Almost all of this accelerated evolution--which, as in the pointed case of the human immunodeficiency virus, occurs faster than we can track it--is an unintended, accidental consequence of some well-intentioned effort to improve human life by sidestepping nature. One such consequence is the growing incidence of drug-resistant bacteria and viruses, which have mutated to survive antibiotic treatments to the point that postoperative infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus now pose a major threat to hospitals. Another is the arrival of pests that have evolved to survive pesticides of many kinds, pests that threaten crops around the world in a time of ever-increasing scarcity. All this, Palumbi writes, is "evolution with teeth," and such responses to our hapless prompting make humans the most potent evolutionary form the planet has ever known. Whether we can survive our own power to reshape the earth remains a question. But, Palumbi concludes, ideas evolve, too, so that we can hope against hope to think our way back to more or less normal cycles of evolutionary change. Well-written and provocative, his book makes for a useful start. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
We are using this book in a class at OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U. of Arizona.
It is meant for lay students, and is superb in every way.
One of the stones around the neck of Darwinist evolutionary theory is that it hasn't been observed to happen. Read morePublished on June 25, 2002
This excellently-done book explores the human tendency to cause explosive evolution in our environments. Don't believe in evolution? Read morePublished on May 1, 2002 by Floyd Largent