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Sex, Genes & Rock ’n’ Roll
How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World
Rob Brooks

New Hampshire
2012 • 322 pp. 6 1/4 x 9 1/4"
Evolution / Philosophy of Science / Evolution

$29.95 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-236-6

$18.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-237-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

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“[Brooks] is at his best when he warns about the global political consequences of dramatically unequal sex ratios found among the poorest and most populated Asian countries.”—Publishers Weekly

An evolutionary biologist looks at diverse environmental and social problems to show how the basic evolutionary imperative of survival and adaptation shapes our world

Why are we all getting fatter? Why are we fascinated by pop music and celebrities? Is there any hope of curbing population growth and rampant consumerism, and the environmental devastation they wreak? Evolutionary scientist Rob Brooks argues that the origins of these twenty-first-century problems can be found where the ancient forces of evolution collide with modern culture and economics. Natural selection might be “the most important idea anybody ever had,” but evolution remains the poor relation of economics and social theory when it comes to understanding human affairs. This book shows how evolution can help us understand human history, our radically changing environment, and the lives people lead today.

Rob Brooks examines the many issues facing our world and introduces key principles of evolutionary biology as a lens through which to view how and why we’ve gotten to where we are, and how to leverage the mechanism of adaptation and change. Throughout, he includes fascinating illustrations from the natural world and from human prehistory and history. Just as Freakonomics revealed “the hidden side of everything,” Sex, Genes & Rock ’n’ Roll reveals how evolution and ecology interact to explain the most important and interesting problems faced by modern civilization.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“This is a startling insight into the relevance of evolutionary biology to our society and cultures.”—COSMOS Magazine

“It’s good fun, and a reminder that while Homo sapiens possesses a big cerebral cortex we also drag around a genetic legacy kick-started by our ancestors’ decision to climb down from trees, arguably the first of many bad evolutionary moves.”—The Australian

“A sublime piece of popular science.” —The Sydney Morning Herald

“A dazzling tour of the hidden logic behind modern life.”—Baba Brinkman, creator of The Rap Guide to Evolution

“In this engaging and witty book, biologist Rob Brooks shows how human nature interacts with social and economic conditions to explain some of the most troubling aspects of modern human life. . . . A must-read for the evo-curious.” —Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind and Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

ROB BROOKS is director of the Evolution and Ecology Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the recipient of the Australian Academy of Science Fenner Medal, and an internationally recognized expert on evolutionary biology and ecological systems.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:08:14 -0500