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For fans of WHAT IF? and NEW SCIENTIST comes this brilliantly funny and informative look at the stranger side of evolution. Featuring: The Zombie ants mind-controlled by a fungus Beautiful salamanders that can regenerate any part of their bodies, including their brains The mantis shrimp, which fires its club-like appendage so fast that the surrounding water becomes as hot as the surface of the sun The Antechinus, whose runaway testosterone levels cause them to have so much sex during their three-week mating season that they bleed internally, go blind, and drop dead... Featuring quirky illustrations and the signature blend of science smarts and humour that make Matt Simon's Wired column so entertaining, this is an ideal stocking-filler for every popular science aficionado...
Darwin’s theory of evolution was a monumental achievement, but there was much he did not know. In his ‘survival of the fittest’ model each step must go forward, life always progressing up the slope towards an evolutionary peak. There is no turning back. So what happens when there is more than one slope, and life finds itself on the wrong one? World-leading biologist Andreas Wagner reveals that life does not, as Darwin believed, only walk – it also leaps.
Drawing on pioneering research, Wagner explores life’s creative process and how, with all the stops and starts, and knowing that sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, it bears a striking resemblance to how we humans work. A beguiling symmetry links Picasso struggling through forty versions of Guernica and the way evolution transformed a dinosaur’s claw into a condor’s wing. This new understanding is already revolutionising our approach to problem-solving across the sciences. In the near future, applied in spheres as diverse as the economy and education, it will enable us to do so much more. Thought-provoking and deeply hopeful, Life Finds a Way reminds us that no matter how many times we have to turn back, we can still reach the highest peaks.
THE NEW INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BIG SHORT AND FLASH BOYS'A gripping account of how two psychologists reshaped the way we think ... What a story it is' Sunday Times 'You'll love it ... full of surprises and no small degree of tragedy' Tim HarfordIn 1969 two men met on a university campus. Their names were Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. They were different in every way. But they were both obsessed with the human mind - and both happened to be geniuses. Together, they would change the way we see the world.'An enchanted collaboration ... During the final pages, I was blinking back tears' The New York Times 'My favourite writer full stop. Engages both heart and brain like no other' Daily Telegraph'Brilliant, a wonderful book, a masterclass' Spectator 'Psychology's Lennon and McCartney ... Lewis is exactly the storyteller they deserve' Observer
Everything you need to know about race (but were afraid to ask). In academic journals and on internet message boards, certain scientists and thinkers are laying siege to one of the great taboos. Could it be, they ask, that racism has a rational basis in science? These ideas are no longer limited to the fringe: race-based studies of intelligence have been discussed by thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. If true, it would provide an intellectual foundation for so many of the attitudes that characterise the right wing, justifying inequality and discrimination. Gavin Evans tackles the nature vs nurture debate head-on, examining the latest studies on how intelligence develops and laying out new discoveries in genetics, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to unearth the truth about our shared past. In doing so, Skin Deep demolishes the pernicious myth that our race is our destiny, and instead reveals what really makes us who we are.
Where does creativity come from? Why are some people more creative than others? Eminent neuropsychologist Christine Temple navigates a wide range of factors from the hard science (visual memory, spatial ability, brain functions) to the environmental (the 'mad genius' myth, and Gladwell's 10,000 hours of practice) in her study of what contributes to creativity. Using Pablo Picasso as her model of a creative genius, she weighs up each theory as it applies to Picasso and shows how his own creativity came from a combination of many factors. In this book, she looks at Picasso's playful mindset and passionate relationships, investigates the possibility that genius is genetic and can be inherited in families, considers whether creative genii perceive the world in a different way, and determines whether single-mindedness and focus play a part. This is the first book to look at a multitude of traits in creativity, and nail down the key factors that matter (and also which ones don't) to provide an overall picture of this fascinating area, linking the science to the personal.
