'Superb writing… first-rate science… wonderful' – Publishers Weekly, starred review

'A bold, brash, and magisterial account' – Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

'A wonderfully rich and wise book… Vermeij is also a refreshingly original thinker. His insights… are striking and thought-provoking. An illuminating book' – Nick Lane, author of Life Ascending

336 pages/2010 – World English Language (Thomas Dunne), China (Zhe Jiang University Press – simplified Chinese characters), Israel (Books in the Attic), Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam) 

336 pages/2010 – World English Language (Thomas Dunne), China (Zhe Jiang University Press – simplified Chinese characters), Israel (Books in the Attic), Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam) 

The Evolutionary World

How Adaptation Explains Everything
from Seashells to Civilization
Geerat J. Vermeij

One of the master naturalists of our time celebrates the explanatory power of evolution.

Evolution has outgrown its original home in biology and geology. It is a concept that organizes, explains and predicts a multitude of unconnected facts and phenomena. Adaptation plays a part in the development not only of new species but of human civilization, too. By understanding how evolutionary theory applies to areas such as our economic system, our preparation for catastrophes and even the development of communities, we can learn not just how these systems work but also what challenges lie ahead.

Blind since the age of three, Geerat J. Vermeij has become renowned for his unique ability to recognize details in the natural world that other scientists would never have noticed. In this book, he presents a new argument for evolution’s broader importance. He explores similarities between genomes and languages, the contrasting natural economies of islands and continents, the emergence and importance of human values, the long-range effects of global warming and the perils of monopoly. He also shows that the lessons of evolution have implications for education, our system of laws and economic growth.

The Evolutionary World makes a fascinating argument about the broad-reaching influence and importance of evolution. It offers a way for us to understand and work with evolution’s principles so that we can devise better solutions for our own lives, society and the environment around us.