Human Instinct: How Our Primeval Impulses Shape Our Modern Lives

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9780553814927: Human Instinct: How Our Primeval Impulses Shape Our Modern Lives

From the ambition to be successful in our careers to what we will have for lunch each day, instinct is the invisible motivating force that shapes our world. But how well do these instincts, our most basic modes of interacting with the world, equip us for modern life? We are driven to pursue material wealth and status. We have an innate impulse to find a mate, to fight to protect our young, and to find food and shelter. In Human Instinct, which accompanies a BBC1 television series, Robert Winston takes us to the forefront of modern science, exploring our instincts and gaining a deeper insight into the wonderful complexity of human nature.

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From the Publisher:

Whether we know it or not, our daily lives are shaped by powerful currents of instinct. The conscious and unconscious decisions we all make are deeply affected by an ancient genetic program: our ambition and lust, our drives to compete and cooperate are essential components of the human mind, forged among our ancestors on the African savannah. Instincts were instrumental in the evolutionary success of the species, and success meant a fondness for sex and violence, for status and wealth—and a will to survive. From ordering lunch to one–night stands, human behavior is still heavily influenced by this genetic agenda. But how well do instincts equip us for the 21st century? Do instincts help or hinder us as we deal with large anonymous cities, low–level stress, and the fracturing of communal life? In this engrossing study, Robert Winston takes us deep into the human mind in search of the answers to these questions and more. Robert Winston is one of Britain’s leading scientists. As a consulting physician and Professor of Fertility Studies at the University of London, he has pioneered in vitro fertilization and been a leading voice in the debate on genetic engineering.

From the Inside Flap:

In this fascinating investigation of our most basic instincts, Robert Winston shows us how our primeval impulses shape our modern lives, and questions whether our inherited instincts equip us for the twenty-first century.

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