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Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence Mass Market Paperback – Dec 12 1986
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From the Inside Flap
Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great reading 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.
"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
About the Author
Carl Sagan was the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking and Voyager missions to the planets and briefed the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon. He helped solve many mysteries in planetary science from the high temperature of Venus to the seasonal changes on Mars. For his unique contributions, he was awarded the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievment and for Distinguished Public Service (twice), as well as the Tsiolkovsky Medal of the Soviet Cosmonautics Federation, the John F. Kennedy Award of the American Astronautical Society and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Space Education.
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Top Customer Reviews
Although Sagan can be excused for not knowing all the facts concerning Kekule/benzene there are other times when he seems curiously uncritical. He countenances the idea that some individuals can remember their own birth, citing his son's earliest memory, "It was red and I was cold" as reflecting his delivery by caesarean section. No doubt some people do claim to remember their births. But some people also claim to remember former lives and abductions by aliens. I would have expected Sagan to have challenged his son's statement. Had the memory been planted? Could the boy have overheard his parents talking about the event?
Despite its occasional lapses, I would still recommend The Dragons of Eden for what it is -- scientific speculation, generally interesting and often thought provoking.
Those areas in which the book is clearly a generation old (Sagan predicts that someday computers will have television like interfaces, that regular people may have access to them and that they someday may exist in peoples' homes), are endearing, yet they also exemplify Sagan's foresight and wisdom. Predictions like these, and others (such as the then-absurd notion that genetic engineering may someday become science fact), are what sets him apart. As a scientist, he is a skeptic in the purest sense, but that doesn't mean he lost his imagination and ambition. He was not a cynic.
I recommend this book to just about anyone who is a Sagan fan. However, it isn't his best work. I would certainly place either _The Demon Haunted World_ and _Billions and Billions_ above this.
Most recent customer reviews
Carl Sagan never disappoints. I have read most of his books. This is a very interesting and engaging book.Published 7 months ago by Arthur Soler
Great read, great author, great knowledge to share. I gotta keep reading Carl Sagan, definitely one of our greatest thinkers.Published on June 19 2014 by KillerPixie
Oh my gosh. everyone should TOTALLY read this book. it will give you informative info on all your life questions. i read this book in less than 24 hours and SO CAN YOU! Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003 by Mildred Loeser
Why is it that sometimes when you are just starting to fall asleep you "jerk" awake as if you were just about to fall - but you are safe in bed? Read morePublished on July 13 2003 by L. Howard
In The Dragons of Eden, author Carl Sagan depicts a world in which evolutionism reigns and earth's creatures develop in a mock "year" from single-celled organisms to the complex... Read morePublished on March 20 2003 by C. Gohlke
I've always considered Sagan my favorite story teller. He tells both wonderful fictional tales (like Contact), and tales that while certainly grand enough to be fiction, are... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2003 by Robert M. Downey
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