Defending the Cavewoman: And Other Tales of Evolutionary Neurology
A master neurologist's clinical tales--both funny and profound--of the evolution of the brain. During Dr. Harold Klawans's lifetime, patients came to him from all over the country, exhibiting a huge array of troubles, all of which boiled down to one complaint: something was wrong with their... show more
A master neurologist's clinical tales--both funny and profound--of the evolution of the brain. During Dr. Harold Klawans's lifetime, patients came to him from all over the country, exhibiting a huge array of troubles, all of which boiled down to one complaint: something was wrong with their brains. As a sympathetic--and brilliant--brain detective, Klawans deduced a great deal from his patients, not only about the immediate causes of their ailments but also about the evolutionary underpinnings of their behavior. Klawans examines people ranging from the woman suffering from "painful foot and moving toe syndrome," whose case reminds him that we were once reptiles with brains at the bases of our spines, to the farmer from Indiana who had contracted something similar to mad cow disease, caused by a protein-like pathogen that man himself helped nurture by removing the pressures of natural selection from his herds of livestock and from his own communities. As Klawans notes, "almost all of man's recent 'evolution' takes place outside the body . . . because man can alter his environment in ways that no other species ever could." In the best tradition of clinical tales, this master physician/storyteller weaves into his patient narratives brilliant insights into the evolutionary legacy encoded in the brain and the remarkable capacity of the human mind. Note: the paperback reissue of this book has slightly different title: "Strange Behavior: Tales of Evolutionary Neurology" (ISBN: 0393321843).
Publish date: 2000-01
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 224
Edition language: English
Fascinating, you can almost read it like a crime novel. (In his views of the Cavewoman he comes close to Elaine Morgan, although he never mentions her.)