6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An Inspired Joining of the Dots,
This review is from: Left in the Dark (Paperback)
A lucid review of the state of the human mind and brain, and more. It is incredibly refreshing to have any topic approached with such a wide-angle lens, but especially when it comes to biology, consciousness and our relationship to our environment. Academic works require peer review, and the peers in question are, necessarily, specialists in the subject in hand. This system breaks down in the case of a multidisciplinary approach as specialists in one field are reluctant to give the thumbs up to subject areas not their own. This enforces narrow specialisations in those wishing to succeed (get published) in the academic world. Tony Wright has instead run his ideas past specialists privately and off the record to check his reasoning and has had positive reactions (this I learned from a youtube interview).
Some of the ideas seem highly speculative but as I progressed through the book the evidence became more and more persuasive. We can not know the details of our past evolution with certainty but Wright's hypothesis is way more coherent and realistic than the typical ideas of steady progress from grunting, ignorant hominid savages to a brilliant and intelligent modern humanity, and takes into consideration more pertinent factors than the nature and complexity of our tools. The observation that diet affects hormonal activity which affects physiology and behaviour which affects evolution is, on the other hand, not speculative. It is unavoidable. Wrights following of this line of reasoning leads to a fascinating and illuminating discussion of possible implications.
The chapter on consciousness was a favourite and although I'd come across much of the information before, the material was presented and brought together in a way that has given me a new level of understanding.
A first class book. To be read with an open mind.