By the author of the best-selling, prize-winning Stuff Matters 'A truly delightful read' Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox 'Exciting, anarchic and surprising' Katy Guest, The Guardian This fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with substances from water and glue to coffee and wine, he shows how these liquids can bring death and destruction as well as wonder and fascination. From Laszlo Biro's revolutionary pen and Abraham Gesner's kerosene to cutting-edge research on self-repairing roads and liquid computers, Miodownik uses his winning formula of scientific storytelling to bring the everyday to life. He reveals why liquids can flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, how waves can travel so far, and how to make the perfect cup of tea. Here are the secret lives of substances that we rely on but rarely understand. 'An exhilarating, eye-opening ride' Philip Ball, science writer and author of H2O 'A thrilling read, from start to finish' Tim Radford, author of The Consolations of Physics
Of all species that have ever existed on earth, only one has reached human levels of intelligence and social organisation: us. Why? In Genesis, celebrated biologist Edward O. Wilson traces the great transitions of evolution, from the origin of life to the invention of sexual reproduction to the development of language itself. The only way for us to fully understand human behaviour, Wilson argues, is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, he demonstrates that at least seventeen - from the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp to one of the oldest species on earth, the termite - have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism, cooperation and the division of labour. These rare eusocial species form the prehistory to our human social patterns, even, according to Wilson, suggesting the possible biological benefits of homosexuality and elderly grandmothers. Whether writing about midges who dance about like acrobats, schools of anchovies who protectively huddle to appear like a gigantic fish or well-organised flocks becoming potentially immortal, Genesis is a pathbreaking work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.work of evolutionary theory filled with lyrical observations. It will make us rethink how we became who we are.
'Required reading for anyone remotely curious about how they came to be remotely curious' Observer 'Enthralling' Spectator What is human consciousness and how is it possible? These questions fascinate thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. This is Daniel C. Dennett's brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains and human culture. Part philosophical whodunnit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett's career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style, laced with wit and thought experiments, Dennett shows how culture enables reflection by installing a profusion of thinking tools, or memes, in our brains, and how language turbocharges this process. The result: a mind that can comprehend the questions it poses, has emerged from a process of cultural evolution. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back is essential for anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its applications.
Learn how to make real, lasting changes in your life We all have bad habits - whether it's a weakness for junk food, a smartphone addiction or a lack of exercise. But change is hard. Forty percent of dieters quit within a week. Eighty percent of New Year's resolutions don't last beyond January. How can we kick bad habits - and stick with it? According to psychologist and behaviour researcher Dr Sean Young, the answer is to stop trying to change the person, and instead change the process. In Stick With It, Dr Young draws on his own research and that of other leading experts to explain how the mind often interferes with breaking bad habits, and how we can outsmart it, increasing the likelihood of lasting change by 200%. Packed with practical exercises and real-life case studies, Stick With It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, exercise regularly and overcome problem behaviours - forever. 'Scientifically grounded and personally implementable. It's a winner' - Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion 'A must-read for anyone who's been unable to keep a New Year's resolution or failed at making a lasting change in any other area of their life or work. - Jonah Berger, author of Contagious Dr Sean Young is one of the world's leading experts in the field of habit-forming. He is an acclaiedpsychologist and the founder and Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior. His research involves the study of cutting-edge ways of using social media and mobile technologies to change and predict human behaviour.
When a computer goes wrong, we are told to turn it off and on again. In Am I Dreaming?, science journalist James Kingsland reveals how the human brain is remarkably similar. By rebooting our hard-wired patterns of thinking - through so-called 'altered states of consciousness' - we can gain new perspectives into ourselves and the world around us. From shamans in Peru to tech workers in Silicon Valley, Kingsland provides a fascinating tour through lucid dreams, mindfulness, hypnotic trances, virtual reality and drug-induced hallucinations. An eye-opening insight into perception and consciousness, this is also a provocative argument for how altered states can significantly boost our mental health.
'If you've been wondering whether your thoughts really do affect your life, this marvellous book will make you a believer.' - John Gray, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Mind to Matter shows us that as we take charge of our individual power to create, we have the potential, as a species, to catalyze a transformation of our whole world. We're told that 'thoughts become things', but between the possible and the impossible there is a wide middle ground. In Mind to Matter, award-winning author Dawson Church examines the scientific facts behind the popular concept of 'manifesting' and reviews its possibilities and its limits. Through cutting-edge research and new discoveries in epigenetics, neuroscience, electromagnetism, psychology, public health and quantum physics, as well as incredible real-life testimonies, this book explores how the universe operates synchronistically, and how our individual local minds participate in a universal non-local mind.
This book describes the biomedical information of albinism to determine the disability of the genetic disorder in albinism (Chapter 1).
Secondly, it describes the international and regional frameworks of disability (Chapter 2). Thirdly, it analyses the human rights perspective of disability as related to albinism (Chapter 3). Human rights apply to all human beings regardless of disability, and focus will be on the relevant Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Fourthly, the book demonstrates the understanding of albinism through beliefs, cultures and superstitions (Chapter 4).
