The Mammal in the Mirror: Understanding Our Place in the Natural World

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9780716733911: The Mammal in the Mirror: Understanding Our Place in the Natural World

This text is an accessible overview of how the natural world works, seen in the context of how we - humans - fit into it. It begins with the micro issues, a close-up of DNA, genes, viruses and cells, and then moves out to explore the larger systems of human biology: sex and reproduction, the brain and behaviour, and energy. Finally, we stand back and take a look at the species "Homo sapiens" from the viewpoints of ecology, evolution and sociobiology. The result is a portrayal of mankind that enables readers with an interest, rather than a background, in science to become "bioliterate" and able to understand the discoveries that make headlines in the news.

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Review:

It's often all too easy to see our peers as the animals they are, but sometimes it's harder to see ourselves as biological specimens. The Mammal in the Mirror, by the father-daughter team of David P. Barash and Ilona A. Barash, is a literate and humane outline of life science for a general audience. Warm, funny, and delightfully well-written, the book draws on the Barashes' experience as teachers and researchers to explore and explain in plain language everything from the smallest strand of DNA to our planet's ecosystem. Few, if any, readers will feel out of their depth while perusing chapters on the nervous system, reproduction, the cell, and evolution, among others. Though readers already conversant with the principles of the biological sciences will find little new to learn, the pleasure of reading is undiminished. The examples, metaphors, and parallels with ordinary human life capture the excitement and interest of biology, even for those with no scientific background or training. Understanding issues like AIDS, global warming, and the Human Genome Project become more important with each passing day. With guides like The Mammal in the Mirror, there may be hope for us naked apes yet. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

David P. Barash holds a Ph.D. in zoology and is currently professor of psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has written more than a dozen books, including Making Sense of Sex, and Ideas of Human Nature, as well as popular articles in Playboy, Psychology Today, and the New York Times.

Ilona A. Barash is currently a student in an M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of a major research paper on the obesity hormone leptin that appeared in the journal Endocrinology.

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Barash, David P.
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Book Description New York: W.H. Freeman & Co, 1999, New York, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New Book. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. 6.5x9.5. Hard Cover. New Book/As New. First Edition. 6.5x9.5. "Understanding Our Place in the Natural World." Begins with a look at DNA, genes, viruses, and cells. Moves on the larger aspects:sex, reproduction, the brain and behavior, and then looks at humans from the perspective of ecology, evolution and evolutionary psychology. x+384 pages, recommended reading, index. Published @ $24.95. Bookseller Inventory # 11204

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