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Bittersweet Destiny: The Stormy Evolution of Human Behavior (Hardback)
  • Bittersweet Destiny: The Stormy Evolution of Human Behavior (Hardback)
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Bittersweet Destiny: The Stormy Evolution of Human Behavior (Hardback)

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£76.99
Hardback 436 Pages / Published: 31/12/1995
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Bittersweet Destiny combines discourse on the evolution of human behavior with a philosophical perspective. It explores evolutionary theory aimed at determining human behavior. Del Thiessen presents this material against the broad background of everyday life, allowing the reader to see the theory of evolution as it has shaped his or her own behavior. However, he points out that when evolutionary theory is aimed at human behavior, the critics object, and controversy results.

Thiessen argues that nothing in our lives makes sense unless we look at it through a biological lens. We can thereby understand our origin, our affiliation with all animals and plants, and our cultural destination. However, we can also discover a dark side to our destiny-our favoritism to those who share our own genes, our ability to deceive, and our capacity for abuse, rape, and murder. Good, bad, and indifferent, we serve the replication of our DNA. Critics extrapolate evolutionary theory to a wide range of animal species, and even human morphology and physiology, but when the same perspective is applied to human behavior there is strong dissent. What these critics fear, according to Thiessen, is that accepting evolutionary notions about human behavior strikes at the heart of free will, self-determination, and social equality.

Bittersweet Destiny describes the heroic efforts of naturalists Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace to unlock the secrets of evolution. It continues with a vivid description of our fossil history and our chance beginnings. From there the story implicates disease processes in evolution, highlights our rational and irrational nature, focuses on those characteristics of brain evolution and language that make us distinctive, and illustrates our most basic survival and reproductive mechanisms. Thiessen warns the reader that things are as they are no matter what we might wish; we ignore facts and controversy at our own risk. This book will be significant to anthropologists, psychologists, biologists, and sociologists.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781560002451
Number of pages: 436
Weight: 839 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 37 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Bittersweet Destiny succeeds as a scholarly book that simultaneously entertains and informs. It's a 'must read' for anyone interested in the fascinating new discipline of viewing humans through the lens of evolutionary theory, and more generally for anyone interested in the place of humans in the grand scheme of life."

--David M. Buss, author, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating


"With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior."

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin


"With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior."

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin


"Bittersweet Destiny succeeds as a scholarly book that simultaneously entertains and informs. It's a 'must read' for anyone interested in the fascinating new discipline of viewing humans through the lens of evolutionary theory, and more generally for anyone interested in the place of humans in the grand scheme of life."

--David M. Buss, author, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating


"In this thoughtful and provocative book, Thiessen, an evolutionary psychologist, presents an unblinking view of how the forces of evolution shaped human behavior and constrain our future... This book is filled with ideas.

--C. R. Timmons, Choice

"With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior."

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin


"In this thoughtful and provocative book, Thiessen, an evolutionary psychologist, presents an unblinking view of how the forces of evolution shaped human behavior and constrain our future... This book is filled with ideas.

--C. R. Timmons, Choice

"With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior."

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin

"It is an entertaining read but not appropriate for the naIve."

--Joan C. Stevenson, American Journal of Human Biology

"Bittersweet Destiny is indeed not an ordinary book, at least not in the flourishing genre of advanced adaptive story-telling and psychological hypothesis-testing, based on evolutionary heuristics. It is full of interesting bits of information on proximate and ultimate causes of human behavior."

--Walter Lehmann, Human Ethology Bulletin


"In this thoughtful and provocative book, Thiessen, an evolutionary psychologist, presents an unblinking view of how the forces of evolution shaped human behavior and constrain our future... This book is filled with ideas.

--C. R. Timmons, Choice

"With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior."

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin

"It is an entertaining read but not appropriate for the naIve."

--Joan C. Stevenson, American Journal of Human Biology

"Bittersweet Destiny is indeed not an ordinary book, at least not in the flourishing genre of advanced adaptive story-telling and psychological hypothesis-testing, based on evolutionary heuristics. It is full of interesting bits of information on proximate and ultimate causes of human behavior."

--Walter Lehmann, Human Ethology Bulletin


"Bittersweet Destiny succeeds as a scholarly book that simultaneously entertains and informs. It's a 'must read' for anyone interested in the fascinating new discipline of viewing humans through the lens of evolutionary theory, and more generally for anyone interested in the place of humans in the grand scheme of life."

--David M. Buss, author, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating


-In this thoughtful and provocative book, Thiessen, an evolutionary psychologist, presents an unblinking view of how the forces of evolution shaped human behavior and constrain our future... This book is filled with ideas.

--C. R. Timmons, Choice

-With literary flair and philosophical insight Thiessen paints a disturbing picture of human evolution--a provocative and controversial view of the deep-rooted origins of human behavior.-

--Joseph Lopreato, University of Texas at Austin

-It is an entertaining read but not appropriate for the naIve.-

--Joan C. Stevenson, American Journal of Human Biology

-Bittersweet Destiny is indeed not an ordinary book, at least not in the flourishing genre of advanced adaptive story-telling and psychological hypothesis-testing, based on evolutionary heuristics. It is full of interesting bits of information on proximate and ultimate causes of human behavior.-

--Walter Lehmann, Human Ethology Bulletin


-Bittersweet Destiny succeeds as a scholarly book that simultaneously entertains and informs. It's a 'must read' for anyone interested in the fascinating new discipline of viewing humans through the lens of evolutionary theory, and more generally for anyone interested in the place of humans in the grand scheme of life.-

--David M. Buss, author, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

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