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Spanning more than four billion years, from "the beginning and a little before, " this brilliant chronicle of the first stirrings of life on Earth traces the human animal's evolution--and makes a powerful case for man's enduring kinship with the "lower" animals.
|Prologue: The Orphan's File||1|
|1||On Earth as It Is in Heaven||9|
|2||Snowflake Fallen on the Hearth||19|
|3||"What Makest Thou?"||33|
|4||A Gospel of Dirt||51|
|5||Life Is Just a Three-Letter Word||73|
|6||Us and Them||97|
|7||When Fire Was New||119|
|8||Sex and Death||141|
|9||What Thin Partitions...||157|
|10||The Next-to-Last Remedy||181|
|11||Dominance and Submission||201|
|12||The Rape of Caenis||219|
|13||The Ocean of Becoming||239|
|16||Lives of the Apes||293|
|17||Admonishing the Conqueror||317|
|18||The Archimedes of the Macaques||341|
|19||What Is Human?||361|
|20||The Animal Within||385|
|21||Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors||409|
Posted November 19, 2012
I have to say I love Sagen, and I love human evolution. So this book was a no brainer for me to pick up. There were lots of interesting bits in the book, but I felt like I was slogging through the primordial muck to get to them. The informatiom on how the earth formed was great! And the theories of how life may have started were important to the story, but there was way more information on protiens, microbs, cells, etc than I really needed. I felt that there was a lot of repetition through out the book, but I stuck with it. Just when I thought I was finally to the intesting part, i.e. human evolution- IT ENDED! To be continued in another volumn?
So if you want to know more about neanderthal, erectus, civilization, language developmemt - you aren't going to get it in this book.
Posted June 13, 2012
In the best posible way this book has made me open my eyes to our existence and our fragility. Everyone that has curiosity and natural childlike wonder will enjoy and prpobably gain from this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 18, 2012
This is beyond doubt one of the best written science related books that I have read over the years. There are quite a few excellent science writers but none come close to this husband and wife team.
While I don't personally believe in all of the theories contained therein, it is still a dazzling, fantastic ride through ancient history. The writers make you feel as if you could actually be standing beside the characters as they absorb you into their world.
I read this tome several years ago and can actually say that I still to this day reflect on several of the comments and analysis made within the pages. In fact, the more time goes by, the more I begin to bend my philosophy to match the book..
They masterfully tell the story of human nature and whther it is through brute hypothesis or the elegant writing, it certainly gives us pause to reflect. The account is both riveting and fast paced. It probably reads at a much faster pace than the authors intended which is to their credit. Rarely do I encounter a book that I simply "can't put down".
If you want a slant on the dramatic way we became to be who we are, this is an excellent place to start. You will learn why we hate those that are different from us, racism, family ties and why we have the pecking order we live with. The book is quite brilliant in its insights and conclusions. Again I must say I do not adhere to all of these beliefs but they make wonderful food for thought.
If you have never read Sagan or Druyan, to me, that is a shame. Buy, borrow or steal this book. It is a illuminating ride.
I hope you find my opinion helpful.
Michael L. Gooch, Author of Wingtips with Spurs.
Posted August 1, 2004
i READ THIS BOOK YEARS AGO AND UPON FINISHING it I KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT I WOULD READ IT ONCE AGAIN ! it IS MY HPOE THAT U2 WILL FIND it AS ENCHANTING AS i. Your Humble Servent, Timothy Carey CourtneyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2002
Posted March 8, 2000
OK, maybe that's a slight overreach but the point remains that this book is needed and is appreciated. From the scientific equivalent of 'Let there be light' to the present day, this book retraces our best estimations as to what our journey from nothingness toward humanity must have entailed. Through Sagan's unique talents at weaving the scientific story, I felt throughout this book as though it was I who was represented as the newly invented strand of DNA, as the Arboreal ape in its own society, as the collecting bits of matter soon after the formation of the Universe, as in some sense as Carl would have us know, it was me...it was all of us. A wonderful addition to my library indeed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2011
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Posted August 19, 2011
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