A compelling evolutionary narrative that reveals how human civilization follows the same ecological rules that shape all life on Earth
Offering a bold new understanding of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going, noted ecologist Mark Bertness argues that human beings and their civilization are the products of the same self-organization, evolutionary adaptation, and natural selection processes that have created all other life on Earth. Bertness follows the evolutionary process from the primordial soup of two billion years ago through today, exploring the ways opposing forces of competition and cooperation have led to current assemblages of people, animals, and plants.
Bertness’s thoughtful examination of human history from the perspective of natural history provides new insights about why and how civilization developed as it has and explores how humans, as a species, might have to consciously overrule our evolutionary drivers to survive future challenges.
Mark Bertness is Robert P. Brown Professor of Biology emeritus at Brown University. A widely published and highly regarded marine ecologist, he is best known for his work on the community ecology of marine shorelines.