I'm reading this book right now. This guy basically looks at nature and species and makes observations about the world in which we live. Some of the more interesting points he puts forward are:
- Human beings are leading the planet to another big "die off" of species. For example, fully one third of bird species have disappeared due to man's influence on the planet. It takes 10 million years for life to rediversify after a big species die off.
- It is entirely possible that intelligence is an evolutionary trait that always extinguishes itself.
- We live in a world that we have created, and not one that we are evolutionarily adapted for. This is why people have phobias of high places and snakes and not guns and bombs. Over time, we became genetically programmed to fear those things in varying degrees because those are the traits that favored success in the species.
- Homosexuality is evolutionarily helpful in hunter gatherer societies because additional people to care for young helps more young survive. This is true in social animals that have few offspring at a time (ie: monkeys). The groups that didn't have the diversity that included homosexuality fared worse and so their genes did not make it into today's version of the human being.
- Nature probably should have picked a less aggressive and selfish animal to test its intelligence experiment.
He talks a lot about ants and termites too, there are whole sections that read like an Animal Planet episode. I'll be done with it today and take it back to the library so someone else can tickle their mind with it.