The Emergence of Humans

Author: Patricia J. Ash
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119964245
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
The Emergence of Humans is an accessible, informative introduction to the scientific study of human evolution. It takes the reader through time following the emergence of the modern human species Homo sapiens from primate roots. Acknowledging the controversy surrounding the interpretation of the fossil record, the authors present a balanced approach in an effort to do justice to different views. Each chapter covers a significant time period of evolutionary history and includes relevant techniques from other disciplines that have applications to the field of human evolution. Self-assessment questions linked to learning outcomes are provided for each chapter, together with further reading and reference to key sources in the primary literature. The book will thus be effective both as a conventional textbook and for independent study. Written by two authors with a wealth of teaching experience The Emergence of Humans will prove invaluable to students in the biological and natural sciences needing a clear, balanced introduction to the study of human evolution.

Dominance and Aggression in Humans and Other Animals

Author: Henry R. Hermann
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128092955
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Dominance and Aggression in Humans and Other Animals: The Great Game of Life examines human nature and the influence of evolution, genetics, chemistry, nurture, and the sociopolitical environment as a way of understanding how and why humans behave in aggressive and dominant ways. The book walks us through aggression in other social species, compares and contrasts human behavior to other animals, and then explores specific human behaviors like bullying, abuse, territoriality murder, and war. The book examines both individual and group aggression in different environments including work, school, and the home. It explores common stressors triggering aggressive behaviors, and how individual personalities can be vulnerable to, or resistant to, these stressors. The book closes with an exploration of the cumulative impact of human aggression and dominance on the natural world. Reviews the influence of evolution, genetics, biochemistry, and nurture on aggression Explores aggression in multiple species, including insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals Compares human and animal aggressive and dominant behavior Examines bullying, abuse, territoriality, murder, and war Includes nonaggressive behavior in displays of respect and tolerance Highlights aggression triggers from drugs to stress Discusses individual and group behavior, including organizations and nations Probes dominance and aggression in religion and politics Translates the impact of human behavior over time on the natural world

From Big Bang to Big Mystery

Author: Brendan M. Purcell
Publisher: New City Press
ISBN: 1565484339
Format: PDF
Download Now
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.

The Overview Effect

Author: Frank White
Publisher: AIAA
ISBN: 9781563472602
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Using interviews with and writings by 30 astronauts and cosmonauts, Frank White shows how experiences such as circling the Earth every 90 minutes and viewing it from the moon have profoundly affected our space travelers perceptions of themselves, their world, and the future. He shows how the rest of us, who have participated imaginatively in these great adventures, have also been affected psychologically by them. He provides a powerful rationale for space exploration and settlement, describing them as the inevitable next steps in the evolution of human society and human consciousness, as the activities most likely to bring a new perspective to the problems of life on Earth. White goes on to consider the possible consequences of a human presence in space, both for the pioneers who settle there and for those who remain on Earth. He imagines how having a permanent perspective from outer space will affect our politics, our religion, our social relations, our psychology, our economics, and our hard sciences. He confronts the possibility of rebellion by a space colony and of contact with extraterrestrial beings. And, finally, he makes it clear that our fate is in our own hands, that we will shape our future in space effectively only by fashioning a new human space program, free of excessive nationalism and dedicated to the peaceful exploration of the space frontier.

Cannabis

Author: Robert Clarke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520954572
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the natural origins and early evolution of this famous plant, highlighting its historic role in the development of human societies. Cannabis has long been prized for the strong and durable fiber in its stalks, its edible and oil-rich seeds, and the psychoactive and medicinal compounds produced by its female flowers. The culturally valuable and often irreplaceable goods derived from cannabis deeply influenced the commercial, medical, ritual, and religious practices of cultures throughout the ages, and human desire for these commodities directed the evolution of the plant toward its contemporary varieties. As interest in cannabis grows and public debate over its many uses rises, this book will help us understand why humanity continues to rely on this plant and adapts it to suit our needs.

The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History

Author: Fred H. Previc
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521360890
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
What does it mean to be human? There are many theories of the evolution of human behavior which seek to explain how our brains evolved to support our unique abilities and personalities. Most of these have focused on the role of brain size or specific genetic adaptations of the brain. In contrast, Fred Previc presents a provocative theory that high levels of dopamine, the most widely studied neurotransmitter, account for all major aspects of modern human behavior. He further emphasizes the role of epigenetic rather than genetic factors in the rise of dopamine. Previc contrasts the great achievements of the dopaminergic mind with the harmful effects of rising dopamine levels in modern societies and concludes with a critical examination of whether the dopaminergic mind that has evolved in humans is still adaptive to the health of humans and to the planet in general.

Guns Germs and Steel The Fates of Human Societies

Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609294
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543166
Format: PDF
Download Now
Donald R. Prothero’s Evolution is an entertaining and rigorous history of the transitional forms and series found in the the fossil record. Its engaging narrative of scientific discovery and well-grounded analysis has led to the book’s widespread adoption in courses that teach the nature and value of fossil evidence. Evolution tackles flood geology, rock dating, neo-Darwinism, and macroevolution. It includes extensive coverage of the primordial soup, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, and the transformation from chimpanzee to human. The book details the many “missing links,” including some of the most recent discoveries, that flesh out the fossil timeline and the evolutionary process. In this second edition, Prothero describes new transitional fossils from various periods, vividly depicting such bizarre creatures as the Odontochelys, or the “turtle on the half shell,” fossil snakes with legs, and the “Frogamander,” a new example of amphibian transition. Prothero’s discussion of intelligent-design arguments includes more historical examples and careful examination of the “experiments” and observations that are exploited by creationists seeking to undermine sound science education. With new perspectives, Prothero reframes creationism more as a case study in denialism and pseudoscience than as a field with its own intellectual dynamism. The first edition was hailed as the best book on the fossil evidence for evolution, and this second edition will be welcome in the libraries of scholars, teachers, and general readers who stand up for sound science.

The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

Author: Todd E. Feinberg
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262333279
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions -- and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great "Cambrian explosion" of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious -- not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom--shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the "hard problem" of consciousness.

Dawn of Man

Author: Robin McKie
Publisher: Dk Pub
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Traces the origins and evolution of human beings, from the earliest prehistoric fossil record to the latest evidence based on genetic research.