12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Judith Victoria Douglas
- Published on Amazon.com
I found this a delightful book about how Mother Nature is not as nice as is popularly believed or advertised. Told in everyday explanations and vignettes for all to understand, with humor and personal experiences, this biologist explains through six of the seven deadly sins how every element in nature is better at committing them than we are, while trying to advance its own DNA at the expense of all others.
Doctor Riskin uses “meat robots” as the term for all living things, especially mammals (including us) because all behaviors are directed by the instinct to pass on DNA of…not the fittest, but the sneakiest, the most venomous, and the cruelest. From parasites, plants and birds, to sea creatures, insects and mammals there is no other purpose. And each does it in an amazing way evolved over time as situations changed so survival is assured.
Even man behaves according to the dictates of his DNA, rationalizing it’s natural, and if so, must be the only correct way to behave. He shows how this is absolutely not true, not in natural childbirth, not in natural foods, and certainly not in our warlike, self-serving, self-destructive behavior.
Man has, for better or worse, the ability to change Nature for his benefit, receiving the trophy for the last vice – pride. We believe, as the most advanced species, we’re different from the others, and normal rules don’t apply to us. But that has made us as short sighted as each element in nature that performs in the moment without understanding the consequences to their own future.
Even though scientists chip away at old theories and misguided, antiquated beliefs, society as a whole takes decades, even centuries, to accept the facts. We want to feel important, so we have a tough time letting go of our pride to accept the myriad of new and proven ideas. Doctor Riskin suggests the use of the word natural so prevalent now is a means of our transition, “saying nature is wonderful lets us accept we evolved from nature without letting go of the idea that we’re special.” Instead of being one among the animals we’re advancing other living things to a spiritual plane. In that way our egos don’t suffer. But though the living elements of Earth may appear holy and benign from a distance, working in harmony, they are really locked in a battle and we evolved in the midst of that bloodbath.
By making adjustments, through our foresight ability, we can stop acting in a self-destructive manner and “use our massive brains” to find solutions. “We have a choice.”
In speaking of the previous extinctions on Earth he is warning us of our own, because, no matter how “deadly and selfish and brutal nature may be, it’s unique, beautiful, surprising and more valuable than words can express.” And it will survive while we may not. Our future is in our hands.
I won this book in a giveaway prior to release in hopes of a review.