The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199226326

Category: Science

Page: 170

View: 1281

This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.
Posted in Science

Fossils: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Keith Thomson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192805045

Category: Nature

Page: 147

View: 9075

Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of all life on it. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence have shaken religion to its very roots. Keith Thomson provides a remarkably explanation of fossils as a phenomenon. Building on the scientific aspects, he places fossils in a very human context, highlighting their impact on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and popular culture. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination.
Posted in Nature

Evolution: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Brian Charlesworth,Deborah Charlesworth

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198804369

Category:

Page: 160

View: 7318

Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the Earth was at the centre of a Universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the Universe was createdessentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Even less than 150 years ago, the view that living species were the result of special creation by God was still dominant. The recognition by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection hascompletely transformed our understanding of the living world, including our own origins. In this Very Short Introduction Brian and Deborah Charlesworth provide a clear and concise summary of the process of evolution by natural selection, and how natural selection gives rise to adaptations and eventually, over many generations, to new species. They introduce the central concepts of thefield of evolutionary biology, as they have developed since Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago, and discuss some of the remaining questions regarding processes. They highlight the wide range of evidence for evolution, and the importance of an evolutionary understanding forinstance in combating the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs. This reissue includes some key updates to the main text and a completely updated Further Reading section.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586454

Category: Science

Page: 142

View: 6982

Examines the origins of life on Earth and the search for extraterrestrial life, through an understanding of the factors that have allowed life to exist on this planet and the commonalities on others that may enable life elsewhere.
Posted in Science

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803603

Category: Science

Page: 131

View: 3589

This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.
Posted in Science

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Bynum

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019921543X

Category: Medical

Page: 169

View: 1865

This Very Short Introduction explores the history of Western medicine, examining the key turning points, discoveries, and controversies in its rich history from classical times to the present.
Posted in Medical

Mao: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Delia Davin

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654035

Category: Political Science

Page: 144

View: 4351

As a giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the most populous nation on Earth. He was a founder of both the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army, and for many years he fought on two fronts, for control of the Party and in an armed struggle for the Party's control of the country. His revolution unified China and began its rise to world power status. He was the architect of the Great Leap Forward that he hoped would make China both prosperous and egalitarian, but instead ended in economic disaster resulting in millions of deaths. It was Mao's growing suspicion of his fellow leaders that led him to launch the Cultural Revolution, and his last years were dogged by ill-health and his despairing attempts to find a successor whom he trusted. Delia Davin provides an invaluable introduction to Mao, showing him in all his complexity; ruthless, brutal, and ambitious, a man of enormous talent and perception, yet a leader who is still detested by some and venerated by others. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Political Science

The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Terry Eagleton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191579035

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 9961

We have all wondered about the meaning of life. But is there an answer? And do we even really know what we're asking? Terry Eagleton takes a stimulating and quirky look at this most compelling of questions: at the answers explored in philosophy and literature; at the crisis of meaning in modern times; and suggests his own solution to how we might rediscover meaning in our lives.
Posted in Philosophy

Genes

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Slack

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019967650X

Category: Science

Page: 120

View: 5574

Explores the discovery, nature, and role of genes in evolution and development.
Posted in Science

Darwin: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Howard

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854542

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 125

View: 6341

Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Earth: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Martin Redfern

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191577741

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 3733

For generations, the ground beneath the feet of our ancestors seemed solid and unchanging. Around 30 years ago, two things happened that were to revolutionize the understanding of our home planet. First, geologists realized that the continents themselves were drifting across the surface of the globe and that oceans were being created and destroyed. Secondly, pictures of the entire planet were returned from space. As the astronomer Fred Hoyle had predicted, this 'let loose an idea as powerful as any in history'. Suddenly, the Earth began to be viewed as a single entity; a dynamic, interacting whole, controlled by complex processes we scarcely understood. It began to seem less solid. As one astronaut put it, 'a blue jewel on black velvet; small, fragile and touchingly alone'. Geologists at last were able to see the whole as well as the detail; the wood as well as the trees. This book brings their account up to date with the latest understanding of the processes that govern our planet. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Science

History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Arnold

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 019285352X

Category: History

Page: 134

View: 1199

Starting with an examination of how historians work, this "Very Short Introduction" aims to explore history in a general, pithy, and accessible manner, rather than to delve into specific periods.
Posted in History

The Eye: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael F. Land

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191669792

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 876

The eye is one of the most remarkable achievements of evolution, and has evolved up to 40 times in different parts of the animal kingdom. In humans, vision is the most important sense, and much of the brain is given over to the processing of visual information. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Land describes the evolution of vision and the variety of eyes found in both humans and animals. He explores the evolution of colour vision in primates and the workings of the human eye, to consider how that contributes to our visual ability. He explains how we see in three dimensions and the basic principles of visual perception, including our impressive capacity for pattern recognition and the ability of vision to guide action. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Science

The History of Cinema

Author: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198701772

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 3766

Cinema was the first, and is arguably still the greatest, of the industrialized art forms that came to dominate the cultural life of the twentieth century. Today, it continues to adapt and grow as new technologies and viewing platforms become available, and remains an integral cultural and aesthetic entertainment experience for people the world over. Cinema developed against the backdrop of the two world wars, and over the years has seen smaller wars, revolutions, and profound social changes. Its history reflects this changing landscape, and, more than any other art form, developments in technology. In this Very Short Introduction, Nowell-Smith looks at the defining moments of the industry, from silent to sound, black and white to color, and considers its genres from intellectual art house to mass market entertainment. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Performing Arts

American History

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul S. Boyer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019538914X

Category: History

Page: 161

View: 7336

This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.
Posted in History

African History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Parker,Richard Rathbone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192802488

Category: History

Page: 165

View: 8501

This Very Short Introduction is essential reading for anyone interested in the African continent and the diversity of human history, as it looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented. Key themes such as the unity and diversity of African cultures, slavery, religion, colonial conquest and the importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa are illustrated with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent.
Posted in History

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0190681381

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 2245

Posted in

Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191062790

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 2214

How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully 'objective'? What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Science

The History of Physics

Author: J. L. Heilbron

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968412X

Category: Science

Page: 184

View: 861

How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalized enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? What is the path that leads from the old philosophy of nature and its concern with humankind's place in the universe to modern massive international projects that hunt down fundamental particles and industrial laboratories that manufacture marvels? This Very Short Introduction introduces us to Islamic astronomers and mathematicians calculating the size of the earth while their caliphs conquered much of it; to medieval scholar-theologians investigating light; to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, measuring, and trying to explain, the universe. We visit the "House of Wisdom" in 9th-century Baghdad; Europe's first universities; the courts of the Renaissance; the Scientific Revolution and the academies of the 18th century; and the increasingly specialized world of 20th and 21st century science. Highlighting the shifting relationship between physics, philosophy, mathematics, and technology - and the implications for humankind's self-understanding - Heilbron explores the changing place and purpose of physics in the cultures and societies that have nurtured it over the centuries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Science

American History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul S. Boyer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199911657

Category: History

Page: 184

View: 1424

This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.
Posted in History