Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for culture, from the arts and language to science and technology. But how did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process. Kevin Laland tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin’s intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.
How Culture Made the Human Mind
Author: Kevin N. Laland
Publisher: Princeton University Press
The guru of virtual reality looks back at the unique experiences that formed his vision for the future of technology With a singular voice and perspective, Lanier who The New York Times calls "daringly original . . . a major wizard in the futurist circus. He is the father of virtual reality in the gaudy, reputation-burnishing way that Michael Jackson was the king of pop" considers the future of virtual technology in a book that blends memoir with ideas. He tells the wild story of his own relationship with technology by starting from the beginning. The son of Jewish immigrants and concentration camp survivors, raised in the UFO territory of New Mexico, he lost his mother at a young age and built a geodesic dome with his father in the desert. He worked as a goatherd and midwife, attended college before graduating high school, transferred to and failed out of a tony northeast liberal arts college, played music for money on the streets of New York, and eventually landed in Silicon Valley at the dawn of the first tech boom where he suddenly became rich. This crazy course to becoming a world renowned technology guru informs Lanier's optimism about virtual reality--the technology he has been immersed in from its very start. While he has been very critical of social media and other manifestations of technology, he believes that virtual reality can actually make our lives richer and fuller.Dawn of the New Everything is ultimately a look at what it means to be human in the dawn of unprecedented technological possibility.
Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality
Author: Jaron Lanier
Publisher: Henry Holt
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Traces the origins and evolution of human beings, from the earliest prehistoric fossil record to the latest evidence based on genetic research.
The Story of Human Evolution
Author: Robin McKie
Publisher: Dk Pub
Originally published in 1985, By the Bomb's Early Light is the first book to explore the cultural 'fallout' in America during the early years of the atomic age. Paul Boyer argues that the major aspects of the long-running debates about nuclear armament and disarmament developed and took shape soon after the bombing of Hiroshima. The book is based on a wide range of sources, including cartoons, opinion polls, radio programs, movies, literature, song lyrics, slang, and interviews with leading opinion-makers of the time. Through these materials, Boyer shows the surprising and profoundly disturbing ways in which the bomb quickly and totally penetrated the fabric of American life, from the chillingly prophetic forecasts of observers like Lewis Mumford to the Hollywood starlet who launched her career as the 'anatomic bomb.' In a new preface, Boyer discusses recent changes in nuclear politics and attitudes toward the nuclear age.
American Thought and Culture At the Dawn of the Atomic Age
Author: Paul Boyer
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Charles Darwin's "On the Origins of Species" had two principal goals: to show that species had not been separately created and to show that natural selection had been the main force behind their proliferation and descent from common ancestors. In "Coevolution," the author proposes a powerful new theory of cultural evolution--that is, of the descent with modification of the shared conceptual systems we call "cultures"--that is parallel in many ways to Darwin's theory of organic evolution. The author suggests that a process of cultural selection, or preservation by preference, driven chiefly by choice or imposition depending on the circumstances, has been the main but not exclusive force of cultural change. He shows that this process gives rise to five major patterns or "modes" in which cultural change is at odds with genetic change. Each of the five modes is discussed in some detail and its existence confirmed through one or more case studies chosen for their heuristic value, the robustness of their data, and their broader implications. But "Coevolution" predicts not simply the existence of the five modes of gene-culture relations; it also predicts their relative importance in the ongoing dynamics of cultural change in particular cases. The case studies themselves are lucid and innovative reexaminations of an array of oft-pondered anthropological topics--plural marriage, sickle-cell anemia, basic color terms, adult lactose absorption, incest taboos, headhunting, and cannibalism. In a general case, the author's goal is to demonstrate that an evolutionary analysis of both genes and culture has much to contribute to our understanding of human diversity, particularly behavioral diversity, and thus to the resolution of age-old questions about nature and nurture, genes and culture.
Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity
Author: William H. Durham
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Social Science
Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.
