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The Social Conquest of Earth Audiobook

The Social Conquest of Earth

Edward O. Wilson is one of the world’s preeminent biologists, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the author of more than 25 books. The defining work in a remarkable career, The Social Conquest of Earth boldly addresses age-old questions (Where did we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) while delving into the biological sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts.
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Publisher's Summary

Edward O. Wilson is one of the world’s preeminent biologists, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the author of more than 25 books. The defining work in a remarkable career, The Social Conquest of Earth boldly addresses age-old questions (Where did we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) while delving into the biological sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts.

©2012 Edward O. Wilson (P)2012 Recorded Books. LLC

What the Critics Say

“Wilson’s newest theory...could transform our understanding of human nature—and provide hope for our stewardship of the planet.... [His] new book is not limited to the discussion of evolutionary biology, but ranges provocatively through the humanities.... Its impact on the social sciences could be as great as its importance for biology, advancing human self-understanding in ways typically associated with the great philosophers.” (Howard W. French, The Atlantic)

“a huge, deep, thrilling work, presenting a radically new but cautiously hopeful view of human evolution, human nature, and human society. No one but E. O. Wilson could bring together such a brilliant synthesis of biology and the humanities, to shed light on the origins of language, religion, art, and all of human culture.” (Oliver Sacks)

“Never shy about tackling big questions, veteran evolutionary biologist Wilson delivers his thoughtful if contentious explanation of why humans rule the Earth... Wilson succeeds in explaining his complex ideas, so attentive readers will receive a deeply satisfying exposure to a major scientific controversy.” (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Erin Riggs 09-12-15
    Erin Riggs 09-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Engaging"

    Well argued book. Not pedantic in the least. Wilson expects an intellectual audience , I value that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 07-04-15
    Frederick C. Caruso Centennial, Colorado, US 07-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A new level of understanding evolution"

    A challenging book that greatly expanded my knowledge and understanding of evolution. Well worth the read if only to look into the lives of ants and bees. And then human genetics of social behavior and variations from the same gene. It was great and deserves a second listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey 12-26-14
    Geoffrey 12-26-14 Member Since 2009
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    "wide ranging from an ant guy"

    a long listen, but worth it. Wilson has fiddled in so many disciplines,, it is a treat to see how he has woven together so many threads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Craig C. austin, TX United States 04-24-13
    Craig C. austin, TX United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Very Unusual Perspective"

    Fascinating to consider the comparisons between ants and people. The power of social evolution in the development of two such different species was amazing to see as the book developed. It was a perspective that I had never considered. As our social communications continues to develop and expand, it will be interesting in a few thousand years see what the results will be.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean WORTHINGTON, MA, United States 03-26-13
    Sean WORTHINGTON, MA, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A delightful dose of rational optimism"

    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...

    Great stuff!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Premo Los Angeles 04-06-13
    Ken Premo Los Angeles 04-06-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Dreadful delivery of pseudo-scientific speculation"

    Listening to this book was like being at a boring lecture of a pompous professor. It is the perfect storm of droning delivery, armchair speculation, and obfuscated writing. At the end of a topic, I would grit my teeth as the author would write "In summary..." as that meant I was in for lengthy, pompous, and obfuscating recap. Add to that the fact that the work is highly speculative with little actual science, this book becomes much work for little reward. I couldn't make it past chapter 7 and should have stopped sooner.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ChrisC 11-06-13
    ChrisC 11-06-13
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    "Exceptional book! No other way to put it."
    Where does The Social Conquest of Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've read 84 books this year, and this was the best one. What more can I say? E O Wilson is a brilliant mind, a Pulitzer Prize winning science educator, and this book is the perfect capstone for his long and amazingly productive career. By tirelessly studying ants, he has learned the meaning of humanity's existence and proves it here.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfe Denver, CO 08-15-13
    Wolfe Denver, CO 08-15-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent theory changing book.....time will tell."
    If you could sum up The Social Conquest of Earth in three words, what would they be?

    A new explanation


    What other book might you compare The Social Conquest of Earth to and why?

    The Red Queen, The Third Chimpanzee, and The Moral Animal. A book of the same type and nature but a totally different explanation and if hods up making large parts of those books obsolete.


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Wilson makes a cogent argument for looking at our evolution in a different way. His argument that we are eusocial animals (like ants and bees) at first seems hard to swallow but by the end of the book, it all makes sense. The argument for multilevel evolution, if it holds up, will replace the theories of kin selection and reciprocal altruism. Clearly this a big change and this theory has its detractors.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    djayarchivist 06-18-13

    djarchivist

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    "Sociobiology from one of its creators"

    Wilson's book is an accessible presentation of current thinking in sociobiology. He presents his views on the state of the science clearly, fairly representing varying viewpoints, though, of course, his own ideas prevail in this book. It is an interesting review of the evolution of his own thinking as various hypotheses and theories have risen and themselves evolved over the past half century. It is a wonderful explication of the process of science at the same time that it describes one aspect of science.

    I particularly appreciated Wilson's hope that the sciences, humanities and social sciences will find more mutual understanding as they all seek to describe and improve the human condition.

    Hogan does a masterful job of presenting Wilson's work. I suspect that if I heard Wilson speak, I would be surprised that he didn't sound like Hogan.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Roy LANSDALE, PA, United States 02-25-13
    Roy LANSDALE, PA, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Solid book by an accomplished author"

    E.O. Wilson stands among the foremost authorities on modern evolutionary biology and this book presents a fascinating view of modern theories in the origins of human culture. Instead of focusing purely on close genetic relatives of homo sapiens, he takes an interesting approach and compares our species with the other highly socialized animals we know of. A fascinating read for anyone interested in learning more details about human history. The only thing keeping me from a 5-star rating on this book is his occasional divergences into theology and the intro regarding artist Paul Gauguin which seems out of place.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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