This is but one of many fantastic books that reveal Jared Diamond's omnivorous intellect. Like the others, he has a message, and that message is conveyed through researched arguments and tempered by his own experiences. The message is: We stand at the edge of change, one way leading to disaster of a scale that could mean destruction of the human species, but there is hope.
Hope lies in recognising our special past and understanding how it has led us to where the human animal is now. By understanding this past, learning lessons from those who have come before us, we can understand where our choices will lead our species and the only planet we inhabit.
Topics include what makes us unique among animals and what, after careful investigation, reveals to be not unique. Language, sex, art, culture, agriculture, natural selection, sexual selection; the list is a smorgasbord of informative research.
Not a good book for those with closed minds, nor for those who are blinkered by dogma or literal translations of holy texts. However, for those of us who are willing to listen, willing to challenge old ideas, this book illustrates the many disciplines that, when woven together, show us hope for the future.
Shapiro's voice bring these topics to life, enhancing the character found in Jared's work, revealing the importance of the author's words and his heartfelt appeal to us all.
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