Search results for: extinction-and-the-human

Human Extinction and the Pandemic Imaginary

Author : Christos Lynteris
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This book develops an examination and critique of human extinction as a result of the ‘next pandemic’ and turns attention towards the role of pandemic catastrophe in the renegotiation of what it means to be human. Nested in debates in anthropology, philosophy, social theory and global health, the book argues that fear of and fascination with the ‘next pandemic’ stem not so much from an anticipation of a biological extinction of the human species, as from an expectation of the loss of mastery over human/non-humanl relations. Christos Lynteris employs the notion of the ‘pandemic imaginary’ in order to understand the way in which pandemic-borne human extinction refashions our understanding of humanity and its place in the world. The book challenges us to think how cosmological, aesthetic, ontological and political aspects of pandemic catastrophe are intertwined. The chapters examine the vital entanglement of epidemiological studies, popular culture, modes of scientific visualisation, and pandemic preparedness campaigns. This volume will be relevant for scholars and advanced students of anthropology as well as global health, and for many others interested in catastrophe, the ‘end of the world’ and the (post)apocalyptic.

Extinction and the Human

Author : Timothy Sweet
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In Extinction and the Human Timothy Sweet ponders the realities of animal extinction and endangerment and the often divergent Native American and Euro-American narratives that surround them, focusing especially on the force of human impact on megafauna--mammoths, whales, and the North American bison.

Ice Age Extinction

Author : Jim Snook
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Global warming seen from the other side: by the end of the last ice age, the earth had lost most of its large animal species and most of its humans. In a novel approach the author argues that the main cause of this catastrophic extinction was a drastic reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide, due to the long period of cold, and he backs up his theory with scientific explanations given in clear language for the general reader. The author explores the causes of Earth s cyclical temperature changes and shows how those temperature shifts touch off a chain of events in the atmosphere, in the oceans and on land. Cold temperature was the trigger; and the resultant reduction in carbon dioxide, he argues, was the bullet that killed off so many species. The re-warming released more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and fueled a resurgence which we are still enjoying. In addition, the author describes the human responses to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide after the last ice age and in the last 150 years. Near the end of the last ice age, atmospheric carbon dioxide was about half of what it is today. Due to the lack of carbon dioxide, most of the vegetation disappeared from the middle and high latitudes. Without plants to eat, many large animals became extinct; North America lost three-fourths of its large animals including the woolly mammoth, mastodon, and saber tooth cat. Humans, too, had little to eat in these areas and their population declined dramatically. The book then explains how and why atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by about 50% after the last ice age ended, encouraging a population explosion among plants, animals and humans, all of which then migrated into many previously barren areas. More recently, the 28% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the last 150 years has caused a six-fold increase in the human population. Changes in the next 300 years will reverse some of the current trends. There have been some books on the causes of extinction over the last forty years, but all looked at other causes and none examined the role of low atmospheric carbon dioxide. This book has value for anyone interested in the ice age extinction; glaciers; the glacial cycle; the atmosphere and oceans; the past and future of plants, animals, and humans. It provides long-term information on atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming and cooling.

Extinct Animals An Encyclopedia of Species that Have Disappeared during Human History

Author : Ross Piper
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Everyone is familiar with the dodo and the wooly mammoth, but how many people have heard of the scimitar cat and the Falkland Island fox? Extinct Animals portrays over 60 remarkable animals that have been lost forever during the relatively recent geological past. Each entry provides a concise discussion of the history of the animal—how and where it lived, and how it became extinct—as well as the scientific discovery and analysis of the creature. In addition, this work examines what led to extinction—from the role of cyclical swings in the Earth's climate to the spread of humans and their activities. Many scientists believe that we are in the middle of a mass extinction right now, caused by the human undermining of the earth's complex systems that support life. Understanding what caused the extinction of animals in the past may help us understand and prevent the extinction of species in the future. Extinct Animals examines the biology and history of some of the most interesting creatures that have ever lived, including: The American Terror Bird, which probably became extinct over 1 million years ago, who were massive predators, some of which were almost 10 feet tall; the Rocky Mountain Locust, last seen in 1902, formed the most immense animal aggregations ever known, with swarms estimated to include over 10 trillion insects; the Giant Ground Sloth, which was as large as an elephant; and the Neandertals, the first Europeans, which co-existed with prehistoric Homo sapiens. Extinct Animals includes illustrations—many created for the work—that help the reader visualize the extinct creature, and each entry concludes with a list of resources for those who wish to do further research.

Save the People

Author : Stacy McAnulty
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"A book for middle-school-aged children about previous extinctions and possible threats to humans, from volcanoes, to asteroids, to pollution and diseases"--

The Invaders

Author : Pat Shipman
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Humans domesticated dogs soon after Neanderthals began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, Pat Shipman hypothesizes, made possible unprecedented success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for human invaders at a time when climate change made both humans and Neanderthals vulnerable.

