Demonic Males

Apes and the Origins of Human Violence

Author: Richard W. Wrangham,Dale Peterson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780395877432

Category: Nature

Page: 350

View: 2972

Draws on recent discoveries about human evolution to examine whether violence among men is a product of their primitive heritage, and searches for solutions to the problems of war, rape, and murder
Posted in Nature

Demonic Males

Apes and the Origins of Human Violence

Author: Richard W. Wrangham,Dale Peterson

Publisher: Mariner Books

ISBN: 9780395877432

Category: Nature

Page: 350

View: 9405

Draws on recent discoveries about human evolution to examine whether violence among men is a product of their primitive heritage, and searches for solutions to the problems of war, rape, and murder
Posted in Nature

Catching Fire

How Cooking Made Us Human

Author: Richard W. Wrangham

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 184668286X

Category: Science

Page: 309

View: 7498

In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that caused the extraordinary transformation of our ancestors from apelike beings to Homo erectus. At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating cooked rather than raw food permitted the digestive tract to shrink and the human brain to grow, helped structure human society, and created the male-female division of labour. As our ancestors adapted to using fire, humans emerged as "the cooking apes". Covering everything from food-labelling and overweight pets to raw-food faddists, Catching Fire offers a startlingly original argument about how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. "This notion is surprising, fresh and, in the hands of Richard Wrangham, utterly persuasive ... Big, new ideas do not come along often in evolution these days, but this is one." -Matt Ridley, author of Genome
Posted in Science

War Before Civilization

Author: Lawrence H. Keeley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199761531

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 5250

The myth of the peace-loving "noble savage" is persistent and pernicious. Indeed, for the last fifty years, most popular and scholarly works have agreed that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, unimportant, and, like smallpox, a disease of civilized societies alone. Prehistoric warfare, according to this view, was little more than a ritualized game, where casualties were limited and the effects of aggression relatively mild. Lawrence Keeley's groundbreaking War Before Civilization offers a devastating rebuttal to such comfortable myths and debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization (an idea he denounces as "the pacification of the past"). Building on much fascinating archeological and historical research and offering an astute comparison of warfare in civilized and prehistoric societies, from modern European states to the Plains Indians of North America, War Before Civilization convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was in fact more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. To support this point, Keeley provides a wide-ranging look at warfare and brutality in the prehistoric world. He reveals, for instance, that prehistorical tactics favoring raids and ambushes, as opposed to formal battles, often yielded a high death-rate; that adult males falling into the hands of their enemies were almost universally killed; and that surprise raids seldom spared even women and children. Keeley cites evidence of ancient massacres in many areas of the world, including the discovery in South Dakota of a prehistoric mass grave containing the remains of over 500 scalped and mutilated men, women, and children (a slaughter that took place a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus). In addition, Keeley surveys the prevalence of looting, destruction, and trophy-taking in all kinds of warfare and again finds little moral distinction between ancient warriors and civilized armies. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he examines the evidence of cannibalism among some preliterate peoples. Keeley is a seasoned writer and his book is packed with vivid, eye-opening details (for instance, that the homicide rate of prehistoric Illinois villagers may have exceeded that of the modern United States by some 70 times). But he also goes beyond grisly facts to address the larger moral and philosophical issues raised by his work. What are the causes of war? Are human beings inherently violent? How can we ensure peace in our own time? Challenging some of our most dearly held beliefs, Keeley's conclusions are bound to stir controversy.
Posted in Social Science

Our Inner Ape

A Leading Primatologist Explains why We are who We are

Author: Frans de Waal

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781594481963

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9702

Argues that such social virtues as cooperation, empathy, and morality are as genetically inherent as aggressive and competitive behaviors, drawing on research with two ape species whose DNA most closely resembles that of humans to explain how ape instincts can inform readers about human behavior. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Posted in Science

Sexual Coercion in Primates and Humans

Author: Martin N. Muller,Richard W. Wrangham

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674033245

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 483

View: 1668

In only a few species do males strategically employ violence to control female sexuality. Why are females routinely abused in some species, but never in others? And can the study of such unpleasant behavior help us to understand the evolution of men's violence against women? The book presents extensive field research and analysis to evaluate sexual coercion in a range of species - including all of the great apes and humans - and to clarify its role in shaping social relationships among males, among females, and between the sexes.
Posted in Family & Relationships

Sense and Nonsense

Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour

Author: Kevin N. Laland,Gillian R. Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586969

Category: Medical

Page: 270

View: 8850

This book asks whether evolution can help us to understand human behaviour and explores diverse evolutionary methods and arguments. It provides a short, readable introduction to the science behind the works of Dawkins, Dennett, Wilson and Pinker. It is widely used in undergraduate courses around the world.
Posted in Medical

