* Clone Your Troubles Away, David Quammen
* The Coming Death Shortage, Charles C. Mann
* Devolution, H. Allen Orr
* pdf: Mighty White of You, Jack Hitt
[p.56] The monochromatic sort of history that most of us grew up with did not allow for events like the drought that destroyed Tell Lailan. Civilizations fell, we were taught, because of wars or barbarian invasions or political unrest.
[p.174] ... many things people do nowadays are, in my opinion, perniciously stupid. Not all of them are illegal, and so, I suppose, human cloning needn't be either.
[p.175] ... when you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success.
[p.186] ... marriages dissolved at about the same rate in 1860 as in 1960, except that in the nineteenth century the dissolution was more often due to death of a partner, and in the twentieth century due to divorce.
[p.187] Children will become ever briefer parentheses in long, crowded adult existences. It seems inevitable that the bond between generations will fray.
[p.199] ... there are several different ways that Darwinian evolution can build irreducibly complex systems. In one, elaborate structures may evolve for one reason and then get co-opted for some entirely different, irreducibly complex function.
[p.205] ... a good theory is one that inspires new experiments and provides unexpected insights into familiar phenomena.
[p.254] Here is Blumenbach explaining the etymology of the new word [Caucasian] he hoped to coin: "I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighborhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men, I mean the Georgian." ... The word itself is lovely. Say it: Caucasian. The word flows off the tongue like a stream trickling out of Eden.
[p.256] When we look at different races, according to Jablonski's theory, what we're actually seeing is not "superiority" or "good people" or "race". All that we are seeing, the only thing we are seeing when we look at skin color, is a meandering trail of of vitamin D3 adaptation rates.