the beak of the finch a story of evolution in our time

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The Beak Of The Finch

Author : Jonathan Weiner
ISBN : 0099468719
Genre : Evolution (Biology)
File Size : 65. 7 MB
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This is one of the easiest-to-read, most exciting books on evolution of the past twenty years. It describes evolution happening before our eyes among the isolated bird populations of the Galapagos - the very finches observed by Darwin on his Beagle voyage - and its heroes are an unsung British couple. It is uncannily fascinating to imagine the beak of the finch changing in our lifetime in response to evolutionary pressure. . . .

The Beak Of The Finch

Author : Jonathan Weiner
ISBN : 9781101872963
Genre : Science
File Size : 84. 12 MB
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch. In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould. With a new preface. From the Trade Paperback edition.

40 Years Of Evolution

Author : Peter R. Grant
ISBN : 9781400851300
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 52 MB
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Renowned evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have produced landmark studies of the Galápagos finches first made famous by Charles Darwin. In How and Why Species Multiply, they offered a complete evolutionary history of Darwin's finches since their origin almost three million years ago. Now, in their richly illustrated new book, 40 Years of Evolution, the authors turn their attention to events taking place on a contemporary scale. By continuously tracking finch populations over a period of four decades, they uncover the causes and consequences of significant events leading to evolutionary changes in species. The authors used a vast and unparalleled range of ecological, behavioral, and genetic data--including song recordings, DNA analyses, and feeding and breeding behavior--to measure changes in finch populations on the small island of Daphne Major in the Galápagos archipelago. They find that natural selection happens repeatedly, that finches hybridize and exchange genes rarely, and that they compete for scarce food in times of drought, with the remarkable result that the finch populations today differ significantly in average beak size and shape from those of forty years ago. The authors' most spectacular discovery is the initiation and establishment of a new lineage that now behaves as a new species, differing from others in size, song, and other characteristics. The authors emphasize the immeasurable value of continuous long-term studies of natural populations and of critical opportunities for detecting and understanding rare but significant events. By following the fates of finches for several generations, 40 Years of Evolution offers unparalleled insights into ecological and evolutionary changes in natural environments.

His Brother S Keeper

Author : Jonathan Weiner
ISBN : 9780061760358
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 67 MB
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Stephen Heywood was twenty-nine years old when he learned that he was dying of ALS -- Lou Gehrig's disease. Almost overnight his older brother, Jamie, turned himself into a genetic engineer in a quixotic race to cure the incurable. His Brother's Keeper is a powerful account of their story, as they travel together to the edge of medicine. The book brings home for all of us the hopes and fears of the new biology. In this dramatic and suspenseful narrative, Jonathan Weiner gives us a remarkable portrait of science and medicine today. We learn about gene therapy, stem cells, brain vaccines, and other novel treatments for such nerve-death diseases as ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's -- diseases that afflict millions, and touch the lives of many more. "The Heywoods' story taught me many things about the nature of healing in the new millennium," Weiner writes. "They also taught me about what has not changed since the time of the ancients and may never change as long as there are human beings -- about what Lucretius calls 'the ever-living wound of love.'" This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Darwin In Gal Pagos

Author : K. Thalia Grant
ISBN : 9780691142104
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 82 MB
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Recreates the scientist's historic visit to the Galapagos Islands using his original notebooks and logs, the latest findings by scholars and researchers, and the authors' first-hand knowledge of the archipelago.

Toms River

Author : Dan Fagin
ISBN : 9780345538611
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 49 MB
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • Winner of The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award • “A new classic of science reporting.”—The New York Times The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river. In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change. A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND KIRKUS REVIEWS “A thrilling journey full of twists and turns, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies “A complex tale of powerful industry, local politics, water rights, epidemiology, public health and cancer in a gripping, page-turning environmental thriller.”—NPR “Unstoppable reading.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Meticulously researched and compellingly recounted . . . It’s every bit as important—and as well-written—as A Civil Action and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”—The Star-Ledger “Fascinating . . . a gripping environmental thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “An honest, thoroughly researched, intelligently written book.”—Slate “[A] hard-hitting account . . . a triumph.”—Nature “Absorbing and thoughtful.”—USA Today From the Hardcover edition.

Darwin S Finches

Author : David Lack
ISBN : 0521272424
Genre : Nature
File Size : 71. 52 MB
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David Lack's classic work on the finches of the Galapagos Islands (Darwin's Finches) was first published in 1947; few books have had such a great impact on evolutionary biology, indeed it is still one of the most succinct and fascinating treatises ever written about the origin of new species. The 1947 version is reproduced with facsimile pages of the original text, tables and line illustrations. The major feature of this reprint is the additional material supplied by Dr Peter Boag and Dr Laurene Ratcliffe who have both completed studies on the Galapagos. The readership will comprise students of evolution and ecology and those interested in the history of evolutionary thought. Amateur ornithologists and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands will find this account fascinating.

Progress And Its Problems

Author : Larry Laudan
ISBN : 0520037219
Genre : Science
File Size : 70. 96 MB
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Intelligent Thought

Author : John Brockman
ISBN : 9780307426406
Genre : Science
File Size : 34. 44 MB
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Evolutionary science lies at the heart of a modern understanding of the natural world. Darwin’s theory has withstood 150 years of scientific scrutiny, and today it not only explains the origin and design of living things, but highlights the importance of a scientific understanding in our culture and in our lives. Recently the movement known as “Intelligent Design” has attracted the attention of journalists, educators, and legislators. The scientific community is puzzled and saddened by this trend–not only because it distorts modern biology, but also because it diverts people from the truly fascinating ideas emerging from the real science of evolution. Here, join fifteen of our preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin’s theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Galapagos At The Crossroads

Author : Carol Ann Bassett
ISBN : 1426204027
Genre : Nature
File Size : 50. 99 MB
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For millions, the Galapagos represent nature at its most unspoiled, an inviolate place famed for its rare flora and fauna. But soon today's 30,000 human residents will surpass 50,000, a huge problem since almost all of the land is national park. Add invasive species, floods of tourists, and unresolved conflicts between Ecuadorian laws and local concerns: It's easy to see why the Galapagos were recently added to UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger list. Each chapter in this provocative, perceptive book focuses on a specific person or group endeavoring either to exploit or protect the Galapagos' natural resources-from modern-day pirates who poach endangered marine species to environmental activists who patrol protected waters to catch them red-handed. The story Bassett tells explores the inevitable clash in values between these often quirky, always dedicated individuals and their activities. Bassett presents a perspective as readable as it is sensible. Told with wit, passion, and grace, the Galapagos story serves as a microcosm for Earth itself, a perfect example of how an environment can be destroyed.

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