THE WOMAN THAT NEVER EVOLVED

Author: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674038878

Category: Science

Page: 302

View: 6863

Hailed as a ground-breaking synthesis of feminism and evolutionary theory when first published, The Woman That Never Evolved is a bold and refreshing answer to contemporary versions of social Darwinism that shoehorn female nature into narrow stereotypes. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, a leader in modern primatology, argues that evolutionary theorists' emphasis on sexual competition among males for access to females overlooks selection pressures on females themselves. In a vivid account of what female primates themselves actually do to secure their own reproductive advantage, she demolishes myths about sexually passive, "coy," compliant, exclusively nurturing females. Her lucid and compelling account of the great range of behaviors in many species of primates expands the concept of female nature to include the full range of selection pressures on females, and reminds us of the true complexity and dynamism of the evolutionary story.
Posted in Science

The Dangerous Passion

Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex

Author: David M. Buss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0684867869

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 1690

Why do men and women cheat on each other? How do men really feel when their partners have sex with other men? What worries women more -- men who turn to other women for love or men who simply want sexual variety in their lives? Can the jealousy husbands and wives experience over real or imagined infidelities be cured? Should it be? In this surprising and engaging exploration of men's and women's darker passions, David Buss, acclaimed author of The Evolution of Desire, reveals that both men and women are actually designed for jealousy. Drawing on experiments, surveys, and interviews conducted in thirty-seven countries on six continents, as well as insights from recent discoveries in biology, anthropology, and psychology, Buss discovers that the evolutionary origins of our sexual desires still shape our passions today. According to Buss, more men than women want to have sex with multiple partners. Furthermore, women who cheat on their husbands do so when they are most likely to conceive, but have sex with their spouses when they are least likely to conceive. These findings show that evolutionary tendencies to acquire better genes through different partners still lurk beneath modern sexual behavior. To counteract these desires to stray -- and to strengthen the bonds between partners -- jealousy evolved as an early detection system of infidelity in the ancient and mysterious ritual of mating. Buss takes us on a fascinating journey through many cultures, from pre-historic to the present, to show the profound evolutionary effect jealousy has had on all of us. Only with a healthy balance of jealousy and trust can we be certain of a mate's commitment, devotion, and true love.
Posted in Psychology

Man the Hunted

Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, Expanded Edition

Author: Donna Hart

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429978715

Category: Social Science

Page: 376

View: 1794

Man the Hunted argues that primates, including the earliest members of the human family, have evolved as the prey of any number of predators, including wild cats and dogs, hyenas, snakes, crocodiles, and even birds. The authors' studies of predators on monkeys and apes are supplemented here with the observations of naturalists in the field and revealing interpretations of the fossil record. Eyewitness accounts of the 'man the hunted' drama being played out even now give vivid evidence of its prehistoric significance. This provocative view of human evolution suggests that countless adaptations that have allowed our species to survive (from larger brains to speech), stem from a considerably more vulnerable position on the food chain than we might like to imagine. The myth of early humans as fearless hunters dominating the earth obscures our origins as just one of many species that had to be cautious, depend on other group members, communicate danger, and come to terms with being merely one cog in the complex cycle of life.
Posted in Social Science

Storyville, USA

Author: Dale Peterson

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820323039

Category: Travel

Page: 312

View: 7652

Having crossed the continent with his two children, visiting more than sixty towns in the process, the author shares his cross-country travel adventures in a unique chronicle of small-town America, its down-home citizenry, and its quirky history. Reprint.
Posted in Travel

Warriors and Worriers

The Survival of the Sexes

Author: Joyce F. Benenson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199972257

Category: Psychology

Page: 200

View: 3061

The question of exactly what sex differences exist and whether they have a biological foundation has been one of our culture's favorite enduring discussions. It should. After a baby is born, a parent's first concern is for its physical health. The next concern is its sex. Only in the most modern societies does sex not virtually guarantee the type of future life a new human being will have. Even in modern societies, one's sex usually plays a large role in the path a life follows. Scientists have published thousands of papers on the subject, with the general conclusion being that men and women are mostly the same, whatever differences exist have been socialized, and what differences exist have to do with women bearing children and men being physically stronger. In Warriors and Worriers, psychologist Joyce Benenson presents a new theory of sex differences, based on thirty years of research with young children and primates around the world. Her innovative theory focuses on how men and women stay alive. Benenson draws on a fascinating array of studies and stories that explore the ways boys and men deter their enemies, while girls and women find assistants to aid them in coping with vulnerable children and elders. This produces two social worlds for each sex which sets humans apart from most other primate species. Human males form cooperative groups that compete against out-groups, while human females exclude other females in their quest to find mates, female family members to invest in their children, and keep their own hearts ticking. In the process, Benenson turns upside down the familiar wisdom that women are more sociable than men and that men are more competitive than women.
Posted in Psychology

The Malleus Maleficarum

Author: Heinrich Kramer,James Sprenger

Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.