Scatter Adapt and Remember

Author : Annalee Newitz
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A speculative, optimistic work of popular science suggests practical ways to promote the human race's survival of a mass extinction induced by climate change, pandemics and catastrophic natural disasters, citing innovations ranging from the bacteria labs of St. Louis to the underground cities of central Turkey.

Extinct Humans

Author : Ian Tattersall
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Scientists have long envisioned the human “family tree” as a straight-line progression from the apelike australopithecines to the enigmatic Homo habilis to the famous Neanderthals, culminating in us, Homo sapiens. But this model is unlike the evolutionary patterns known for all other vertebrates—patterns that typically reveal multiple branchings and extinctions. In Extinct Humans, Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey Schwartz present convincing evidence that many distinct species of humans have existed during the history of the hominid family, often simultaneously. Furthermore, these species may have contributed to one another's extinction. Who were these different human species? Which are direct ancestors to us? And, the most profound question of all, why is there only a single human species alive on Earth now?

AI and IA

Author : Ted Peters
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Will advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) or IA (Intelligence Amplification) lead to the extinction of the human race as we know it? Or, will superintelligence lead to utopia? In this collection of thoughtful essays, we must first get clear on the question: is artificial intelligence actually intelligent or not? Only with an affirmative answer could our techies proceed toward their goal: the creation of a superintelligence that leads through transhumanism to a posthuman entity that would replace today's human. Should today's moderately intelligent human species voluntarily go extinct to make way for a more intelligent species to succeed us in evolutionary history? These scientific questions are addressed in this volume in light of their theological, ethical, and social implications.

Holocene Extinctions

Author : Samuel T. Turvey
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The extent to which human activity has influenced species extinctions during the recent prehistoric past remains controversial due to other factors such as climatic fluctuations and a general lack of data. However, the Holocene (the geological interval spanning the last 11,500 years from the end of the last glaciation) has witnessed massive levels of extinctions that have continued into the modern historical era, but in a context of only relatively minor climatic fluctuations. This makes a detailed consideration of these extinctions a useful system for investigating the impacts of human activity over time. Holocene Extinctions describes and analyses the range of global extinction events which have occurred during this key time period, as well as their relationship to both earlier and ongoing species losses. By integrating information from fields as diverse as zoology, ecology, palaeontology, archaeology and geography, and by incorporating data from a broad range of taxonomic groups and ecosystems, this novel text provides a fascinating insight into human impacts on global extinction rates, both past and present. This truly interdisciplinary book is suitable for both graduate students and researchers in these varied fields. It will also be of value and use to policy-makers and conservation professionals since it provides valuable guidance on how to apply lessons from the past to prevent future biodiversity loss and inform modern conservation planning.

Only Women Can Avoid the Extinction of the Human Race

Author : Velio Bocci
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Only Woman Can Avoid the Extinction of the Human Race

Author : Velio Bocci
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Avoiding Human Extinction

Author : Kaye H. Kilburn
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Eclipse of Man

Author : Charles T. Rubin
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Tomorrow has never looked better. Breakthroughs in fields like genetic engineering and nanotechnology promise to give us unprecedented power to redesign our bodies and our world. Futurists and activists tell us that we are drawing ever closer to a day when we will be as smart as computers, will be able to link our minds telepathically, and will live for centuries—or maybe forever. The perfection of a “post-human” future awaits us. Or so the story goes. In reality, the rush toward a post-human destiny amounts to an ideology of human extinction, an ideology that sees little of value in humanity except the raw material for producing whatever might come next. In Eclipse of Man, Charles T. Rubin traces the intellectual origins of the movement to perfect and replace the human race. He shows how today’s advocates of radical enhancement are—like their forebears—deeply dissatisfied with given human nature and fixated on grand visions of a future shaped by technological progress. Moreover, Rubin argues that this myopic vision of the future is not confined to charlatans and cheerleaders promoting this or that technology: it also runs through much of modern science and contemporary progressivism. By exploring and criticizing the dreams of post humanity, Rubin defends a more modest vision of the future, one that takes seriously both the limitations and the inherent dignity of our given nature.

