Why understanding evolution—the most reviled branch of science—can help us all, from fighting pandemics to undoing racism 

Evolutionary science has long been regarded as conservative, a tool for enforcing regressive ideas, particularly about race and gender. But in A Voice in the Wilderness, evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves Jr.—once styled as the “Black Darwin”—argues that his field is essential to social justice. He shows, for example, why biological races do not exist. He dismantles recent work in “human biodiversity” seeking genes to explain the achievements of different ethnic groups. He decimates homophobia, sexism, and classism as well. 

As a pioneering Black biologist, a leftist, and a Christian, Graves uses his personal story—his journey from a child of Jim Crow to a major researcher and leader of his peers—to rewrite his field. A Voice in the Wilderness is a powerful work of scientific anti-racism and a moving account of a trailblazing life.   

Praise

A Voice in the Wilderness is a stirring biography, the tale of a pioneer who overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and spoke truth to power using a most unusual tool—the theory of Darwinian Evolution. This is an inspiring story about perseverance that’s essential reading for those searching for how to transform scientific mastery into an instrument for social good.”—C. Brandon Ogbunu, Yale University
“Science—especially evolutionary science—needs diverse, beautiful minds. This uniquely powerful book shows us exactly why.”
 —Holly Dunsworth, University of Rhode Island
“In this fascinating book, equal parts biography and scientific argument, Graves shows that evolutionary biology is central to making sense of, well, everything. A must-read.”—Rob Dunn, author of A Natural History of the Future
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