Cave Paintings and the Dawn of Human Creativity
Author: Jean Clottes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
When did language emerge? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals? How did human nature change in the 35,000 years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? In the last three years a flood of new scientific findings driven by revelations discovered in the human genome has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our ancient ancestors. Nicholas Wade takes readers to the forefront of research in a sweeping and engrossing narrative, the first to reveal how genetic discoveries are helping to weave together the perspectives of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology, linguistics, and many other fields. Before the Dawn marks a major advance in our understanding of human nature and origins.
Author: Nicholas Wade
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
Hunter-gatherers of the Upper Paleolithic period of the late Pleistocene epoch in western Europe left a legacy of cave paintings and material remains that have long fascinated modern man. This book draws on theories derived from cultural anthropology and cognitive archaeology to propose a reconstruction of the religious life of those people based on the patterning and provenience of their artifacts. Based on the premises that all members of Homo sapiens sapiens share basically similar psychological processes and capabilities and that human culture is patterned, the author uses ethnographic analogy, inference from material patterns, and formal analysis to find in prehistoric imagery clues to the cosmology that lay behind them. The resulting book is an intriguing speculation on the nature of paleolithic religion, offering scholars a valuable synthesis of anthropological, archaeological, and sociological research, and general readers an accessible account of how our forebears may have regarded the unknown. "A well-written and intellectually rigorous introduction. If you are curious about prehistory, you will enjoy it." —Wilson Library Bulletin "Most interesting to those scholars interested in seeking materialist foundations or ecological explanations for religious practices." —American Antiquity "A well-written and concise account of what has recently been achieved by the investigations of spiritual life of the Earth's most ancient human communities." —Archiv Orientalni (Czechoslovakia)
Religion in the Upper Paleolithic of Southwestern Europe
Author: D. Bruce Dickson
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Category: Social Science
The emergence of symbolic culture, classically identified with the European cave paintings of the Ice Age, is now seen, in the light of recent groundbreaking discoveries, as a complex nonlinear process taking root in a remote past and in different regions of the planet. In this book the archaeologists responsible for some of these new discoveries, flanked by ethologists interested in primate cognition and cultural transmission, evolutionary psychologists modelling the emergence of metarepresentations, as well as biologists, philosophers, neuro-scientists and an astronomer combine their research findings. Their results call into question our very conception of human nature and animal behaviour, and they create epistemological bridges between disciplines that build the foundations for a novel vision of our lineage's cultural trajectory and the processes that have led to the emergence of human societies as we know them.
The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality
Author: Christopher Stuart Henshilwood,Francesco D'Errico
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Category: Social Science
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science—as well as religious and cultural institutions—has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages. How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethå. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book. Ryan and Jethå's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity. With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and Jethå show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality. In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.
The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
Author: Christopher Ryan,Cacilda Jetha
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Social Science
A lively discussion of the relationship between culture and biology in the evolution of human behavior.
culture and the evolution of human behavior
Author: Lee Cronk
Publisher: Westview Pr
In this critical darling Vermeer's captivating and enigmatic paintings become windows that reveal how daily life and thought-from Delft to Beijing--were transformed in the 17th century, when the world first became global. A Vermeer painting shows a military officer in a Dutch sitting room, talking to a laughing girl. In another canvas, fruit spills from a blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Familiar images that captivate us with their beauty--but as Timothy Brook shows us, these intimate pictures actually give us a remarkable view of an expanding world. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur from North America, and it was beaver pelts from America that financed the voyages of explorers seeking routes to China-prized for the porcelains so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time, including Vermeer's. In this dazzling history, Timothy Brook uses Vermeer's works, and other contemporary images from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to trace the rapidly growing web of global trade, and the explosive, transforming, and sometimes destructive changes it wrought in the age when globalization really began.
