Turning Points: How Critical Events Have Driven Human Evolution, Life, And Development
- Evolution and Paleontology, Biology, General Science, General History, General Interest
The perfect introduction to evolution
Critical historical events—or “turning points”—have shaped evolution and continue to have a decisive effect on individual lives. Kampourakis argues that, although evolution is the result of unpredictable events, these events have profound influences on subsequent developments. Life is thus a continuous interplay between unforeseeable events and their decisive consequences.
With examples like the fusing of two chromosomes millions of years ago that split humans from our closest animal relatives, Kampourakis demonstrates how small changes alter the course of biology. This is an excellent introduction for everyone to core ideas in biology and presents current scientific research in clearly understandable, jargon-free terms.
“Philosophers, scientists, and historians have long debated the relative importance of chance versus destiny. In this insightful analysis, Kostas Kampourakis sides convincingly with Stephen Jay Gould, demonstrating the importance of unpredictable events in shaping both our lives and the course of evolution.” — Jonathan Losos, William H. Danforth Distinguished University Professor and director of Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University, and author of Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
“Kampourakis explains how the course of time runs on a knife-edge, how history is full of apparent coincidences on which the greater story turns. The result is a refreshing look at how events unfold, from the grandeur of evolution to the moment-by-moment progress of our own stories.”— Henry Gee, author of The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution
“Kampourakis presents a strong argument for understanding life processes—including human behaviors—as the result of numerous contingencies that are not determined in a linear, causal sequence. Particularly effective is the argument against genetic determinism, which is presented, like the rest of the book, in very clear prose.”—Garland E. Allen, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis
“In this lucid and readable book, Kampourakis makes a compelling philosophical and historical case for the contingency of evolution, the absence of intelligent design, and much more. It should appeal to wide range of readers."— Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine Emeritus, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“A new and exciting way of looking at life’s past, including our own evolution. You may not always agree, but you will be led to rethink many old beliefs and prejudices.”— Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University
About the Author
Kostas Kampourakis is the author of Making Sense of Genes and Understanding Evolution and is a researcher in science education at the University of Geneva, where he teaches courses at the University Teacher Training Institute and the Section of Biology.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||February 6, 2018|