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Publisher's Summary

We don't think anymore, like the ancient Chinese did, that the world was hatched from an egg, or, like the Maori, that it came from the tearing apart of a love embrace. The Greeks told of a tempestuous Hera and a cunning Zeus, but we now use genes and natural selection to explain fear and desire, and physics to demystify the workings of the universe. 

Evolutions brings to life the latest scientific thinking on the birth of the universe and the solar system, the journey from a single cell all the way to our human minds. Reawakening our sense of wonder and terror at the world around us and within us, Oren Harman uses modern science to create new and original mythologies. Here are the earth and the moon presenting a cosmological view of motherhood, a panicking mitochondrion introducing sex and death to the world, the loneliness of consciousness emerging from the memory of an octopus, and the birth of language in evolution summoning humankind's struggle with truth. Science may not solve our existential puzzles, but like the age-old legends, its magical discoveries can help us continue the never-ending search.

©2018 Oren Harman (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Poorly structured, but worth the effort

I was so completely enchanted by this book at the beginning that there were times when I found myself holding my breath, tears rising in my eyes. That's how beautiful it was.  And then suddenly, Harman finished his myth-making and appeared to be giving us a bibliography.  Disappointed, I pushed the book away for a couple of weeks.

But I wanted to finish and I'm glad I did because the second half of the book wasn't so much a bibliography (the citations are thick, though) as an examination of the truth behind his mythologies of evolution.  And I think that's where the problem lies; the gear shift is so dramatic that I got intellectual whiplash from it.  Had the structure of the book been more integrated between the myth and the science, it might well have been a little less magical, but it probably would have kept me reading straight through.

So I don't like the structure, but boy I love Harman's myths, and I enjoy his science writing as well.  And I'm warning potential readers about this because I really do think you should read it. I just think you should be prepared.