Nature by Geerat J. Vermeij
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By Geerat J. Vermeij


An Economic History

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Format: Paperback

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Nature by Geerat J. Vermeij

Book Awards

  • Winner of AAP/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Awards: Geology and Earth Science 2004.

Book Description

From humans to hermit crabs to deep water plankton, all living things compete for locally limiting resources. This universal truth unites three bodies of thought--economics, evolution, and history--that have developed largely in mutual isolation. Here, Geerat Vermeij undertakes a groundbreaking and provocative exploration of the facts and theories of biology, economics, and geology to show how processes common to all economic systems--competition, cooperation, adaptation, and feedback--govern evolution as surely as they do the human economy, and how historical patterns in both human and nonhuman evolution follow from this principle. Using a wealth of examples of evolutionary innovations, Vermeij argues that evolution and economics are one. Powerful consumers and producers exercise disproportionate controls on the characteristics, activities, and distribution of all life forms. Competition-driven demand by consumers, when coupled with supply-side conditions permitting economic growth, leads to adaptation and escalation among organisms. Although disruptions in production halt or reverse these processes temporarily, they amplify escalation in the long run to produce trends in all economic systems toward greater power, higher production rates, and a wider reach for economic systems and their strongest members. Despite our unprecedented power to shape our surroundings, we humans are subject to all the economic principles and historical trends that emerged at life's origin more than 3 billion years ago. Engagingly written, brilliantly argued, and sweeping in scope, Nature: An Economic History shows that the human institutions most likely to preserve opportunity and adaptability are, after all, built like successful living things.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691127934
ISBN-10: 069112793X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 29mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 21-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Geerat J. Vermeij

Natural History of Shells by Geerat J. Vermeij Natural History of Shells, Paperback (April 1995)

Using shells to explore major areas of biology, the author of this celebration of the shell examines such issues as the evolution of shells and their function. He demonstrates how shells provide insight into the lives of animals of this era, as well as those of the distant past.

Evolution and Escalation by Geerat J. Vermeij Evolution and Escalation, Paperback (July 1993)

An interpretation of the chronology of life during the last six hundred million years of earth history. It discusses the nature and dynamics of evolutionary change in organisms and their biological surroundings.

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Author Biography - Geerat J. Vermeij

Geerat J. Vermeij is Distinguished Professor of Geology at the University of California, Davis. As an evolutionary biologist and paleontologist, he studies shells and the fossil and living animals responsible for building them. His books include "Evolution and Escalation: An Ecological History of Life", "A Natural History of Shells" (both Princeton), and "Privileged Hands". He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.

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Natural History of Shells by Geerat J. Vermeij
Evolution and Escalation by Geerat J. Vermeij
Biogeography and Adaptation by Geerat J. Vermeij
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