The Accidental Homo Sapiens: Genetics, Behavior, and Free Will

The Accidental Homo Sapiens: Genetics, Behavior, and Free Will

by Ian Tattersall, Robert DeSalle

NOOK Book(eBook)

$18.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

What happens now that human population has outpaced biological natural selection? Two leading scientists reveal how we became who we are—and what we might become.

When we think of evolution, the image that likely comes to mind is the iconic, straight-forward image of a primate morphing into a human being. Yet random events have played huge roles in determining the evolutionary histories of everything from lobsters to humans. However, random genetic novelties are most likely to "stick" in small populations. It is mathematically unlikely to happen in large ones.

With our enormous and seemingly inexorably expanding population, humanity has fallen under the influence of the famous (or infamous) “bell curve.” This revelatory new book explores what the future of our species could hold, while simultaneously revealing what we didn’t become—and what we won’t become.

A cognitively unique species, our actions fall on a bell curve as well. Individuals may be saintly or evil, narrow-minded or visionary. But it is possible not just for the species, but for a person to be all of these things—even in a single day. We all fall somewhere within the giant hyperspace of the human condition that these curves describe.

The Accidental Homo Sapiens shows readers that though humanity now exists on this bell curve, we are far from a stagnant species. Tattersall and DeSalle reveal how biological evolution in modern humans has given way to a cultural dynamic that is unlike anything else the Earth has ever witnessed, and that will keep life interesting—perhaps sometimes too interesting—for as long as we exist on this planet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643131108
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Ian Tattersall is Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The author of many books, including the widely praised Masters of the Planet, he is often interviewed about human evolution in the media and speaks around the world. He is the winner of numerous awards, and lives in Greenwich Village.

Rob DeSalle is a curator in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Science of Jurassic Park and the Lost World (with David Lindley, 1997) and the coauthor of Welcome to the Microbiome: Getting to Know the Trillions of Bacteria and Other Microbes In, On, and Around You (2015), among others.
Ian Tattersall is Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The author of many books, including the widely praised Masters of the Planet, he is often interviewed about human evolution in the media and speaks around the world. He is the winner of numerous awards, and lives in Greenwich Village.
Rob DeSalle is a curator in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Science of Jurassic Park and the Lost World (with David Lindley, 1997) and the coauthor of Welcome to the Microbiome: Getting to Know the Trillions of Bacteria and Other Microbes In, On, and Around You (2015), among others.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Prologue xiii

1 Genes, Evolution, And The Sell Curve 1

2 Science And Behavior: Trapped Between Simplicity And Complexity 43

3 Emergence Of The Human Cognitive Style 75

4 Genes, People, And Behavior 127

5 Human Beings And Choice 163

Notes and Bibliography 195

Index 213

Customer Reviews