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How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and Other… (edition 2011)

by Professor Robin Dunbar

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802150,606 (3.32)None
Member:pamelad
Title:How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks
Authors:Professor Robin Dunbar
Info:Faber and Faber (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Non-fiction, Science, Evolution, 2010s, 2012, Unfinished

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How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks by Prof. Robin Dunbar

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This book could serve as a warning to those who might be tempted to turn their blog entries into full length books. Bloggers have a tendency to throw out thoughts and factoids but never back up these claims with references (well some do, providing hyperlinks). While this behavior is tolerated in a blog (probably because of their brevity), in a book this stands out as glaring sloppiness.
Dr. Dunbar's book is a particularly hard case because the information he presents is really interesting, but without references and a bibliography section, it is hard to follow up on anything without resorting to your own Google search. I also found some topics to be so simplified and watered down as to be rendered inaccurate.
This book is good example of "info-tainment"; it introduces many different areas of evolutionary behavioralism, but falls short in helping reader develop an in-depth knowledge on any particular subject.
Dr. Dunbar's other books are more academic and better suited to critical study. ( )
  nabeelar | May 12, 2013 |
Gave up on this book half-way through because it's too sloppy for a book about science, and expresses too much certainty. I kept asking myself, "Surely this is a theory?" ( )
  pamelad | Nov 13, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674057163, Hardcover)

Why do men talk and women gossip, and which is better for you? Why is monogamy a drain on the brain? And why should you be suspicious of someone who has more than 150 friends on Facebook?

We are the product of our evolutionary history, and this history colors our everyday lives—from why we joke to the depth of our religious beliefs. In How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Robin Dunbar uses groundbreaking experiments that have forever changed the way evolutionary biologists explain how the distant past underpins our current ­behavior.

We know so much more now than Darwin ever did, but the core of modern evolutionary theory lies firmly in Darwin’s elegantly simple idea: organisms behave in ways that enhance the frequency with which genes are passed on to future generations. This idea is at the heart of Dunbar’s book, which seeks to explain why humans behave as they do. Stimulating, provocative, and immensely enjoyable, his book invites you to explore the number of friends you have, whether you have your father’s brain or your mother’s, whether morning sickness might actually be good for you, why Barack Obama’s 2008 victory was a foregone conclusion, what Gaelic has to do with frankincense, and why we laugh. In the process, Dunbar examines the role of religion in human evolution, the fact that most of us have unexpectedly famous ancestors, and why men and women never seem able to see eye to eye on color.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Why do men talk and women gossip, and which is better for you? Why is monogamy a drain on the brain? And why should you be suspicious of someone who has more than 150 friends on Facebook?" "We are the product of our evolutionary history, and this history colors our everyday livesfrom why we joke to the depth of our religious beliefs. In How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Robin Dunbar uses groundbreaking experiments that have forever changed the way evolutionary biologists explain how the distant past underpins our current behavior." "We know so much more now than Darwin ever did, but the core of modern evolutionary theory lies firmly in Darwin's elegantly simple idea: organisms behave in ways that enhance the frequency with which genes are passed on to future generations. This idea is at the heart of Dunbar's book, which seeks to explain why humans behave as they do. Stimulating, provocative, and immensely enjoyable, his book invites you to explore the number of friends you have, whether you have your father's brain or your mother's, whether morning sickness might actually be good for you, why Barack Obama's 2008 victory was a foregone conclusion, what Gaelic has to do with frankincense, and why we laugh. In the process, Dunbar examines the role of religion in human evolution, the fact that most of us have unexpectedly famous ancestors, and why men and women never seem able to see eye to eye on color."-- book jacket.… (more)

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» see all 2 descriptions

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