A visit to The Evolutionary World


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Geerat Vermeij's The Evolutionary World (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010). The preview consists of chapter 9, "Dispatches from a Warming World," in which Vermeij discusses the evolutionary consequences of a warming world. He concludes, "Whether warming is a curse or a blessing thus depends entirely on whether living systems subjected to it can adapt or move. If they can, warming presents an opportunity, especially if the surroundings are healthy and productive. If they cannot, warming becomes a hardship, an insuperable challenge. Humanity should do what it can to limit the rate at which the world is heating up, but above all we must adapt to a warming world. If we want to maintain some semblance of wild nature in the fact of warming and habitation fragmentation, we must preserve — or, better yet, enhance — opportunities for species to adapt. We must give them wiggle room, not box them in. We must allow evolution and adaptation to do their work."

Neil Shubin, the author of Your Inner Fish, describes The Evolutionary World as "[a] bold, brash, and magisterial account of the fundamental mechanisms that built our bodies, our genes, and our society. A culmination of decades of thinking by one of our leading scientists, this is a book that is sure to stir the pot." Nick Lane, the author of Life Ascending, adds, "Combining an exhilarating zest for life with unusual and acute powers of observation, Geerat Vermeij is also a refreshingly original thinker. His insights into the processes of evolution and their relevance to science and society are striking and thought-provoking." And Michael Ruse, the author of Defining Darwin (and a Supporter of NCSE), writes that Vermeij's book "will be read with delight by all who love science and should be read for instruction by those who think that an evolutionary world picture in any way detracts from our true understanding of ourselves and the planet on which we all live."