Book: Dragons of Eden

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Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Author: Carl Sagan
Publisher: Ballantine Books

What are the origins of human intelligence? How did it evolve? What can its evolution tell us about the future of our species?

With his celebrated gift for graceful, inspired explication of complex scientific matters, Carl Sagan provides a breathtaking overview of the nature and development of human intelligence from prehistory to the present. His cosmological perspective gives his speculations a refreshing breadth, while his exhilarating segues from anatomical and biological detail to unexamined elements of enduring myths entwine human and natural history in provocative and illuminating ways.

Equally at ease with the scientific method and the literary imagination, Sagan is able to sketch a vision bold enough to engage in all its richness and perplexities the large question of what it means to be human, and to spice his speculations with a playfulness of idea and expression that increases the reader’s appetite for intellectual adventure. The Dragons of Eden was written more than a quarter-century ago, and though some of its theorizing has been overtaken by new research and discovery, the vivid sweep of the book’s passionate perception still opens unforgettable vistas of knowledge and imagination.

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