The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World
Author: Timothy Brook
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
These are turbulent times in the world of book publishing. For nearly five centuries the methods and practices of book publishing remained largely unchanged, but at the dawn of the twenty-first century the industry finds itself faced with perhaps the greatest challenges since Gutenberg. A combination of economic pressures and technological change is forcing publishers to alter their practices and think hard about the future of the books in the digital age. In this book - the first major study of trade publishing for more than 30 years - Thompson situates the current challenges facing the industry in an historical context, analysing the transformation of trade publishing in the United States and Britain since the 1960s. He gives a detailed account of how the world of trade publishing really works, dissecting the roles of publishers, agents and booksellers and showing how their practices are shaped by a field that has a distinctive structure and dynamic. This new paperback edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to take account of the most recent developments, including the dramatic increase in ebook sales and its implications for the publishing industry and its future.
The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century
Author: John B. Thompson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
In their startling new book, Steven and Evan Strong challenge the “out-of-Africa” theory. Based on fresh examination of both the DNA and archeological evidence, they conclude that modern humans originated from Australia, not Africa. The original Australians (referred to by some as Aborigines ), like so many indigenous peoples, are portrayed as “backward” and “primitive.” Yet, as the Strongs demonstrate, original Australians had a rich culture, which may have sown the first seeds of spirituality in the world. They had the technology to make international seafaring voyages and have left traces in the Americas and possibly Japan, Southern India, Egypt, and elsewhere. They practiced brain surgery, invented the first hand tools, and had knowledge of penicillin. This book brings together 30 years of intensive research in consultation with elders in the original Australian community. Among their conclusions are the following: There is evidence that humans existed in Australia 40,000 years before they existed in Australia. There were migrations of original Australians in large boats throughout the Indian/Pacific rim. Three distinct kinds of Homo sapiens are found in Australia. There is evidence from the Americas that debunks the out-of-Africa theory. The spiritual influence of the Aborigines is reflected in the religions of the world.
Aborigines, the Dreamtime, and the Dawn of the Human Race
Author: Steven Strong,Evan Strong
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
2018 American Book Award Winner 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalist Longlisted for the 2018 Cundill History Prize 2018 Nominee for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award (Nonfiction) 2018 Merle Curti Social History Award Winner 2018 James A. Rawley Prize Co-Winner A New York Times Editor’s Choice selection A Michigan Notable Book of 2018 A Booklist Editors’ Choice Title for 2017 “If many Americans imagine slavery essentially as a system in which black men toiled on cotton plantations, Miles upends that stereotype several times over.” —New York Times Book Review “[Miles] has compiled documentation that does for Detroit what the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Writers’ Project slave narratives did for other regions, primarily the South.” —Washington Post “[Tiya Miles] is among the best when it comes to blending artful storytelling with an unwavering sense of social justice.” —Martha S. Jones in The Chronicle of Higher Education “A necessary work of powerful, probing scholarship.” —Publisher Weekly (starred) “A book likely to stand at the head of further research into the problem of Native and African-American slavery in the north country.” —Kirkus Reviews From the MacArthur genius grant winner, a beautifully written and revelatory look at the slave origins of a major northern American city Most Americans believe that slavery was a creature of the South, and that Northern states and territories provided stops on the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves on their way to Canada. In this paradigm-shifting book, celebrated historian Tiya Miles reveals that slavery was at the heart of the Midwest’s iconic city: Detroit. In this richly researched and eye-opening book, Miles has pieced together the experience of the unfree—both native and African American—in the frontier outpost of Detroit, a place wildly remote yet at the center of national and international conflict. Skillfully assembling fragments of a distant historical record, Miles introduces new historical figures and unearths struggles that remained hidden from view until now. The result is fascinating history, little explored and eloquently told, of the limits of freedom in early America, one that adds new layers of complexity to the story of a place that exerts a strong fascination in the media and among public intellectuals, artists, and activists. A book that opens the door on a completely hidden past, The Dawn of Detroit is a powerful and elegantly written history, one that completely changes our understanding of slavery’s American legacy.
A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits
Author: Tiya Miles
Publisher: The New Press