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Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect (Hardcover)

Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect By Paul  R. Ehrlich Cover Image
$81.92
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Description


The Bell Curve, The Moral Animal, The Selfish Gene -- these and a host of other books and articles have made a seemingly overwhelming case that our genes determine our behavior. Now, in a new book that is sure to stir controversy, one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists shows why most of those claims of genetic destiny cannot be true, and explains how the arguments often stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution itself.

"You can't change human nature," the saying goes. But you can, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich shows us in Human Natures, and in fact, evolution is the story of those changing natures. He makes a compelling case that "human nature" is not a single, unitary entity, but is as diverse as humanity itself, and that changes in culture and other environmental variations play as much of a role in human evolution as genetic changes. We simply don't have enough genes to specify behavior at the level that is often asserted.

Never has knowledge of our evolutionary past been more important to our future. Developing intelligent strategies for antibiotic use, pest control, biodiversity protection -- and even for establishing more equitable social arrangements -- all depend on understanding evolution and how it works. A hallmark of Human Natures is the author's ability to convey lucidly that understanding in the course of presenting an engrossing history of our species. Using personal anecdote, vivid example, and stimulating narrative, Ehrlich guides us through the thicket of controversies over what science can and cannot say about the influence of our evolutionary past on everything from race to religion, from sexual orientation to economic development.

A major work of synthesis and scholarship, Human Natures gives us the fruit of a lifetime's thought and research on evolution and environment by a modern master of scientific understanding. Ehrlich's innovative vision lights the way to a fresh view of human nature and evolution, bringing insight and clarity to urgent questions of where we are as a species, and where we may be headed.

About the Author


Paul R. Ehrlich is a co-founder with Peter H. Raven of the field of co-evolution, and has pursued long-term studies of the structure, dynamics, and genetics of natural butterfly populations. He has also been a pioneer in alerting the public to the problems of overpopulation, and in raising issues of population, resources, and the environment as matters of public policy. Ehrlich is the author of The Population Bomb, and many other books, as well as hundreds of papers.

Ehrlich is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Ehrlich has received several honorary degrees, the John Muir Award of the Sierra Club, the Gold Medal Award of the World Wildlife Fund International, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (given in lieu of a Nobel Prize in areas where the Nobel is not given), in 1993 the Volvo Environmental Prize, in 1994 the United Nations' Sasakawa Environment Prize, in 1995 the Heinz Award for the Environment, in 1998 the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, in 1999 the Blue Planet Prize, in 2001 the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America and the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.In addition to The Population Bomb, Ehrlich is the author of Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect (Island Press, 2000) and co-author of The Work of Nature: How The Diversity Of Life Sustains Us (Island Press, 1998).With his wife Anne, he is the author of Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future (Island Press, 1996) and One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future (Island Press, 2004). His latest book with Anne is The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment (Island Press, 2008).Paul R. Ehrlich received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781559637794
ISBN-10: 155963779X
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2000
Pages: 576
Language: English
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