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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published December 12th by Ballantine Books first published April 12th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Dragons of Eden , please sign up. Is this worth reading in ? Rodrigo Franco Definitely, I just read it this year and it has aged very well. Some of the speculations on computer science and artificial intelligence still apply n …more Definitely, I just read it this year and it has aged very well.
Some of the speculations on computer science and artificial intelligence still apply nowadays. I don't know much about the brain but I think it gives you a general perspective of what is it and how it has evolved during time.
I recommend it. See all 7 questions about Dragons of Eden…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 01, Arun Divakar rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites.
The most hauting question that this book poses is this : Chimpanzees can abstract. Like other mammals, they are capable of strong emotions. Why, exactly, all over the civilized world, in virtually every major city, are apes in prison? For a species that has proclaimed itself to be the rulers of Earth, this is not a very difficult question to answer for us. It is a single word : suppression. We humans never much liked competition from other creatures and history tells us that this was how we overc The most hauting question that this book poses is this : Chimpanzees can abstract.
We humans never much liked competition from other creatures and history tells us that this was how we overcame all our natural predators through weaponry or guile in the eons past. A moment of reflection on our past brings up that question : why did the other humanoids not survive while our ancestors did? How did they all gt wiped out? Natural selection could not have been the only answer. This book is one that shook me out of cerebral complacency and like a good author, Sagan opens the cobweb laden windows of my brain and lets the light in.
This is a book length introspection into the nature of human intellect. From the first tottering steps of our primate ancestors to today's technologically addicted life forms, how has the journey been for that mass of tissue between our ears?
This is what Sagan attempts to answer. In simple,lucid and easy to comprehend prose the author breaks down the story of how our brains assumed today's form and reflexes. It is a tour de force that mixes and matches history,paleontology, psychology and other branches of human understanding to come up with a fascinating study.
The evolution of the brain and how the most primal fears in our psyche still rule our subconscious is a fascinating observation and forms the best part of this book. The aspect of the Triune brain and the R-complex's involvement in human behavior is what Sagan calls the Dragons chained away in the dungeons of our minds.
Our basic aversion to reptiles and the dreams populated with snakes coupled with the dreams of a fall from a height are all speculated upon by Sagan in teh backdrop of our dreams. They were quire revelatory and while I might at a later point in time with more reading debate these points, they did rekindle my interest in the human brain's inner workings.
I finished reading, put down the book and ran my fingers through my hair and muttered You are a rockstar to my brain. The kind of rockstar who you can never fully figure out is how it might react to that comment! This book is highly recommended and it is no fluke that I rate all of Sagan's books so far as five stars.
This is stuff that will genuinely interest the skeptical mind. View 2 comments. Nov 13, Ashley rated it it was amazing. One of the most beautiful things I've ever read came from this book: "If the human brain had only one synapse-- corresponding to a monumental stupidity-- we would be capable of only two mental states.
Thus the number of different states of a human brain is 2 raised to this power-- i. This is an unimaginably large number, far greater, for example, than the total number of elementary particles electrons and protons in the entire universe. Oct 10, Dan rated it really liked it Shelves: pulitzer-non-fiction. Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in Natural selection has served as a kind of intellectual sieve, producing brains and intelligences increasingly competent to deal with the laws of nature.
The dragon concept is buttressed by so many old tales thro Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in Natural selection has served as a kind of intellectual sieve, producing brains and intelligences increasingly competent to deal with the laws of nature.
The dragon concept is buttressed by so many old tales throughout numerous civilizations that Sagan implies there must have been a fearsome dragon or related animal in our distant past that shaped our evolution.
I am not convinced per se but the rest of the book is much more serious than this topic. Carl Sagan is arguably the greatest science writer and educator of recent times. In this book his mind, through his theories, is on full display for all to see. He steps through various evolutionary ideas about how man and his brain has evolved. As has been stated in other reviews of this book, a mark against it is that some sections are now outdated.
Science evolves. He even talks about the danger of computers and video games pre-empting children from learning the proper fundamentals of math and science. As a parent, there is little argument from me on this point. At its core this is a thought provoking book that resonates. It is short at only nine chapters so I will review the chapters here — because many are true gems and the rest are pretty good.
Chapter 1 — The Cosmic Calendar In this chapter Sagan famously maps the age of the universe, nearly 14 billion years, into a single year. Powerful stuff. In other words even simple diatoms are well honed and efficient machines. Chapter 3 — The Brain and the Chariot Humans have a very high brain to mass ratio relative to any other animal on the planet.
Sagan goes on to discuss sleep and posits a theory that land mammals sleep so much because they can hide and are less vulnerable than marine mammals. For example dolphins rarely sleep, sometimes only for a minute at a time. I will take it a step further and say that land mammals may also sleep so much because it is difficult for most, not all, mammals to find food in the dark. Whatever the real reason, this trait goes back to the end of the dinosaur era. Chapter 5 — The Abstractions of the Beasts.
My favorite chapter. But it also discusses how incredibly smart chimpanzees are and how presumptuous humans are about or lack thereof intelligence in all animals. Scientists have taught select chimps sign language and they have learned to use words correctly and in context nouns, verbs and adjectives to the tune of vocabularies in excess of one hundred words. The chimps can even sign curse words when humans introduce illogical steps into a food reward scheme.
However it is clear that chimps and many other animals feel anxiety and think in ways that are much more in line with humans than I ever knew. The implication here is that the inability to verbalize word constructs, i. Although dated, this chapter alone is worth the price of the book or a trip to the library.
Chapter 6 — Tales of Dim Eden This chapter primarily revisits the topic of sleep first broached in chapter 3 and talks a good deal about dinosaurs. Maybe this section should have been combined with The Brain and the Chariot. Chapter 7 — Lovers and madmen This chapter is heavily focused on brain hemisphere functions and the tie-in to evolution. Very informative.
Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence
A respected planetary scientist best known outside the field for his popularizations of astronomy, Carl Sagan was born in New York City on November 9, He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a B. He has several early scholarly achievements including the experimental demonstration of the synthesis of the energy-carrying molecule ATP adenosine triphosphate in primitive-earth experiments. Another was the proposal that the greenhouse effect explained the high temperature of the surface of Venus. He was also one of the driving forces behind the mission of the U. He was part of a team that investigated the effects of nuclear war on the earth's climate - the "nuclear winter" scenario. Sagan's role in developing the "Cosmos" series, one of the most successful series of any kind to be broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System, and his book The Dragons of Eden won the Pulitzer Prize in
Los Dragones Del Eden/ the Dragons of Eden
Los dragones del Eden. Especulaciones sobre la evolución de la inteligencia humana