Why do we behave so differently in different situations? Why did you choose the clothes you are wearing, the books you read and the friends and opinions you have? What is it about humans that has let us achieve so much, so quickly?
SuperGenes, What Really Makes Us Human, tries to understand why the evolution of our human species is happening at a rate so much faster than may be explained by Darwinian biological evolution alone. The engine of our extraordinary social evolution is human behaviour. We have a deep-seated need to pass on to others some part of our own achievements, what we have made of our lives. Our survival and success now depends principally on our adaption to our social environment and not to our physical environment. It is these supercharged social genes that are the essence of our remarkable and accelerating rate of evolution today.
This book looks critically at our present understanding of human behaviour and evolution to seek a consilience across a wide range of fields of research.
Dr Craig Mackay is Professor of Image Science in the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge in England. He has published over 190 research papers in a variety of subjects. Most recently he has led a team building cameras that take the sharpest astronomical pictures ever.
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