Plagues have inflicted misery and suffering throughout history. They can be traced through generations in our genes, with echoes in religion and literature. Featuring essays arising from the 2014 Darwin College Lectures, this book examines the spectrum of tragic consequences of different types of plagues, from infectious diseases to over-population and computer viruses. The essays analyse the impact that plagues have had on humanity and animals, and their threat to the very survival of the world as we know it. On the theme of plagues, each essay takes a unique perspective, ranging from the impact of plagues on history, medicine, the evolution of species, and biblical metaphors, to their impact on national economies, and even our highly connected digital lifestyles. This engaging and timely collection challenges our understanding of plagues, and asks if plagues are the manifestation of nature's checks and balances in light of human population growth and our impact on climate change.
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