From famines and deforestation to water pollution, global warming, and the rapid rate of extinction of plants and animals - the extent of the global damage wrought by humankind is staggering. Why have we allowed our environment to reach such a crisis ? What produced the catastrophic population explosion that so taxes the earth's resources ?
Reg Morrisons search for answers led him to ponder our species'astonishing evolutionary success. His extraordinary book describes how a spiritual outlook combined with a capacity for rational thought have enabled Homo sapiens to prosper through the millennia. It convincingly depicts these traits as part of our genetic makeup - and as the likely cause of our ultimate downfall against the inexorable laws of nature. The book will change the way readers think about human evolution and the fate of our species.
Small bands of apes walked erect on the dangerous plains of East Africa several million years ago. Morrison marvels that they not only survived, but migrated to all corners of the earth and established civilizations. To understand this feat, he takes us back to a critical moment when these hominids developed language and with it the unique ability to think abstractly. He shows how at this same time they began to derive increasing advantage from their growing sense of spirituality. He convincingly depicts spirituality as an evolutionary strategy that helped rescue our ancestors from extinction and drive the species toward global dominance.
Morrison concludes that this genetically productive spirituality, which has influenced every aspect of our lives, has led us to overpopulate the world and to devastate our own habitats. Sobering, sometimes chilling, consistently fascinating, his book offers a startling new view of human adaptation running its natural course.
"Reg Morrison offers varied and often fascinating documentation from ecology, economics, and natural history to portray human history for what it is, a Greek tragedy in which our greatest strengths are no less our most dangerous flaws."
- Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
"In this compelling account of the human predicament, Reg Morrison examines the crucial question of why, despite the fact that we humans are aware of our self-destructive style, we seem unable to take countermeasures to prevent disaster. A wonderful book."
- Thomas Eisner, Cornell University