Introduction -- Acknowledgments -- How big is yours? -- Primate peekaboo -- The night you ruined your pajamas -- Measures of life -- The young and the reckless -- The solace of patterns -- Beelzebub's SAT scores -- Poverty's remains -- Junk food monkeys -- The burden of being burden-free -- The trouble with testosterone -- The graying of the troop -- Curious George's pharmacy -- The dangers of fallen souffles in the developing world -- The dissolution of ego boundaries and the fit of my father's shirt -- Why you feel crummy when you're sick -- Circling the blanket for God.
In The Trouble with Testosterone, Robert M. Sapolsky draws from his career as a behavioral biologist to interpret the peculiar drives and intrinsic needs of that most exotic species - Homo sapiens. With candor, humor, and lush observations, these essays marry cutting-edge science with a rich and compassionate humanity. Sapolsky's book ranges broadly over the web of life, studying its details and plotting its themes. "Curious George's Pharmacy" examines recent exciting claims that wild primates know how to medicate themselves with forest plants. "Junk Food Monkeys" relates the adventures of a troop of baboons who stumble onto a tourist garbage dump. "Poverty's Remains" claims that science is as riddled with metaphors as a Shakespearean sonnet. "Measures of Life" begins as a witty analysis of firing squads and concludes as a dazzling meditation on the roles and responsibilities of scientists. And in the final essay, the brilliant and penetrating "Circling the Blanket for God," Sapolsky shows that science and religion emanate from the same place: the human brain. These pieces, then, reveal the contradictions that confront those who describe the world objectively, those who try to reconcile the truths of the mind with the burdens of the heart.