in evolutionary developmental biology, genomics, and advanced imaging techniques. Overall, they provide a synthetic treatment of all animal phyla and discuss their relationships via an integrative approach to invertebrate systematics, anatomy, paleontology, and genomics. With numerous detailed illustrations and phylogenetic trees, The Invertebrate Tree of Life is a must-have reference for biologists and anyone interested in invertebrates, and will be an ideal text for courses in invertebrate biology. A must-have and up-to-date book on invertebrate biology Ideal as both a textbook and reference Suitable for courses in invertebrate biology Richly illustrated with black-and-white and color images and abundant tree diagrams Written by authorities on invertebrate evolution and phylogeny Factors in the latest understanding of animal genomics and original fossil material
Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.
Historical biogeography-the study of the history of species through both time and place-first convinced Charles Darwin of evolution. This field was so important to Darwin's initial theories and line of thinking that he said as much in the very first paragraph of On the Origin of Species (1859) and later in his autobiography. His methods included collecting mammalian fossils in South America clearly related to living forms, tracing the geographical distributions of living species across South America, and sampling peculiar fauna of the geologically young Galapagos Archipelago that showed evident affinities to South American forms. Over the years, Darwin collected other evidence in support of evolution, but his historical biogeographical arguments remained paramount, so much so that he devotes three full chapters to this topic in On the Origin of Species. Discussions of Darwin's landmark book too often give scant attention to this wealth of evidence, and we still do not fully appreciate its significance in Darwin's thinking. In Origins of Darwin's Evolution, J. David Archibald explores this lapse, showing how Darwin first came to the conclusion that, instead of various centers of creation, species had evolved in different regions throughout the world. He also shows that Darwin's other early passion-geology-proved a more elusive corroboration of evolution. On the Origin of Species has only one chapter dedicated to the rock and fossil record, as it then appeared too incomplete for Darwin's evidentiary standards. Carefully retracing Darwin's gathering of evidence and the evolution of his thinking, Origins of Darwin's Evolution achieves a new understanding of how Darwin crafted his transformative theory.
The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental. Friends, after all, are the family we choose. But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential, and how do they affect our bodies and our minds? In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search of friendship's biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas-when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment of their social needs outside their immediate families. Denworth sees this urge to connect reflected in primates, too, taking us to a monkey sanctuary in Puerto Rico and a baboon colony in Kenya to examine social bonds that offer insight into our own. She meets scientists at the frontiers of brain and genetics research and discovers that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, our genomes, and our cardiovascular and immune systems; its opposite, loneliness, can kill. At long last, social connection is recognized as critical to wellness and longevity. With insight and warmth, Denworth weaves past and present, field biology and neuroscience, to show how our bodies and minds are designed for friendship across life stages, the processes by which healthy social bonds are developed and maintained, and how friendship is changing in the age of social media. Blending compelling science, storytelling, and a grand evolutionary perspective, Denworth delineates the essential role that cooperation and companionship play in creating human (and nonhuman) societies. Friendship illuminates the vital aspects of friendship, both visible and invisible, and offers a refreshingly optimistic vision of human nature. It is a clarion call for putting positive relationships at the center of our lives.
A wide-ranging argument by a renowned anthropologist that the capacity to believe is what makes us human Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustin Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? A fascinating intervention into some of the most common misconceptions about human nature, this book employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief-the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea-is central to the human way of being in the world.
Darwin's nineteenth-century writings laid the foundations for modern studies of evolution, and theoretical developments in the mid-twentieth century fostered the Modern Synthesis. Since that time, a great deal of new biological knowledge has been generated, including details of the genetic code, lateral gene transfer, and developmental constraints. Our improved understanding of these and many other phenomena have been working their way into evolutionary theory, changing it and improving its correspondence with evolution in nature. And while the study of evolution is thriving both as a basic science to understand the world and in its applications in agriculture, medicine, and public health, the broad scope of evolution--operating across genes, whole organisms, clades, and ecosystems--presents a significant challenge for researchers seeking to integrate abundant new data and content into a general theory of evolution. This book gives us that framework and synthesis for the twenty-first century. The Theory of Evolution presents a series of chapters by experts seeking this integration by addressing the current state of affairs across numerous fields within evolutionary biology, ranging from biogeography to multilevel selection, speciation, and macroevolutionary theory. By presenting current syntheses of evolution's theoretical foundations and their growth in light of new datasets and analyses, this collection will enhance future research and understanding.