The book suggests a way forward, intending to provide some suggestions and recommendations to improve the life of person with disabilities in general and albinism in particular (Chapter 5).
Finally, the role of non-governmental organisations is analysed - which is to raise awareness, boost the self-esteem of their members, advocate for their needs and possibly lobby for an inclusive society (Chapter 6).
Why do we do develop habits? And how can we change them? We can always change. In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg translates cutting-edge behavioural science into practical self-improvement action, distilling advanced neuroscience into fascinating narratives of transformation. Why can some people and companies change overnight, and some stay stuck in their old ruts? The answer lies deep in the human brain, and The Power of Habits reveals the secret pressure points that can change a life. From Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to Martin Luther King Jr., from the CEO of Starbucks to the locker rooms of the NFL, Duhigg explores the incredible results of keystone habits, and how they can make all the difference between billions and millions, failure and success - or even life and death. The Power of Habit makes an exhilarating case: the key to almost any door in life is instilling the right habit. From exercise to weight loss, childrearing to productivity, market disruption to social revolution, and above all success, the right habits can change everything. Habits aren't destiny. They're science, one which can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment.' Stephen Fry "It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now - completely brilliant and yet, some might say, emotionally dwarfed. The question is: can our more empathetic side catch up in time to save us and the world? I've got nothing against smarts, but it's smarts without emotional awareness that got us into this position of being able to nuke each other into oblivion and rape the earth for oil." With a little help from a monk (who tells us how our mind works) and a neuroscientist (who tells us how our brain works), Ruby Wax answers every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by smart science and practical mindfulness exercises, How to be Human is the only manual you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iphone. 'Ruby has beautifully fused neurology and spirituality and given us a means to cope with operating both a mind and a brain. If this mental upgrade works then all other books will become defunct as we repose in bliss.' Russell Brand 'How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy.' Joanna Lumley
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and A New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Our understanding of the `tree of life', with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed. This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth - through molecular phylogenetics. It involves a fairly simple method - the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms. For instance, we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection. In The Tangled Tree, acclaimed science writer David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them - such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about `mosaic' creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health. Quammen explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life - including where we humans fit into it. Thanks to new technologies, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition - through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life's history itself.
An easy and accessible guide to boosting your brain power by an acclaimed neurosurgeon and neuroscientist For years Dr Rahul Jandial has transformed the lives of his neurosurgery patients by putting them through 'brain rehab', his specially developed boot camp for restoring brain function. In this eye-opening, informative and accessible guide, he uses his years of expertise to show how healthy people can rewire their brains to work in a higher gear. With quick and easy daily exercises, Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon will show you how to: * boost your memory * control stress and emotions * minimize pain * unleash creativity * raise smart kids * reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Using a combination of scientific research and fascinating real-life stories from his own operating room, acclaimed neurosurgeon Rahul Jandial explains how to boost your brain power for good.
In this spirited and irreverent critique of Darwin's long hold over our imagination, a distinguished philosopher of science makes the case that, in culture as well as nature, not only the fittest survive: the world is full of the "good enough" that persist too. Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we've embraced a faulty conception of how evolution-and human society-really works. Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin's concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due-to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply. But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives-as in the rest of nature-is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.
The bestselling author of The Drunkard's Walk unlocks the secrets of flexible thinking What do Pokemon Go and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have in common? Why do some businesses survive, and others fail at the first sign of change? What gives the human brain the edge over computers? The answer: Elastic Thinking. It's an ability we all possess, and one that we can all learn to hone in order to succeed, at work and in our everyday lives. Here Leonard Mlodinow, whose own flexible thinking has taken him from physics professor to TV scriptwriter and bestselling author, takes us on a revelatory exploration of how elasticity works. He draws on cutting-edge neuroscience to show how, millennia ago, our brains developed an affinity for novelty, idea generation and exploration. He discovers how flexible thinking enabled some of the greatest artists, writers, musicians and innovators to create paradigm shifts. He investigates the organisations that have demonstrated an elastic ability to adapt to new technologies. And he reveals how you can test your own brain power and increase your capacity for elastic thinking. By uncovering the secrets of our flexible minds, Elastic explains how to thrive in an endlessly dynamic world, at a time when an ability to adapt is more important than ever before.
