The Ancestor's Tale

A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547525125

Category: Science

Page: 688

View: 5604

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With unparalleled wit, clarity, and intelligence, Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most renowned evolutionary biologists, has introduced countless readers to the wonders of science in works such as The Selfish Gene. Now, in The Ancestor's Tale, Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billion years ago. Throughout the journey Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and a riveting read.
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The Tyranny of God

Author: Marquez Comelab

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 144527342X

Category:

Page: 316

View: 2112

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This book explores the truth behind our beliefs in God and the propensity of human beings to be religious. In an honest attempt to seek the answers to life's deepest questions, the author probes into how life began. It then progresses to investigate the nature of religions and writes that, because we refuse to accept our mortality, we delude ourselves and we coerce others, with the tyranny of our own beliefs.
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Ancestors and Relatives

Genealogy, Identity, and Community

Author: Eviatar Zerubavel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912319

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 3373

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Genealogy has long been one of humanity's greatest obsessions. But with the rise of genetics, and increasing media attention to it through programs like Who Do You Think You Are? and Faces of America, we are now told that genetic markers can definitively tell us who we are and where we came from. The problem, writes Eviatar Zerubavel, is that biology does not provide us with the full picture. After all, he asks, why do we consider Barack Obama black even though his mother was white? Why did the Nazis believe that unions of Germans and Jews would produce Jews rather than Germans? In this provocative book, he offers a fresh understanding of relatedness, showing that its social logic sometimes overrides the biological reality it supposedly reflects. In fact, rather than just biological facts, social traditions of remembering and classifying shape the way we trace our ancestors, identify our relatives, and delineate families, ethnic groups, nations, and species. Furthermore, genealogies are more than mere records of history. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Zerubavel introduces such concepts as braiding, clipping, pasting, lumping, splitting, stretching, and pruning to shed light on how we manipulate genealogies to accommodate personal and collective agendas of inclusion and exclusion. Rather than simply find out who our ancestors were and identify our relatives, we actually construct the genealogical narratives that make them our ancestors and relatives. An eye-opening re-examination of our very notion of relatedness, Ancestors and Relatives offers a new way of understanding family, ethnicity, nationhood, race, and humanity.
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Project Sunshine

How science can use the sun to fuel and feed the world

Author: Steve McKevitt,Tony Ryan

Publisher: Icon Books Ltd

ISBN: 1848315627

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 320

View: 5925

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It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. Project Sunshine tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.
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Stories We've Heard, Stories We've Told

Life-Changing Narratives in Therapy and Everyday Life

Author: Jeffrey Kottler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199328277

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 364

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This is a book that integrates what is known from a wide variety of disciplines about the nature of storytelling and how it influences and transforms people's lives. Drawing on material from the humanities, sociology, anthropology, neurophysiology, media and communication studies, narrative inquiry, indigenous healing traditions, as well as education, counseling, and therapy, the book explores the ways that therapists operate as professional storytellers. In addition, our job is to hold and honor the stories of our clients, helping them to reshape them in more constructive ways. The book itself is written as a story, utilizing engaging prose, research, photographs, and powerful anecdotes to draw readers into the intriguing dynamics and processes involved in therapeutic storytelling. It sets the stage for what follows by discussing the ways that stories have influenced history, cultural development, and individual worldviews and then delves into the ways that everyday lives are impacted by the stories we hear, read, and view in popular media. The focus then moves to stories within the context of therapy, exploring how client stories are told, heard, and negotiated in sessions. Attention then moves to the ways that therapists can become more skilled and accomplished storytellers, regardless of their theoretical preferences and style.
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From Big Bang to Big Mystery

Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution

Author: Brendan M. Purcell

Publisher: New City Press

ISBN: 1565484339

Category: Religion

Page: 365

View: 7418

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In this fascinating, accessible and thorough study, renowned priest and academic Brendan Purcell combines the latest discoveries in paleoanthropology, genetics, neuroscience, and other sciences with the insights of philosophers and theologians to address the question of the Big Bang of Human Consciousness. Purcell shows the complementarity these disciplines can bring to an understanding of the mystery of human existence.
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Earth-honoring Faith

Religious Ethics in a New Key

Author: Larry L. Rasmussen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986843

Category: Philosophy

Page: 480

View: 8868

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Grand Winner of the 2014 Nautilus Book Awards Thoughtful observers agree that the planetary crisis we now face-climate change; species extinction; the destruction of entire ecosystems; the urgent need for a more just economic-political order-is pushing human civilization to a radical turning point: change or perish. But precisely how to change remains an open question. In Earth-honoring Faith, Larry Rasmussen answers that question with a dramatically new way of thinking about human society, ethics, and the ongoing health of our planet. Rejecting the modern assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Rasmussen insists that we must derive a spiritual and ecological ethic that accounts for the well-being of all creation, as well as the primal elements upon which it depends: earth, air, fire, water, and sunlight. He argues that good science, necessary as it is, will not be enough to inspire fundamental change. We must draw on religious resources as well to make the difficult transition from an industrial-technological age obsessed with consumption to an ecological age that restores wise stewardship of all life. Earth-honoring Faith advocates an alliance of spirituality and ecology, in which the material requirements for planetary life are reconciled with deep traditions of spirituality across religions, traditions that include mysticism, sacramentalism, prophetic practices, asceticism, and the cultivation of wisdom. It is these shared spiritual practices that can produce a chorus of world faiths to counter the consumerism, utilitarianism, alienation, oppression, and folly that have pushed us to the brink. Written with passionate commitment and deep insight, Earth-honoring Faith reminds us that we must live in the present with the knowledge that the eyes of future generations will look back at us.
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Evolution

What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511426

Category: Science

Page: 408

View: 4165

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Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
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Bringing Fossils to Life

An Introduction to Paleobiology

Author: Donald R. Prothero

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231536909

Category: Science

Page: 672

View: 8566

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One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.
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ChaucerÕs Afterlife

Adaptations in Recent Popular Culture

Author: Kathleen Forni

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786473444

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 176

View: 7532

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This study explores Chaucer's present-day cultural reputation by way of popular culture. In just the past two decades his texts have been adapted to a wide variety of popular genres, including television, stage, comic book, hip-hop, science fiction, horror, romance, and crime fiction. This cultural recycling involves a variety of functions but Chaucer's primary association is with the idea of pilgrimage and the prevailing tenor is populist satire. The target is not only cultural elitism but also the dominant discourse of professional Chaucerians. Academics in turn may have doubts about the value of popular Chaucer; popular culture theory, however, would maintain that such skepticism has less to do with critical discrimination than the assertion of social distinction. Nonetheless, the fact that Chaucer has a popular afterlife, and remains an ideological product over which competing groups lay claim, attests to his current cultural vitality.
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