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The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environmentby Paul R. Ehrlich
Synopses & Reviews
In humanityandrsquo;s more than 100,000 year history, we have evolved from vulnerable creatures clawing sustenance from Earth to a sophisticated global society manipulating every inch of it. In short, we have become the dominant animal. Why, then, are we creating a world that threatens our own species? What can we do to change the current trajectory toward more climate change, increased famine, and epidemic disease?
Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing those questions depends on a clear understanding of how we evolved and how and why weandrsquo;re changing the planet in ways that darken our descendantsandrsquo; future. The Dominant Animal arms readers with that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. In lucid and engaging prose, they describe how Homo sapiens adapted to their surroundings, eventually developing the vibrant cultures, vast scientific knowledge, and technological wizardry we know today.
But the Ehrlichs also explore the flip side of this triumphant story of innovation and conquest. As we clear forests to raise crops and build cities, lace the continents with highways, and create chemicals never before seen in nature, we may be undermining our own supremacy. The threats of environmental damage are clear from the daily headlines, but the outcome is far from destined. Humanity can again adaptandmdash;if we learn from our evolutionary past.
Those lessons are crystallized in The Dominant Animal. Tackling the fundamental challenge of the human predicament, Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.
Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrl
Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrl
Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing todayand#8217;s great environmental and social challenges requires a clear understanding of how we evolved and how weand#8217;re changing the planet. The Dominant Animal offers readers that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. Tackling the fundamental challenge of the human predicament, Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.
About the Author
Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and professor ofand#160;biology at Stanford University and a fellow of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. The author of Human Natures, The Population Bomb, and many other books, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous international honors, including the Crafoord Prize and the MacArthur andldquo;genius award.andrdquo;
Anne H. Ehrlich is affiliated with Stanfordand#39;s Biology Department and Center for Conservation Biology, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served on the board of the Sierra Club and other conservation organizations, has coauthored more than ten books with her husband, and is a recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the United Nations Environment Programme/Sasakawa Environment Prize.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Darwin's Legacy and Mendel's Mechanism
Chapter 2. The Entangled Bank
Chapter 3. Fossils and Our Distant Past
Chapter 4. Cultural Evolution and#150; It's Not All in the Genes
Chapter 5. Cultural Evolution: How It Works
Chapter 6. Perception: How Much Of The Outside Gets In?
Chapter 7. Differences: How We Deal with Them
Chapter 8. Births, Deaths, and Migrations: The Dynamics of Populations
Chapter 9. History as Cultural Evolution
Chapter 10. Cultural Change, Diversification, and Conservatism
Chapter 11. Our Biophysical Environment
Chapter 12. Ecosystems and Human Domination of Earth
Chapter 13. Population, Consumption, and the Environment
Chapter 14. A New Imperative
Chapter 15. Altering the Global Atmosphere
Chapter 16. Energy: Are We Running Out of It?
Chapter 17. Saving Our Natural Capital
Chapter 18. Governance: Tackling the Unanticipated Consequences
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