Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World

Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World

by Rob Brooks
     
 

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An evolutionary biologist looks at diverse environmental and social problems to show how the basic evolutionary imperative of survival and adaptation shapes our worldSee more details below

Overview

An evolutionary biologist looks at diverse environmental and social problems to show how the basic evolutionary imperative of survival and adaptation shapes our world

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Brooks] is at his best when he warns about the global political consequences of dramatically unequal sex ratios found among the poorest and most populated Asian countries.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is a startling insight into the relevance of evolutionary biology to our society and cultures.”—COSMOS Magazine

“It’s good fun, and a reminder that while Homo sapiens possesses a big cerebral cortex we also drag around a genetic legacy kick-started by our ancestors’ decision to climb down from trees, arguably the first of many bad evolutionary moves.”—The Australian

“A sublime piece of popular science.” —The Sydney Morning Herald

Publishers Weekly
That evolution has played a significant role in shaping many facets of human social systems and individual behaviors has become axiomatic in recent years. Brooks, an evolutionary biologist from the University of New South Wales, uses an evolutionary lens to examine many of the specifics embedded in that axiom. By ranging widely—covering obesity, population growth, sex and mating patterns, and aging—he demonstrates the many ways differential reproduction, the most important feature of evolution, touches on every aspect of our lives. Brooks is a capable writer, but most of his major ideas have been previously expressed by others. There is nothing new, for example, about explaining how the food-gathering practices of early humans are largely responsible for our penchant for fatty food and our world-wide obesity epidemic. Brooks is weakest when he uses rock music as a case study for evolutionary thinking. He’s at his best when he warns about the global political consequences of dramatically unequal sex ratios found among the poorest and most populated Asian countries: a projected 60 million excess men by 2020 in India and China, lacking reproductive prospects, “ not only peace and order within those societies but also regional and global stability.” (Mar.)
Library Journal
Australian evolutionary biologist Brooks (director, Evolution & Ecology Research Ctr., Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney) studies the intersection of sex and adaptation. In his first book for a general audience, he aims "to show how evolution is taking its place alongside the studies of economics and culture, to enhance how we understand our lives, human history, and the prospects for social improvement." He discusses current issues like fertility, weight gain, sex, death, and polygamy through the lens of evolution. Brooks succinctly provides us with an understanding of how evolution brought human beings from our origins to where we are today and how it affected our culture and economics. He also speculates about what may happen to our culture (and species) as evolution continues to influence us in the future. VERDICT Later chapters often derive examples from the lives of rock musicians, and humor also assists Brooks's discussion. A thoughtful reflection on evolution, the role of the individual within society, and the planet's future.—Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, Research Triangle Park, NC

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611682373
Publisher:
University of New Hampshire Press
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
322
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Geoffrey Miller
“In this engaging and witty book, biologist Rob Brooks shows how human nature interacts with social and economic conditions to explain some of the most troubling aspects of modern human life. . . . A must-read for the evo-curious.”
Baba Brinkman
“A dazzling tour of the hidden logic behind modern life.”

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