If you're even considering EO Wilson, you most likely have some acquaintance with the man and/or his ideas. As a renowned evolutionary biologist and world expert on hymenoptera (ants in particular), he's made his mark on our understanding of the lessons to be learned from eusociality in the insect world and on the evolutionary underpinnings of our own social lives. This book continues that exploration in a thoughtful, engaging, & accessible way. While the lengthy examinations of eusociality in the insect world may not appeal to everyone, the overall thesis--that our lives as social beings are the result of group selection (rather than the largely discredited kinship theory) and the tension between individual and group interest--is captivating, and is sure to appeal to anyone with a scientific bent.
What this volume includes that others of his have not is Wilson's deeply personal meditations on what a truly rational and scientific understanding of our social life implies, both in terms of its ability to promote a deeper grasp of the human condition & its potential meaning for the future of humanity.
It's astonishing to think of a man his age writing a book so full of the wonder of exploration and discovery. The ideas & their implications will linger with you long after the final chapter...
Well worth the time--excellent read! I'd highly recommend this book to anyone with the least interest in the history of science & medicine....
The neurological insights
That everything I've learned from 20 years of writing is accurate, at least insofar as the creative process is concerned.
A wonderful book, if a bit flabby at times. I'm not sure that all of the anecdotes carry equal weight of interest or consequence, but Lehrer's overall approach is engaging enough to carry the day.
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