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Natural Selections: Selfish Altruists, Honest Liars, and Other Realities of Evolution | [David P. Barash]

Natural Selections: Selfish Altruists, Honest Liars, and Other Realities of Evolution

If we are, in part, a product of our genes, can free will exist? Incisive and engaging, this indispensable tour of evolutionary biology runs the gamut of contemporary debates, from science and religion to our place in the universe.
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Publisher's Summary

If we are, in part, a product of our genes, can free will exist? Incisive and engaging, this indispensable tour of evolutionary biology runs the gamut of contemporary debates, from science and religion to our place in the universe.

©2007 Bellevue Literary Press; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Combining humane sensibility with common sense, wisdom, knowledge, wit, and sheer intelligence, David Barash's writing is a tonic for the mind." (Richard Dawkins)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Christopher Raleigh, NC, USA 05-11-09
    Christopher Raleigh, NC, USA 05-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An enjoyable and often funny look at Biology"

    This is a thoroughly entertaining look at biology through the lens of culture, literature and politics. At points it is a diatribe against the right, but then conservatism has allied itself against science for the last 20 to 30 years, so this backlash is to be expected. I only wish it was a bit less opinion and more fact. I also wish, and this is a great compliment, that is was longer. I would really recommend this to anyone who feels that a defense of science and reason is needed in this polarized world of believer vs non-believer and liberal vs conservative. Barash pulls no punches in his arguments against the Bush administration's war on reason, and criticizes Tom Delay and Potter Stewart alike all while through the lens of biology and Darwin's foundations on natural selection. It is interesting to read just how he does this, but more interesting to go along for the (diatribe) ride.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 07-19-10
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 07-19-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Natural Selections - A nice surprise"

    When I selected it, I was hoping it wouldn't be another one I'd have to force my way through. It was great and really good info. If you have researched this far, then go for it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Seattle, WA, United States 05-23-10
    James Seattle, WA, United States 05-23-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I Understand Why We Do The Things We Do!"

    A thoroughly enjoyable book whether you're "into" science and biology or just the average lay person.

    The author keeps the book moving and light enough to enjoy without me having to break out a dictionary to look up every other word.

    I really enjoyed the book and now have a better understanding of my fellow man (woman).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judd Bagley Utah 05-03-09
    Judd Bagley Utah 05-03-09 Member Since 2006

    Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More advocacy than education"

    I love learning about, and believe quite firmly in, the topic of specific evolution by means of natural selection. I'm also a fairly religious person. How I reconcile those two aspects of my personality is my business. Most books on the topic of natural selection seek to enlighten and educate the reader on the subject. This book, on the other hand, seems much more interested in advocating for natural selection as a concept that cannot possibly co-exist with religion, and occasionally sought to make its case in a manner that I found cumbersome, condescending, and even insulting. What's worse, these seemed to serve no purpose other than to delay the transmission of what was otherwise great content.
    None of this is to say that there should be no books advocating for natural selection at the expense of religion. That's fine. But this book gave no indication of being such. I was disappointed to find that it was.
    The narration itself was solid. Great, in fact. Read almost exactly as I'd have expected the author himself to have done it.

    21 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hirasuna Columbia, MD USA 07-21-10
    Michael Hirasuna Columbia, MD USA 07-21-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Where's the Science?"

    There was far too much references to literature and movies. This would be better suited for a science class for English majors.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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