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A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pioneering Biologist Explains How Evolution Can Help Us Solve Our Biggest Problems

Joseph L Graves Jr

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Why understanding evolution the most reviled branch of science can help us all, from fighting pandemics to undoing racism? ?

Evolution has, ever since its inception, been one of the most ideologically fraught fields in all of science. It has given birth to the myth about biological racial types, with distinct rankings of genetic superiority . Evolution has always been mistrusted by religious fundamentalists, contributing to a rise in creationist education that dovetails with the mass scientific illiteracy we see today. And today the coronavirus is mutating into ever more dangerous strands because huge swaths of the population have rejected the science that predicted this outcome if people remained unvaccinated. With so much fear and misunderstanding, it is crucial to set the record straight. Enter evolutionary biologist Joseph Graves. In A Voice in the Wilderness, he makes the case that widespread understanding of evolution is crucial to solving all these problems. Graves shows how the science of evolution can lead us to new paths of achieving social unity. He refutes common, pseudoscientific misconceptions that undergird racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, and more all issues on which many perceive evolutionary biology to be a reactionary force. He shows how evolution can either make pandemics better, or if its lessons are unheeded worse. And he tackles the political and religious objections to the study of evolution as well. Graves' own experience powers much of the narrative. As a pioneering Black biologist, a leftist, and a Christian, Graves uses his personal story from a child of the Jim Crow south to a major researcher leader in his field to rewrite his field and show how it can be a force not for reaction, but for justice. Provocative and timely, A Voice in the Wilderness is at once a powerful work of scientific antiracism and a moving history of a trailblazing life.

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