The Dragons of Eden

Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence
Narrated by: JD Jackson, Ann Druyan
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (294 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Pulitzer Prize Winner

Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends - and their amazing links to recent discoveries.

©1977 Carl Sagan (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"A history of the human brain from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, to the day before yesterday . . . . It's a delight." --The New York Times

“How can I persuade every intelligent person to read this important and elegant book? . . . He talks about all kinds of things: the why of the pain of human childbirth . . . the reason for sleeping and dreaming . . . chimpanzees taught to communicate in deaf and dumb language . . . the definition of death . . . cloning . . . computers . . . intelligent life on other planets. . . . Fascinating . . . delightful.” --The Boston Globe

“In some lost Eden where dragons ruled, the foundations of our intelligence were laid. . . . Carl Sagan takes us on a guided tour of that lost land. . . . Fascinating . . . entertaining . . . masterful.” --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

What listeners say about The Dragons of Eden

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Broad-reaching and thought-provoking

While some of the technical information of this book is apparently outdated, it was mentally stimulating and provided some very interesting ideas to chew on for a layman such as myself.

4 people found this helpful

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  • EK
  • 12-07-19

Surprisingly strengthened by historical context

I started diving into Sagan's writings a few years ago, and this was one I held off on the longest because with I was afraid my background in neuroscience would lead me to be distracted -- or perhaps even a bit disappointed -- by the dated information I'd hear from one of my heroes. Much to the contrary, I was delighted to hear a history of the study of the brain, taken at its own point in time instead of through the usual look back at what we deem in hindsight to have been relevant from the past. I especially loved the chapters on technology and Sagan's predictions for the future -- he was not just ahead of his time; he was prophetic.

The narration was overall enjoyable, but frequently included odd pauses after the word "and" that didn't seem to flow naturally. This didn't make it unlistenable by any means, but I found it jolting on occasion.

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Ahead of His time

Great book that is becoming more relevant everyday. Really an enjoyable and interesting learning experience.

6 people found this helpful

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awe inspiring

I listened to the book while on several hikes alone and, of course, driving. Engulfed in the wonders and eloquence of this book, I muttered "wow" many times. Much respect to humans such as Carl Sagan.

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felt too short, enjoyed it too much

the pacing of it is very fluid, you'll find yourself listening through the entire thing in one sitting if not careful 😄

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Dragons of Eden

I first read this book during my graduation period, a long time ago. When I saw it on the list of audiobooks, I realized that I should now listen to it again.
The poetic manner of writing is a remarkable characteristic of Carl Sagan. He combines knowledge, clarity, and desire to discover more and more after each chapter.
A wonderful book about the development of human intelligence based on the Neocortex.

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Carl Sagan is an exemplar of a scientist.

Carl Sagan bring truth and curiosity to the page. You won't find another scientist to example the complex world in such a term that the commo man can understand.

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An ancient topic with new insights

People have long speculated about the origin of human nature, and the sciences are helping to advance the conversation. It's as appropriate as ever to have this conversation and explore the implications.

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Carl Sagan is my only god

Great for students of all sciences. I really loved this book as a first year student of biology. It was helpful in solidifying material and gaining further insight to it.

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a very enjoyable exploration of intelligence

Sagan brings his curiosity and articulation to an exploration of intelligence in humans and others.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-14-20

Outstanding

i wish i read this book years ago, it is a must and i thouroughly enjoyed it

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  • Tauira Thompson
  • 04-10-20

We The Dragons

great narration, RNA/DNA explained well, listening to it again, absolutely loved the book, thank you