Tag Archives: human

Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species – Sang-Hee Lee

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Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species
Sang-Hee Lee

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $12.99

Expected Publish Date: February 20, 2018

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


In this captivating bestseller, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist offers fresh insights into humanity’s dawn and evolution. What can fossilized teeth tell us about the life expectancy of our ancient ancestors? How did farming play a problematic role in the history of human evolution? How can simple geometric comparisons of skull and pelvic fossils suggest a possible origin to our social nature? And what do we truly have in common with the Neanderthals? In this captivating international bestseller, Close Encounters with Humankind, Korea’s first paleoanthropologist, Sang-Hee Lee, explores some of our greatest evolutionary questions from new and unexpected angles. Through a series of entertaining, bite-sized chapters, we gain fresh perspectives into our first hominin ancestors and ways to challenge perceptions about the traditional progression of evolution. By combining anthropological insight with exciting, cutting-edge research, Lee’s surprising conclusions shed new light on our beginnings and connect us to a faraway past. For example, our big brains may have served to set our species apart and spur our societal development, but perhaps not in the ways we have often assumed. And it’s possible that the Neanderthals, our infamous ancestors, were not the primitive beings portrayed by twentieth-century science. With Lee as our guide, we discover that from our first steps on two feet to our first forays into toolmaking and early formations of community, we have always been a species of continuous change. Close Encounters with Humankind is the perfect read for anyone curious about where we came from and what it took to get us here. As we mine the evolutionary path to the present, Lee helps us to determine where we are heading and tackles one of our most pressing scientific questions—does humanity continue to evolve?

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Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species – Sang-Hee Lee

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How to Create a Mind – Ray Kurzweil

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How to Create a Mind
The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
Ray Kurzweil

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: November 13, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


The bold futurist and bestselling author explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In How to Create a Mind , Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines. Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating. Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil’s previous classics which include Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and The Age of Spiritual Machines . From the Hardcover edition.

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How to Create a Mind – Ray Kurzweil

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Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals – Brenda Peterson

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Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals

Brenda Peterson

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: July 17, 2002

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


"Peterson writes of nature with an intimacy that tugs at the reader's deep memory." —Orion This is the story of a life and spirit guided by animals. Brenda Peterson was raised in the High Sierras on a national forest lookout station, and wildlife had a daily, defining influence on her life. Peterson explores her deep connection with animals, from watching grizzlies in Montana's Rockies, to keeping Siberian huskies as pets in New York City, to her work for the restoration of wild wolves. Her lively storytelling bridges the worlds of human and animal, as she fascinates us with intimate stories of her studies of wild dolphins, whales, and orcas. Peterson reveals how animal bonds have enriched her life and led her toward a wider epiphany: As a species we cannot live without other animals.

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Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals – Brenda Peterson

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Algorithms to Live By – Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

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Algorithms to Live By

The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $9.99

Publish Date: April 19, 2016

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC


A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us. In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian (who holds degrees in computer science, philosophy, and poetry, and works at the intersection of all three) and Tom Griffiths (a UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and psychology) show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

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Algorithms to Live By – Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

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The Great Unknown – Marcus du Sautoy

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The Great Unknown

Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

Marcus du Sautoy

Genre: Physics

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: April 11, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


“Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting.” —Bill Bryson A captivating journey to the outer reaches of human knowledge Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know–to understand the physical world and the laws of nature. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science, or are those challenges simply the next big discovery waiting to happen? Marcus du Sautoy takes us into the minds of science's greatest innovators and reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery. Then he carries us on a whirlwind tour of seven "Edges" of knowledge – inviting us to consider the problems in quantum physics, cosmology, probability and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists who are at the front of their fields. He grounds his personal exploration of some of science's thorniest questions in simple concepts like the roll of dice, the notes of a cello, or how a clock measures time.  Exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world as it invites us to consider big questions – about who we are and the nature of God – that no one has yet managed to answer definitively.

