The Brain: Big Bangs, Behaviors, and Beliefs
Human beings are extraordinary creatures, and it is the unprecedented human brain that makes them so. Tapping the very latest findings in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how the cognitive gulf that separates us from all other living creatures could have occurred. They discuss the development and uniqueness of human consciousness, how human and nonhuman brains work, the roles of different nerve cells, the importance of memory and language in brain functions, and much more. Our brains, they conclude, are the product of a lengthy and supremely untidy history—an evolutionary process of many zigs and zags—that has accidentally resulted in a splendidly eccentric and creative product.
Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues of the 21st Century
From ancient times, philosophers, theologians, and artists have attempted to describe and categorize the defining virtues of civilization. In Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed, renowned education authority Howard Gardner explores the meaning of the title's three virtues in an age when vast technological advancement and relativistic attitudes toward human nature have deeply shaken our moral worldview. His incisive examination reveals that although these concepts are changing faster than ever before, they are--and will remain, with our stewardship--cornerstones of our society.
Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life
This is the first unified account of how life transforms itself--from the production of bacteria to the emergence of complex civilizations. What are the connections between evolving microbes, an egg that develops into an infant, and a child who learns to walk and talk? Enrico Coen synthesizes the growth of living systems and creative processes, and he reveals that the four great life transformations--evolution, development, learning, and human culture--while typically understood separately, actually all revolve around shared core principles and manifest the same fundamental recipe. Coen blends provocative discussion, the latest scientific research, and colorful examples to demonstrate the links between these critical stages in the history of life.
Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame
From the age of Darwin to the present day, biologists have been grappling with the origins of our moral sense. Why, if the human instinct to survive and reproduce is “selfish,” do people engage in self-sacrifice, and even develop ideas like virtue and shame to justify that altruism? Many theories have been put forth, some emphasizing the role of nepotism, others emphasizing the advantages of reciprocation or group selection effects. But evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm finds existing explanations lacking, and in Moral Origins, he offers an elegant new theory with profound insight into humanity’s moral past—and how it might shape our moral future.
Join Metanexus Today
Metanexus fosters a growing international network of individuals and groups exploring the dynamic interface between cosmos, nature and culture. Membership is open to all. Join Now!