genetics of original sin the impact of natural selection on the future of humanity an editions odile jacob book

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Genetics Of Original Sin

Author : Christian de Duve
ISBN : 9780300168716
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 89 MB
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Increasingly absorbed in recent years by advances in our understanding of the origin of life, evolutionary history, and the advent of humankind, eminent biologist Christian de Duve of late has also pondered deeply the future of life on this planet. He speaks to readers with or without a scientific background, offering new perspectives on the threat posed by humanity’s immense biological success and on the resources human beings have for altering their current destructive path. Focusing on the process of natural selection, de Duve explores the inordinate and now dangerous rise of humankind. His explanation for this self-defeating success lies in the process of natural selection, which favors traits that are immediately useful, regardless of later consequences. Thus, the human genome determines such properties as tribal and group cohesion and collaboration and often fierce and irrational competition with and hostility toward other groups’ attributes that were once useful but now often ruinously dysfunctional. Christian de Duve suggests that these traits, imprinted into human nature by natural selection, may have been recognized by the writers of Genesis, thus inspiring the myth of original sin. Is there redemption for genetic original sin? In a brilliant and original conclusion, the author argues that, unique in the living world, humankind is endowed with the ability to deliberately oppose natural selection. Human beings have the capacity to devise measures that, while contrary to local or personal interests, can bring forth a safer world.

The Impact Of Climate Change On Our Life

Author : Abdelnaser Omran
ISBN : 9789811077487
Genre : Science
File Size : 67. 48 MB
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This book introduces the highly topical issue from many different angles, sensitizing readers to the various challenges to human life posed by climate change, identifying possible intentional and inadvertent anthropogenic factors and consequences, and seeking socially and environmentally viable solutions. The book begins by examining the impact of the climate change discussion on science, politics, economy and culture – from its historical origin in the first Club of Rome Report and its inclusion in the UN's SDGs to the Paris Agreement and beyond. Comprising 12 chapters, it analyses the factors which caused the catastrophic 2014 Kelantan flood in Malaysia, focusing on the Kuala Krai district and discusses mud architecture in Wadi Hadramout, Yemen and mitigating the expected effects of climate change on this unique architecture and cultural heritage. It also examines the economic costs of climate change on health and the increased burden on individual expenditures and national health systems. The role of climate change in the water-energy nexus and efforts to increase efficiency in energy and water end-use to increase Queensland’s agricultural sector’s resilience in Australia is addressed, as is water security and climate change issues in developing countries and the potential of partnership procurement strategies for managing sustainable urban water supply in Nigerian cities. It also includes a chapter offering a new approach to waste management, exploring to what extent waste can complicate our daily actions and influence environmental decay, and recommending that renewable materials be sorted and separated from other types of materials to avoid cross-contamination, to increase the value of the materials, and to ease the process of manufacturing. Subsequent chapters identify factors sustaining the municipal solid waste management and practices in Ajdabiya city in Libya, and look at accounting disclosure remedies by exploring areas in which sustainability reporting could expand beyond corporate environmental reporting to additional disclosures, curbing recklessness in pursuing merely economic goals. The book shows – from the perspective of agriculture – how human activities can increase the negative impacts of climate change on lifestyle in Malaysia, suggesting alternative lifestyles and encouraging international cooperative efforts. The last chapters evaluate the impacts of various environmental factors on the local tourism sector in Pakistan, and discuss strategies to tackle climate change, focusing on the opportunities and risks of climate engineering. Since these risks encompass inadvertent negative effects and targeted abuse for covert weather warfare and terrorism that violate the UN’s ENMOD convention, the author recommends viable alternatives to deal with climate change.

Life Explained

Author : Michel Morange
ISBN : 9780300142396
Genre : SCIENCE
File Size : 61. 47 MB
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Fifty years ago Francis Crick and James D. Watson proposed the double helix model for the DNA molecule. They believed they had, as Crick put it, discovered the secret of life, and many agreed. But in the intervening years, science has marched sometimes leaped forward, and now the question What is life? must be posed once again.In this accessible and fascinating book, Michel Morange draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find today s answers to the question of life. He begins by discussing the various answers that have been formulated in the past, setting contemporary definitions of life within a rich philosophical and scientific tradition that reaches back to ancient Greece. Then, with impeccable logic and a wealth of appropriate detail, Morange proceeds to lay out the fundamental characteristics that define life. The road to an understanding of life remains incompletely charted, he concludes, but the nature of its final destination is no longer an enigma."