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The Great Unknown – Marcus du Sautoy

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The River of Consciousness – Oliver Sacks

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The River of Consciousness

Oliver Sacks

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $13.99

Publish Date: October 24, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


From the best-selling author of Gratitude, On the Move, and Musicophilia, a collection of essays that displays Oliver Sacks's passionate engagement with the most compelling and seminal ideas of human endeavor: evolution, creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and experience. Oliver Sacks, a scientist and a storyteller, is beloved by readers for the extraordinary neurological case histories ( Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars ) in which he introduced and explored many now familiar disorders–autism, Tourette's syndrome, face blindness, savant syndrome. He was also a memoirist who wrote with honesty and humor about the remarkable and strange encounters and experiences that shaped him ( Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, Gratitude ). Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology. The River of Consciousness is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.

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The River of Consciousness – Oliver Sacks

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The Origins of Creativity – Edward O. Wilson

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The Origins of Creativity

Edward O. Wilson

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $11.99

Publish Date: October 3, 2017

Publisher: Liveright

Seller: W. W. Norton


An eloquent exploration of creativity, The Origins of Creativity grapples with the question of how this uniquely human expression—so central to our identity as individuals and, collectively, as a species—came about and how it has manifested itself throughout the history of our species. In this profound and lyrical book, one of our most celebrated biologists offers a sweeping examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short. Both endeavours, Edward O. Wilson reveals, have their roots in human creativity—the defining trait of our species. Reflecting on the deepest origins of language, storytelling, and art, Wilson demonstrates how creativity began not ten thousand years ago, as we have long assumed, but over one hundred thousand years ago in the Paleolithic age. Chronicling this evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavors—the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song. Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. The humanities in particular suffer from a kind of anthropomorphism, encumbered by a belief that we are the only species among millions that seem to matter, yet Wilson optimistically reveals how researchers will have to address this parlous situation by pushing further into the realm of science, especially fields such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology. With eloquence and humanity, Wilson calls for a transformational "Third Enlightenment," in which the blending of these endeavors will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.

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The Origins of Creativity – Edward O. Wilson

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The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body – Frances Ashcroft

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The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body

Frances Ashcroft

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 24, 2012

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


"This is a wonderful book. Frances Ashcroft has a rare gift for making difficult subjects accessible and fascinating." —Bill Bryson, author of At Home: A Short History of Private Life What happens during a heart attack? Can someone really die of fright? What is death, anyway? How does electroshock treatment affect the brain? What is consciousness? The answers to these questions lie in the electrical signals constantly traveling through our bodies, driving our thoughts, our movements, and even the beating of our hearts. The history of how scientists discovered the role of electricity in the human body is a colorful one, filled with extraordinary personalities, fierce debates, and brilliant experiments. Moreover, present-day research on electricity and ion channels has created one of the most exciting fields in science, shedding light on conditions ranging from diabetes and allergies to cystic fibrosis, migraines, and male infertility. With inimitable wit and a clear, fresh voice, award-winning researcher Frances Ashcroft weaves together compelling real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, giving us a spectacular account of the body electric.

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The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body – Frances Ashcroft

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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived – Adam Rutherford

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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

Adam Rutherford

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $12.99

Publish Date: September 25, 2017

Publisher: The Experiment

Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.


“ An effervescent work, brimming with tales and confounding ideas carried in the ‘epic poem in our cells.’”— Guardian In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. (For example, we now know that at least four human species once roamed the earth.) Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas—one that’s still being writ-ten, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced. Rutherford closes with “A Short Introduction to the Future of Humankind,” filled with provocative questions that we’re on the cusp of answering: Are we still in the grasp of natural selection? Are we evolving for better or worse? And . . . where do we go from here?

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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived – Adam Rutherford

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The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum

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The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us

Richard O. Prum

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: May 9, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?      Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change.     Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.      The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

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The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum

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