Evolution became a dirty word in U.S. teaching circles last decade and suddenly got a little edgy. But why would this fundamental concept of science pose a threat to the learning curriculum? Perhaps, as Brooks suggests, because of pure, bloody-minded ignorance.
In this savvy and entertaining book, Brooks, an evolutionary biologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, takes us on a whirlwind tour of how evolution has shaped the modern world – and I’m not talking just bugs and birds.
This is a startling insight into the relevance of evolutionary biology to our society and cultures.
Brooks effortlessly entertains us with a step-by-step tour of how evolutionary biology weighs in on obesity, plays a key role in the origins of rock ‘n’ roll and in the sexual revolutions of the 60s and 70s. He is unapologetic about his stance on the side of science in one of its ancient battlefields with religion.
Occasionally he crosses the line in areas where perhaps he should not have strayed – the cultural effects of a glut of young males in China, India and Pakistan where female infanticide and a preference for male children skew birth ratios.
But overall this book compels us to understand that, despite our technophilia, consumerism and economics, you and I babe are nothing but mammals.