Simplexity

Author : Alain Berthoz
ISBN : 9780300169348
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 56. 80 MB
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In this book a noted physiologist and neuroscientist introduces the concept of simplexity, the set of solutions living organisms find that enable them to deal with information and situations, while taking into account past experiences and anticipating future ones. Such solutions are new ways of addressing problems so that actions may be taken more quickly, more elegantly, and more efficiently. In a sense, the history of living organisms may be summed up by their remarkable ability to find solutions that avoid the world's complexity by imposing on it their own rules and functions. Evolution has resolved the problem of complexity not by simplifying but by finding solutions whose processes—though they can sometimes be complex—allow us to act in the midst of complexity and of uncertainty. Nature can inspire us by making us realize that simplification is never simple and requires instead that we choose, refuse, connect, and imagine, in order to act in the best possible manner. Such solutions are already being applied in design and engineering and are significant in biology, medicine, economics, and the behavioral sciences.

The Good The True And The Beautiful

Author : Jean-Pierre Changeux
ISBN : 9780300166422
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 92 MB
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In this fascinating and bold discussion, a renowned neurobiologist serves as guide to the most complex physical object in the living world: the human brain. Taking into account the newest brain research—morphological, physiological, chemical, genetic—and placing these findings in the context of psychology, philosophy, art, and literature, Changeux ventures into the unexplored territories where these diverse disciplines intersect. Changeux's book draws on Plato's notion that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful are celestial essences or ideas, independent but so intertwined as to be inseparable. Placing these essences within the characteristic features of the human brain's neuronal organization, the author addresses unsolved questions in neuroscience today. With imagination and deep insight, Changeux illuminates the evolution of the brain and deciphers what new developments in neuroscience may portend for the future of humanity.

Explaining Social Behavior

Author : Jon Elster
ISBN : 9781316368565
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 70 MB
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In this new edition of his critically acclaimed book, Jon Elster examines the nature of social behavior, proposing choice as the central concept of the social sciences. Extensively revised throughout, the book offers an overview of key explanatory mechanisms, drawing on many case studies and experiments to explore the nature of explanation in the social sciences; an analysis of the mental states - beliefs, desires, and emotions - that are precursors to action; a systematic comparison of rational-choice models of behavior with alternative accounts, and a review of mechanisms of social interaction ranging from strategic behavior to collective decision making. A wholly new chapter includes an exploration of classical moralists and Proust in charting mental mechanisms operating 'behind the back' of the agent, and a new conclusion points to the pitfalls and fallacies in current ways of doing social science, proposing guidelines for more modest and more robust procedures.

The Digital Humanist

Author : Domenico Fiormonte
ISBN : 0692580441
Genre :
File Size : 53. 62 MB
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This book offers a critical introduction to the core technologies underlying the Internet from a humanistic perspective. It provides a cultural critique of computing technologies, by exploring the history of computing and examining issues related to writing, representing, archiving and searching. The book raises awareness of, and calls for, the digital humanities to address the challenges posed by the linguistic and cultural divides in computing, the clash between communication and control, and the biases inherent in networked technologies. A common problem with publications in the Digital Humanities is the dominance of the Anglo-American perspective. While seeking to take a broader view, the book attempts to show how cultural bias can become an obstacle to innovation both in the methodology and practice of the Digital Humanities. Its central point is that no technological instrument is culturally unbiased, and that all too often the geography that underlies technology coincides with the social and economic interests of its producers. The alternative proposed in the book is one of a world in which variation, contamination and decentralization are essential instruments for the production and transmission of digital knowledge. It is thus necessary not only to have spaces where DH scholars can interact (such as international conferences, THATCamps, forums and mailing lists), but also a genuine sharing of technological know-how and experience. "This is a truly exceptional work on the subject of the digital....Students and scholars new to the field of digital humanities will find in this book a gentle introduction to the field, which I cannot but think would be good and perhaps even inspirational for them....Its history of the development of machines and programs and communities bent on using computers to advance science and research merely sets the stage for an insightful analysis of the role of the digital in the way both scholars and everyday people communicate and conceive of themselves and "others" in written forms - from treatises to credit card transactions." Peter Shillingsburg The Digital Humanist is not simply a translation of the Italian book L'umanista digitale (il Mulino 2010), but a new version tailored to an international audience through the improvement and expansion of the sections on social, cultural and ethical problems of the most widely used methodologies, resources and applications. TABLE OF CONTENTS // Preface: Digital Humanities at a Political Turn? by Geoffrey Rockwell / PART I: The Socio-Historical Roots - Chap. 1: Technology and the Humanities: A History of Interaction - Chap. 2: Internet, or The Humanistic Machine / PART II: Theoretical and Practical Dimensions - Chap. 3: Writing and Content Production - Chap. 4: Representing and Archiving - Chap. 5: Searching and Organizing / Conclusions: DH in a Global Perspective

