Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives 1st Edition
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- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385340214
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385340212
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Product Dimensions : 5.85 x 1.15 x 8.45 inches
- Publisher : Delacorte Press; 1st Edition (March 27, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Wilson is at pains to make evolution fascinating and interesting without making it a very jargony discipline. Everyone can benefit from these insights. It's not that "people are just animals" but that people act certain ways for reasons. There are things that are common to all of us, and that we are hardwired to do and act certain ways based on our ability to adapt to our environment. Those who are in violent environments think more short term, and those in peaceful environments think more long term and cooperate better, just to use one example.
If you feel that's common sense, that's kinda the point. Evolution isn't a threat ending discipline, but an ultimate one. That is to say, "ultimately" we fall in love because it is useful to us to have children. However, we have plenty of other reasons for falling in love, not least of which because it is beautiful and enjoyable and rewarding. These are "proximate" reasons that are not in conflict but without one or the other, you miss a very important aspect of what it means to be human.
Evolution is for everyone, and everyone should read this book. Many of our biggest questions about conflict, politics, race, disagreement, heartache, depression, beauty, and myriads of others can be solved with the right kind of thinking, and that thinking is that we are the way we are because of our ability to adapt to our environments to thrive and enjoy the meaning of life!
It allowed me to understand reasoning behind evolution theory and put it into my own words so I can explain it to myself clearly In simple language.
It helped me develop an evolutionary perspective when observing human condition.
It also helped me see religions in better light and from the vantage point of evolutionary theory.
I think this is a clever book, and one that leads the reader on an intellectually satisfying journey.
I am a little concerned that the title may mislead some people. The author successfully makes the case that Darwinism should be an important foundational concept for serious thinkers in the Social Sciences, Religious Studies and Economics, as well as in Biology. "Evolution for Everyone" refers to the idea that serious investigators in all areas, not just in the sciences, should understand and make use of the theory. The writing in not especially technical (kudos to the author for largely abstaining from the jargon), but the interplay between ideas and evidence is pretty complex (and interesting). Thus, it requires the reader's attention if he/she is really to get much out of the reading.
When I first read the title, I expected that it would be a relatively light hearted primer on evolution for those non-scientists who have an interest in the interaction of science with the so-called "culture wars". There are many other books that better fill this latter role (including the one from the National Academy of Sciences which can be downloaded free from their website).
Basically this is a fascinating work if the reader is willing to stretch his or her brain.