[Molecular-evolution] New Book on Evolution, Aging & Longevity

Leonid Gavrilov lagavril at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 25 19:47:39 EST 2005


This is to announce publication of a new book today:

The Evolutionary Significance of the Second Half of Female Life
Rutgers University Press, August 25, 2005; 304 pages, ISBN

Book synopsis:

         At the present time, postmenopausal women represent more than
fifteen percent of the world's population and this figure is likely to
grow.    From an evolutionary perspective, these demographic numbers
pose some intriguing questions.   Darwinian theory holds that a
successful life is measured in terms of reproduction.   How is it,
then, that a woman's lifespan can greatly exceed her childbearing and
childrearing years?   Is this phenomenon simply a byproduct of improved
standards of living, or do older women-grandmothers in particular-play
a measurable role in increasing their family members' biological
         Until now, these questions have not been examined in a
thorough and comprehensive manner.   Bringing together theoretical and
empirical work by internationally recognized scholars in anthropology,
psychology, ethnography, and the social sciences, '"Grandmotherhood "
explores the evolutionary purpose and possibilities of female
post-generative life.
         Students and scholars of human evolution, anthropology, and
even gerontology will look to this volume as a major contribution to
the current literature in evolutionary studies.

Table of Contents:

We have a chapter published in this book:

"Human Longevity and Reproduction: An Evolutionary Perspective"

and would appreciate any comments and suggestions posted at:


-- Leonid Gavrilov

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