"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book Review High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.
Die Grundlagen und Voraussetzungen unserer modernen Wissenschafts- und Wissenskonzeptionen wurden in der Antike gelegt. Dieser erste Band einer Geschichte der Naturwissenschaft macht das Gefüge der uns heute leitenden, uns ausrichtenden und auch der von uns verdrängten Konzeptionen in seinen wesentlichen historischen Schritten erkennbar. Stufen der Problembearbeitung und des Problemverstehens werden in ihren jeweils eigenen Horizonten beschrieben und in den daraus folgenden Anregungen und den dabei immer wieder neu eingestellten Rahmenbedingungen dargestellt. Die hier erzählte Genese unserer Wissenschaftskultur setzt mit den ersten Versuchen einer Systematisierung von Wissen ein, der Notation der Zahlen, und führt über den Vorderen Orient, Griechenland und Rom bis in die Spätantike.
Many agree that the foreign aid system - which today involves virtually every nation on earth - needs drastic change. But there is much conflict as to what should be done. In Aid on the Edge of Chaos, Ben Ramalingam argues that what is most needed is the creative and innovative transformation of how aid works. Foreign aid today is dominated by linear, mechanistic ideas that emerged from early twentieth century industry, and are ill-suited to the world we face today. The problems and systems aid agencies deal with on a daily basis have more in common with ecosystems than machines: they are interconnected, diverse, and dynamic; they cannot be just simply re-engineered or fixed. Outside of aid, social scientists, economists, business leaders, and policy makers have started applying innovative and scientific approaches to such problems, informed by ideas from the 'new science' of complex adaptive systems. Inspired by these efforts, aid practitioners and researchers have started experimenting with such approaches in their own work. This book showcases the experiences, insights, and often remarkable results of innovative thinkers and practitioners who are working to bring these approaches into the mainstream of aid. From transforming child malnutrition to rethinking economic growth, from building peace to reversing desertification, from rural Vietnam to urban Kenya, the ideas of complex systems thinking are starting to be used to make foreign aid more relevant, more appropriate, and more catalytic. Aid on the Edge of Chaos argues that such ideas and approaches should play a vital part of the transformation of aid. Aid should move from being an imperfect post-World War II global resource transfer system, to a new form of global cooperation that is truly fit for the twenty-first century.
"An indispensable series for anyone who wishes to keep abreast of recent work in the field." WELSH HISTORY REVIEW
“Simultaneously sobering and exhilarating, Michael Tennesen’s wide-ranging survey of disasters highlights both life’s fragility and its metamorphosing persistence” (Booklist) and describes what life on earth could look like after the next mass extinction. A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction, perhaps in as little as 300 years. Already there have been five mass extinctions in the last 600 million years, including the Cretaceous Extinction, during which an asteroid knocked out the dinosaurs. Though these events were initially destructive, they were also prime movers of evolutionary change in nature. And we can see some of the warning signs of another extinction event coming, as our oceans lose both fish and oxygen, and our lands lose both predators and prey. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be like after it happens. In thoughtful, provocative ways, Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether humans will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. Could life suddenly get very big as it did before the arrival of humans? Could the conquest of Mars lead to another form of human? Could we upload our minds into a computer and live in a virtual reality? How would we recognize the next humans? Are they with us now? Tennesen delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today. The Next Species is “an engrossing history of life, the dismal changes wrought by man, and a forecast of life after the sixth mass extinction” (Kirkus Reviews).
A collection of twentysix essays about the natural world captures the relationship between human and animal, with such topics as rattlesnakes and their handlers, and spiders and arachnophobia, all told in an entertaining, enlightening style.
An illustrated natural history of the Earth and its denizens combines paintings, drawings, and computer-generated images with a chronicle of the world's variegated organisms and species.
For a variety of reasons, recent literature that focuses on the rationality of belief in God and the viability of the Christian worldview fails to stimulate critical thinking in the general population of believers. Nietzsche Was Probably Right succeeds where many of these other works miss the mark. It educates rather than coerces; it focuses on issues critically relevant to the vast majority of Christians; most importantly, it does not "preach to the choir," but instead offers a balanced, objective, comprehensive overview of the issues. Its tone and inclusive, unbiased approach welcomes nonbelievers and believers into this important conversation, offering a perspective that will satisfy anyone seeking a critical understanding of the Christian faith and its deity.