Stephen J Gould The Scientific Legacy

Author : Gian Antonio Danieli
ISBN : 9788847054240
Genre : Science
File Size : 67. 71 MB
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Stephen J. Gould’s greatest contribution to science is a revised version of the theory of evolution which offers today a useful framework for understanding progress in many evolutionary fields. His intuitions about the conjunction of evolution and development, the role of ecological factors in speciation, the multi-level interpretation of the units of selection, and the interplay between functional pressures and constraints all represent fruitful lines of experimental research. His opposition to the progressive representations of evolution, the gene-centered view of natural history, or the adaptationist “just-so stories” has also left its mark on current biology. In May 2012, at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice, an international panel of scientists and philosophers discussed Stephen J. Gould’s legacy, ten years after his death. This book presents a selection of those contributions, chosen for their interest and importance. A broad range of themes are covered: Gould’s contribution to evolutionary theory, including the concept of punctuated equilibria and the importance of his pluralism; the Gouldian view of genome and development; Gould’s legacy in anthropology; and, finally, the significance of his thought for the human sciences. This book provides a fascinating appraisal of the cultural legacy of one of the world’s greatest popular writers in the life sciences. This is the first time that scientists including some of Gould’s personal friends and co-authors of papers of momentous importance such as Niles Eldredge have come together to strike a balanced view of Gould's intellectual heritage.

On The Death And Life Of Languages

Author : Claude Hagège
ISBN : 9780300137330
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 79. 85 MB
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Twenty-five languages die each year; at this pace, half the world’s five thousand languages will disappear within the next century. In this timely book, Claude Hagège seeks to make clear the magnitude of the cultural loss represented by the crisis of language death. By focusing on the relationship of language to culture and the world of ideas, Hagège shows how languages are themselves crucial repositories of culture; the traditions, proverbs, and knowledge of our ancestors reside in the language we use. His wide-ranging examination covers all continents and language families to uncover not only how languages die, but also how they can be revitalized—for example in the remarkable case of Hebrew. In a striking metaphor, Hagège likens languages to bonfires of social behavior that leave behind sparks even after they die; from these sparks languages can be rekindled and made to live again.

Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed

Author : Claire Magone
ISBN : 9781849045261
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 76. 86 MB
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From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged "clash of civilizations", our "humanitarian space" is shrinking. Put another way, the freedom of action and of speech of humanitarians is being eroded due to the radicalisation of conflicts and the reaffirmation of state sovereignty over aid actors and policies. The purpose of this book is to challenge this assumption through an analysis of the events that have marked MSF's history since 2003 (when MSF published its first general work on humanitarian action and its relationships with governments). It addresses the evolution of humanitarian goals, the resistance to these goals and the political arrangements that overcame this resistance (or that failed to do so). The contributors seek to analyse the political transactions and balances of power and interests that allow aid activities to move forward, but that are usually masked by the lofty rhetoric of "humanitarian principles". They focus on one key question: what is an acceptable compromise for MSF? This book seeks to puncture a number of the myths that have grown up over the forty years since MSF was founded and describes in detail how the ideals of humanitarian principles and "humanitarian space" operating in conflict zones are in reality illusory. How, in fact, it is the grubby negotiations with varying parties, each of whom have their own vested interests, that may allow organisations such as MSF to operate in a given crisis situation - or not.

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