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Naturalist [Paperback]

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Item Number 378007  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   394
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 24, 2006
Publisher   Island Press
ISBN  1597260886  
EAN  9781597260886  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The author, a professor of entomology at Harvard, looks back on his life, education, and career, and discusses his work.

Publishers Description
Edward O. Wilson -- University Professor at Harvard, winner of two Pulitzer prizes, eloquent champion of biodiversity -- is arguably one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. His career represents both a blueprint and a challenge to those who seek to explore the frontiers of scientific understanding. Yet, until now, little has been told of his life and of the important events that have shaped his thought.In "Naturalist," Wilson describes for the first time both his growth as a scientist and the evolution of the science he has helped define. He traces the trajectory of his life -- from a childhood spent exploring the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida to life as a tenured professor at Harvard -- detailing how his youthful fascination with nature blossomed into a lifelong calling. He recounts with drama and wit the adventures of his days as a student at the University of Alabama and his four decades at Harvard University, where he has achieved renown as both teacher and researcher.As the narrative of Wilson's life unfolds, the reader is treated to an inside look at the origin and development of ideas that guide today's biological research. Theories that are now widely accepted in the scientific world were once untested hypotheses emerging from one mans's broad-gauged studies. Throughout "Naturalist," we see Wilson's mind and energies constantly striving to help establish many of the central principles of the field of evolutionary biology.The story of Wilson's life provides fascinating insights into the making of a scientist, and a valuable look at some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time.

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More About Edward O. Wilson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward O. Wilson was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1929. He is the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning books, On Human Nature (1978) and The Ants (1990, with Bert Holldobler), as well as many other groundbreaking works, including Consilience, Naturalist, and Sociobiology. A recipient of many of the world's leading prizes in science and conservation, he is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Renee.

Edward Osborne Wilson currently resides in the state of Massachusetts. Edward Osborne Wilson was born in 1929.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Fantastic  Oct 17, 2007
Wilson delivers a compelling and inspirational account of his scientific career from age 5 onward, and some touching personal details explaining what drew him to nature. But read critically! Sometimes the sentimental tone can cast doubt on the credibility of his recollections.
Wilson's Paradox  Nov 5, 2005
Edward Wilson's works unravel of their own accord.

He tells us that human beings do not have free will.

Ergo, Edward Wilson did not choose to write this book, or any book. He did not choose what to believe, nor has anyone, and therefore he can make no objective claim to correct knowledge.

If what he says is true then nothing he says can be trusted since it is merely the product of an infinite myriad of uncontrollable externalities working in concert to produce whatever it is that happens to come out of his physical manifestation.

It is even debatable whether or not evolution had true belief or correct knowledge as one of its requirements for survival. Indeed it can be shown that false belief as much as true belief (and in fact no belief at all) can infer an increased level of fitness on the host organism.

If evolutionary psychology has any truth at all its truth is that we cannot trust our mental faculties to obtain the truth at all. Nihilism in the truest sense.
One of the most interesting autobiographies ever  Jul 2, 2003
To me, it looks as if Wilson turned to be a great scientist against all odds. He did not come from the academic royalty, but from a broken family in Alabama. With strong intuition, lot of hard work and endless enthusiasm, he became one of the great scientists of the 20th century. A well written book, that would probably change the course of my life have I read it at the right age...
Excellent  Sep 2, 2002
An engaging and well-written account of the famous biologist's intellectual development from his early to his mature years and most important achievements. Nice discussions of some of his most interesting and important ideas punctuate this history. For example, there's a good section on the origin and development of his ecological ideas and the theory of island biogeography. Wilson is always a cautious but careful writer and thinker, but in a couple of the sections, he gets at least a little bit speculative and is all the more entertaining for it. For example, his discussion of the innateness of our fear of spiders and snakes is entertaining (Wilson himself is very phobic about spiders). Equally entertaining is the section where he discusses people's preference for a particular type of environment or ecology (subalpine or montane foothills parkland or partially wooded savannah with some lakes). Wilson attributes this to it being the environment where we originally evolved. Overall it counts as one of the best scientific biographies I've ever read.
more for the specialist.  Aug 27, 2002
This autobiography is more for the professional biological scientist, who should really enjoy the detailed description of the many field works of the author. Although his reflections on aggression, behaviourism (for him grossly overstated), and sociobiology are a worth-while reading.
He confesses that he became far too late an environmental activist.
I can only subscribe his fundamental truths: first, humanity is the product of biological evolution; second, the diversity of life is the craddle and greatest natural heritage of the human species; and third, philosophy and religion make little sense without taking into account these two first conceptions.
Another silver lining in his professional life: his struggle with colleagues, jealousy, slander, undermining of his position, covert attacks (Harvard is not a monastery).

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