Changes in climate and sea level are nothing new - over the last 700 million years, the Earth has been slowly but constantly changing from within. We now know that our planet's surface, far from being fixed or stable, is composed of tectonic plates in continual movement, drifting in oceans which themselves appear and disappear over millennia. Such insecurity lies at the heart of both the physical and the living world, providing the creative impetus for all life forms to confront change, adapt and evolve.
This exceptional book celebrates the inevitability of global change and highlights our need as human beings to recognize and adjust to it. Its entertaining and accessible text displays a remarkable breadth and diversity of knowledge, drawing upon discoveries in natural history, geology, geography and paleontology to unravel secrets of millions of years. Its unique structure offers the opportunity to pursue two distinct but parallel narratives in one volume - the first characterized by discrete photo-essay spreads, and the second by authoritative running text illustrated with clearly numbered icons. Designed either to be browsed through like a website or read in chronological sequence, each chapter provides a fascinating glimpse into the formation and development of our world.
Glorious panoramic photography by the author, a specialist in interpretive landscape, reveals the physical legacy of the Earth's distant past. This intriguing exploration of key sites, often remote and inaccessible, provides a clear and original perspective on the Earth as a dynamic, interactive planet. The compelling narrative by a bestselling science writer places the history of our planet in a challenging contemporary context in which human beings, like all living things, must embrace change or fail to survive.
As a science writer Ron Redfern has received a number of prestigious literary and academic awards, perhaps most notably the American Institute of Professional Geologists' Outstanding Achievement Award. This was presented to him before his permanent return to England in 1996. The award was in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding in science.
Land of contrast delights with the photographic collection of bold and beautiful images. The book depicts the renowned diversity of the different landscapes and life within the eight biomes of the southern African sub-continent. Each of these landscapes, called biomes, are the result of its geology and climate, which determine the soil and vegetation types and eventually the fauna. Life on land is determined by the availability of fresh water and therefore rivers and wetlands form an intrinsic part of each biome. The biomes vary from fynbos, succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, desert, grassland, Savanna, thicket and forest.
During the past decade there has been an explosion in computation and information technology. With it have come vast amounts of data in a variety of fields such as medicine, biology, finance, and marketing. The challenge of understanding these data has led to the development of new tools in the field of statistics, and spawned new areas such as data mining, machine learning, and bioinformatics. Many of these tools have common underpinnings but are often expressed with different terminology. This book describes the important ideas in these areas in a common conceptual framework. While the approach is statistical, the emphasis is on concepts rather than mathematics. Many examples are given, with a liberal use of color graphics. It is a valuable resource for statisticians and anyone interested in data mining in science or industry. The book's coverage is broad, from supervised learning (prediction) to unsupervised learning. The many topics include neural networks, support vector machines, classification trees and boosting---the first comprehensive treatment of this topic in any book.
This major new edition features many topics not covered in the original, including graphical models, random forests, ensemble methods, least angle regression & path algorithms for the lasso, non-negative matrix factorization, and spectral clustering. There is also a chapter on methods for wide'' data (p bigger than n), including multiple testing and false discovery rates.
Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman are professors of statistics at Stanford University. They are prominent researchers in this area: Hastie and Tibshirani developed generalized additive models and wrote a popular book of that title. Hastie co-developed much of the statistical modeling software and environment in R/S-PLUS and invented principal curves and surfaces. Tibshirani proposed the lasso and is co-author of the very successful An Introduction to the Bootstrap. Friedman is the co-inventor of many data-mining tools including CART, MARS, projection pursuit and gradient boosting.
Over 7 billion people depend on plants for healthy, productive, secure lives, but few of us stop to consider the origin of the plant kingdom that turned the world green and made our lives possible. And as the human population continues to escalate, our survival depends on how we treat the plant kingdom and the soils that sustain it. Understanding the evolutionary history of our land floras, the story of how plant life emerged from water and conquered the continents to dominate the planet, is fundamental to our own existence. In Making Eden David Beerling reveals the hidden history of Earth's sun-shot greenery, and considers its future prospects as we farm the planet to feed the world. Describing the early plant pioneers and their close, symbiotic relationship with fungi, he examines the central role plants play in both ecosystems and the regulation of climate. As threats to plant biodiversity mount today, Beerling discusses the resultant implications for food security and climate change, and how these can be avoided. Drawing on the latest exciting scientific findings, including Beerling's own field work in the UK, North America, and New Zealand, and his experimental research programmes over the past decade, this is an exciting new take on how plants greened the continents.
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