ISBN: 1602063842

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 292

View: 4738

"A handbook for hunting and punishing witches to assist the Inquisition and Church in exterminating undesirables. Mostly a compilation of superstition and folklore, the book was taken very seriously at the time it was written in the 15th century and became a kind of spiritual law book used by judges to determine the guilt of the accused"--From publisher description.
Posted in Body, Mind & Spirit

Mother of Demons

Author: Eric Flint

Publisher: Baen Books

ISBN: 067187800X

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 1221

Five revolutionaries--including a mercenary outcast, a holy leader, a battle-mother, a historical secret-keeper, and a paleobiologist--face a terror that none of them could have ever anticipated. Reissue.
Posted in Fiction

The Noonday Demon

An Atlas Of Depression

Author: Andrew Solomon

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 145161103X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 576

View: 2640

The author offers a look at depression, drawing on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, and doctors to assess the disease's complexities, causes, symptoms, and available therapies.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Genius of Dogs

How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think

Author: Brian Hare,Vanessa Woods

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110160963X

Category: Pets

Page: 384

View: 1600

For readers of Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz, this New York Times bestseller offers mesmerizing insights into the interior lives of our smartest pets In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare, have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom. This dog genius revolution is transforming how we live and work with our canine friends, including how we train them. Does your dog feel guilt? Is she pretending she can't hear you? Does she want affection—or just your sandwich? In Th­e Genius of Dogs, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods lay out what discoveries at the Duke Canine Cognition Lab and other research facilities around the world are revealing about how your dog thinks and how we humans can have even deeper relationships with our best four-legged friends.
Posted in Pets

Behave

The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

Author: Robert M. Sapolsky

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735222789

Category: Science

Page: 800

View: 7677

Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.
Posted in Science

Killing the Competition

Economic Inequality and Homicide

Author: Martin Daly

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351510169

Category: Social Science

Page: 250

View: 3923

Criminologists have known for decades that income inequality is the best predictor of the local homicide rate, but why this is so has eluded them. There is a simple, compelling answer: most homicides are the denouements of competitive interactions between men. Relatively speaking, where desired goods are distributed inequitably and competition for those goods is severe, dangerous tactics of competition are appealing and a high homicide rate is just one of many unfortunate consequences. Killing the Competition is about this relationship between economic inequality and lethal interpersonal violence.Suggesting that economic inequality is a cause of social problems and violence elicits fierce opposition from inequality's beneficiaries. Three main arguments have been presented by those who would acquit inequality of the charges against it: that "absolute" poverty is the real problem and inequality is just an incidental correlate; that "primitive" egalitarian societies have surprisingly high homicide rates, and that inequality and homicide rates do not change in synchrony and are therefore mutually irrelevant. With detailed but accessible data analyses and thorough reviews of relevant research, Martin Daly dispels all three arguments.Killing the Competition applies basic principles of behavioural biology to explain why killers are usually men, not women, and counters the view that attitudes and values prevailing in "cultures of violence" make change impossible.
Posted in Social Science

Mother Nature

Maternal Instincts and how They Shape the Human Species

Author: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780345408938

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 723

View: 7266

In an original study of human behavioral ecology, the author dissects the "maternal" myth in great detail hoping to learn if the mothering tendency in women is indeed an instinct. Reprint.
Posted in Family & Relationships

Homicide

Foundations of Human Behavior

Author: Martin Daly

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135151525X

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 7952

The human race spends a disproportionate amount of attention, money, and expertise in solving, trying, and reporting homicides, as compared to other social problems. The public avidly consumes accounts of real-life homicide cases, and murder fiction is more popular still. Nevertheless, we have only the most rudimentary scientific understanding of who is likely to kill whom and why. Martin Daly and Margo Wilson apply contemporary evolutionary theory to analysis of human motives and perceptions of self-interest, considering where and why individual interests conflict, using well-documented murder cases. This book attempts to understand normal social motives in murder as products of the process of evolution by natural selection. They note that the implications for psychology are many and profound, touching on such matters as parental affection and rejection, sibling rivalry, sex differences in interests and inclinations, social comparison and achievement motives, our sense of justice, lifespan developmental changes in attitudes, and the phenomenology of the self. This is the first volume of its kind to analyze homicides in the light of a theory of interpersonal conflict. Before this study, no one had compared an observed distribution of victim-killer relationships to "expected" distribution, nor asked about the patterns of killer-victim age disparities in familial killings. This evolutionary psychological approach affords a deeper view and understanding of homicidal violence.
Posted in Social Science