Death of the Posthuman

Author : Claire Colebrook
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Death of the PostHuman undertakes a series of critical encounters with the legacy of what had come to be known as 'theory, ' and its contemporary supposedly post-human aftermath. There can be no redemptive post-human future in which the myopia and anthropocentrism of the species finds an exit and manages to emerge with ecology and life. At the same time, what has come to be known as the human - despite its normative intensity - can provide neither foundation nor critical lever in the Anthropocene epoch. Death of the PostHuman argues for a twenty-first century deconstruction of ecological and seemingly post-human futures

Human Extinction

Author : Joshua Godfrey
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X Risk

Author : Thomas Moynihan
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How humanity came to contemplate its possible extinction. From forecasts of disastrous climate change to prophecies of evil AI superintelligences and the impending perils of genome editing, our species is increasingly concerned with the prospects of its own extinction. With humanity's future on this planet seeming more insecure by the day, in the twenty-first century, existential risk has become the object of a growing field of serious scientific inquiry. But, as Thomas Moynihan shows in X-Risk, this preoccupation is not exclusive to the post-atomic age of global warming and synthetic biology. Our growing concern with human extinction itself has a history. Tracing this untold story, Moynihan revisits the pioneers who first contemplated the possibility of human extinction and stages the historical drama of this momentous discovery. He shows how, far from being a secular reprise of religious prophecies of apocalypse, existential risk is a thoroughly modern idea, made possible by the burgeoning sciences and philosophical tumult of the Enlightenment era. In recollecting how we first came to care for our extinction, Moynihan reveals how today's attempts to measure and mitigate existential threats are the continuation of a project initiated over two centuries ago, which concerns the very vocation of the human as a rational, responsible, and future-oriented being.

American Megafaunal Extinctions at the End of the Pleistocene

Author : Gary Haynes
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The volume contains summaries of facts, theories, and unsolved problems pertaining to the unexplained extinction of dozens of genera of mostly large terrestrial mammals, which occurred ca. 13,000 calendar years ago in North America and about 1,000 years later in South America. Another equally mysterious wave of extinctions affected large Caribbean islands around 5,000 years ago. The coupling of these extinctions with the earliest appearance of human beings has led to the suggestion that foraging humans are to blame, although major climatic shifts were also taking place in the Americas during some of the extinctions. The last published volume with similar (but not identical) themes -- Extinctions in Near Time -- appeared in 1999; since then a great deal of innovative, exciting new research has been done but has not yet been compiled and summarized. Different chapters in this volume provide in-depth resumés of the chronology of the extinctions in North and South America, the possible insights into animal ecology provided by studies of stable isotopes and anatomical/physiological characteristics such as growth increments in mammoth and mastodont tusks, the clues from taphonomic research about large-mammal biology, the applications of dating methods to the extinctions debate, and archeological controversies concerning human hunting of large mammals.

Radical Regeneration

Author : Carolyn Baker
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This is a demanding book-but our times are demanding. It is an honest book-and our times demand truth. -Matthew Fox, American priest, theologian, and author The genius of this book is the knowledge that this catastrophe is a necessary precursor to a radical transformation that we are co-creating with the divine. Radical Regeneration is an indispensable guide for what lies ahead. -Betty J. Kovács, Ph.D., author of Merchants of Light: The Consciousness That Is Changing the World This book, Radical Regeneration, is a radiant offering of the possibility of the evolution of human consciousness in the midst of extinction. It's exactly the fierce and sacred medicine we need right now. -V (formerly known as Eve Ensler), author of The Vagina Monologues and The Apology Andrew Harvey and Carolyn Baker invite us to rise to these times as a grand initiation, to be renewed in splendor, or to stand idly and be swallowed by Kali, the goddess of time and death. -Alberto Villoldo PhD, Bestselling author of One Spirit Medicine and Shaman Healer Sage If ever we needed a guidebook that truly addressed the crises of our times while inspiring us with guidance and wisdom, this is that book. -Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Intimate Conversations with the Divine What is being made crystal clear is that humanity stands at a monumentally fragile threshold with two stark choices placed before it in a situation of complete uncertainty: Those choices are: 1) To continue to worship a vision of power, totally distanced from sacred reality 2) Or to choose the path of submitting bravely to the alchemy of being transfigured by a global dark night event that shatters all illusions but reveals the greatest imaginable possibility being born out of the greatest imaginable disaster. If humanity chooses the second path, which is what is being celebrated in this book, then it will have trained itself in the new radical unity necessary to weather the even worse crises that most certainly will quickly follow.

The Selfish Ape

Author : Nicholas P. Money
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Weaving together stories of science and sociology, The Selfish Ape offers a refreshing response to common fantasies about the ascent of humanity. Rather than imagining modern humans as a species with godlike powers, or Homo deus, Nicholas P. Money recasts us as Homo narcissus—paragons of self-absorption. This exhilarating story offers an immense sweep of modern biology, leading readers from earth’s unexceptional location in the cosmos to the story of our microbial origins and the innerworkings of the human body. It explores human genetics, reproduction, brain function, and aging, creating an enlightened view of man as a brilliantly inventive, yet self-destructive animal. The Selfish Ape is a book about human biology, the intertwined characteristics of our greatness and failure, and the way that we have plundered the biosphere. Written in a highly accessible style, it is a perfect read for those interested in science, human history, sociology, and the environment.