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The Happiness Trip (Sciencewriters) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Happiness Trip (Sciencewriters) by Eduardo Punset...

The search for happiness is quintessentially human---a concept that has no bearing on any other creature on earth yet figures foremost among our deepest desires. In the realm of hard science, the journey to happiness is still in its infancy; the final destination, uncertain. The Happiness Trip is a lucid and passionate approach to the science of happiness and its conditioning factors: emotions, stress, hormonal flows and aging, as well as the social, economic, cultural and religious aspects associated with the emotion.

"We have set out on the unknown waters of our potential happiness with no previous knowledge, no maps. There are no models in nature. It is only recently that the scientific community developed technical instruments to measure the impact of emotions and stress. These have given rise in turn to the search for happiness, which immediately burst onto the field of scientific analysis."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 18, 2007
Publisher   Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN  1933392444  
ISBN13  9781933392448  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eduardo Punset

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lynn Margulis (1938-2011) who served as a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, received the 1999 National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton. She was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences starting in 1983 and of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences from 1997 forward. Author, editor, or coauthor of chapters in more than forty books, she published or had her work profiled in many journals, magazines, and books, among them Natural History, Science, Nature, New England Watershed, Scientific American, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Firsts, and The Scientific 100. She made numerous contributions to the primary scientific literature of microbial evolution and cell biology.

Margulis's theory of species evolution by symbiogenesis, put forth in Acquiring Genomes (co-authored with Dorion Sagan, 2002), describes how speciation does not occur by random mutation alone but rather by symbiotic detente. Behavioral, chemical, and other interactions often lead to integration among organisms, members of different taxa. In well-documented cases some mergers create new species. Intimacy, physical contact of strangers, becomes part of the engine of life's evolution that accelerates the process of change. Margulis worked in the laboratory and field with many other scientists and students to show how specific ancient partnerships, in a given order over a billion years, generated the cells of the species we see with our unaided eyes. The fossil record, in fact, does not show Darwin's predicted gradual changes between closely related species but rather the "punctuated equilibrium" pattern described by Eldredge and Gould: a jump from one to a different species.

She worked on the "revolution in evolution" since she was a graduate student. In the last fifteen years of her life, Margulis co-authored several books with Dorion Sagan, among them What is Sex? (1997), What is Life? (1995), Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality (1991), Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors (1986), and Origins of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination (1986).

Her work with K.V. Schwartz provided a consistent formal classification of all life on Earth and has lead to the third edition of Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth (1998). Their classification scheme was generated from scientific results of myriad colleagues and its logical-genealogical basis is summarized in her single-authored book Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Microbial Communities in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons (second edition, 1993). The bacterial origins of both chloroplasts and mitochondria are now well established.

Since the mid-1970s, Margulis aided James E. Lovelock, FRS, in documenting his Gaia Theory, which posits that the Earth's surface interactions among living beings, rocks and soil, air and water have created a vast, self-regulating system. From the vantage of outer space the Earth looks like an amazing being; from the vantage of biochemistry it behaves in many ways like a giant organism.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Formats
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > Emotions
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Happiness

Reviews - What do customers think about The Happiness Trip (Sciencewriters)?

Doesn't Quite Make It  Aug 10, 2008
It seems like Punset has something interesting to say, but he just never seems to get his point across clearly. Perhaps it is partly the language barrier (he is from Barcelona, and so presumably speaks Spanish and/or Catalan). I doubt it, but maybe.

Punset begins by telling us that, until very recently (in evolutionary terms) humans have been more concerned with getting by and reproducing. We have not had time for much else. Now that life expectancies have increased from 30 years to 70, we have to readjust the way we do things. Our bodies and minds have not evolved, however, to take that recent change in longevity into account.

It is an interesting topic, and the author does make a few good points clearly (e.g, happiness is, to a large extent, the absence of fear). Again, I get the feeling Punset is smart guy with something interesting to say. Maybe you will get more out of it than I did.

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