The medieval worldview that regarded human beings as at the center of God's plans for His universe has long been regarded as obsolete; its synthesis of Christian theology and Greek philosophy having collapsed under the weight of Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin. The popular stereotype is that Science, both in the Copernican revolution that dethroned the earth-centered view of the cosmos and in subsequent developments in evolutionary theory and general relativity, has marginalized and trivialized human existence, revealing humanity's place in the cosmos to be accidental, peripheral, and ultimately meaningless. However, an investigation into both modern Christian theology and contemporary twenty-first century Science reveals just the opposite, providing solid evidence in the interdisciplinary dialogue concerning the significance of humanity within the universe. In this important study, Christopher Fisher analyzes several modern theologians, including Wolfhart Pannenberg, Karl Rahner, and John Zizioulas, to reveal how contemporary ecumenical theology is deeply and intrinsically committed to a high view of human cosmic significance as a consequence of Christianity's indelible Trinitarian and incarnational faith. Fisher then demonstrates how research in contemporary natural Science confirms this finding in its own way, as recent primate intelligence studies, artificial intelligence research, and even the quest for extra-terrestrial intelligence reveal the wonder of human uniqueness. A contemporary version of the teleological argument also resurfaces in consideration of cosmic evolutionary perspectives on human existence. Even ecological concerns take on a new poignancy with the realization that, among material creatures, only human beings are capable of addressing the world's situation. This interdisciplinary study uncovers the surprising coherence and convergence of Christian Theology and Natural Science on the subject of human existence and significance here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and it highlights the very unique role of humanity in global and cosmic history.
In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of Civilization presents a brand-new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-making capacity--and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. Morris reveals that for 90 percent of the time since the last ice age, the world's most advanced region has been at the western end of Eurasia, but contrary to what many historians once believed, there were roughly 1,200 years--from about 550 to 1750 CE--when an East Asian region was more advanced. Only in the late eighteenth century CE, when northwest Europeans tapped into the energy trapped in fossil fuels, did the West leap ahead. Resolving some of the biggest debates in global history, The Measure of Civilization puts forth innovative tools for determining past, present, and future economic and social trends.
Written specifically for courses that cover biological anthropology and archaeology, this superbly illustrated new text offers the most balanced and up-to-date introduction to our human past. Devoting equal time to biological anthropology and prehistory, this text exposes students to the many sides of major controversial issues, involving students in the scientific thought process by allowing them to draw their own conclusions. Amidst discussions of bones and artifacts, the text maintains a focus on people, demonstrating to students how biological anthropology and archaeology apply to their lives today. Featuring the latest research and findings pulled from the original sources, this new text is far and away the most up-to-date text available. In addition, the superior art program features hundreds of photographs and figures, and the multimedia presentation options include documentary film clips and lecture launcher videos. Pat Rice, a recipient of AAA’s Outstanding Teacher Award and past-president of the General Anthropology Division of AAA, and Norah Moloney, an experienced professor and active archaeologist, present the material in a clear, refreshing, and straightforward writing style.
It started two decades ago with CompStat in the New York City Police Department, and quickly jumped to police agencies across the U.S. and other nations. It was adapted by Baltimore, which created CitiStat—the first application of this leadership strategy to an entire jurisdiction. Today, governments at all levels employ PerformanceStat: a focused effort by public executives to exploit the power of purpose and motivation, responsibility and discretion, data and meetings, analysis and learning, feedback and follow-up—all to improve government's performance. Here, Harvard leadership and management guru Robert Behn analyzes the leadership behaviors at the core of PerformanceStat to identify how they work to produce results. He examines how the leaders of a variety of public organizations employ the strategy—the way the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services uses its DPSSTATS to promote economic independence, how the City of New Orleans uses its BlightStat to eradicate blight in city neighborhoods, and what the Federal Emergency Management Agency does with its FEMAStat to ensure that the lessons from each crisis response, recovery, and mitigation are applied in the future. How best to harness the strategy's full capacity? The PerformanceStat Potential explains all.