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Transcendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time

Gaia Vince

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Hardback

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Allen Lane
19 November 2019
Social & cultural history; Anthropology; Mathematics & Sciences; Evolution; Early man
Humans now live longer and better than ever before, and we are the most populous big animal on earth. Meanwhile, our closest living relatives, the now-endangered chimpanzees, continue to live as they have for millions of years. We are not like the other animals, yet we evolved through the same process. What are we then? And now we have remade the world, what are we becoming?

Setting out to answer this question Gaia Vince tells a remarkable evolution story about us. Unlike any other species on earth we determine the course of our own destiny, a fact that Vince argues rests on a special relationship between our genes, environment and culture. Exploring cutting-edge advances in population genetics, archaeology, palaeontology, psychology and more that fundamentally change our understanding of how we developed as a species, Transcendence compels us to reimagine our ancestors. To think of us as a sort of smarter chimp with cool tools is to miss what is truly extraordinary about us and the way we operate on this planet. Look around you- we are the intelligent designers of all you see - including ourselves.
By:   Gaia Vince
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   536g
ISBN:   9780241281116
ISBN 10:   0241281113
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   19 November 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster interested in the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programmes for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world- she has visited more than 60 countries, lived in three and is currently based in London. In 2015, she became the first woman to win the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize solo for her debut, Adventures in the Anthropocene- A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made. She blogs at WanderingGaia.com and tweets at @WanderingGaia.

Reviews for Transcendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time

Gaia Vince's enthralling second book, ideal for anyone who loved Sapiens, shows how a unique combination of genes, environment and culture (from our love of objects to our knowledge of mortality) has enabled us to determine our own destiny, uniquely among species on earth. * The Bookseller * This book goes from the Big Bang to the Hundred Thousand Genome Project to make a convincing case that Homo sapiens has become a super-organism. I learned a lot from it and so will you. -- Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics UCL, author of 'Almost Like a Whale' An imaginative and inspiring adventure into the origins and evolution of what we hold most dear: our human culture. -- Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development UCL Vince draws on extensive travels and many interviews with scientists to offer vivid accounts of these forces at work in the lives of our cultural forebears. A provocative, highly readable take on our astonishing emergence from the primordial soup. * Kirkus * Transcendence is a beautifully imaginative overview of the biological and cultural evolution of humans. Richly informed by the latest research, Gaia Vince's colorful survey fizzes like a zip-wire as it tours our species' story from the Big Bang to the coming age of hypercooperation. -- Richard Wrangham * Professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University and author of The Goodness Paradox * A wondrous, visionary work. -- Tim Flannery, scientist and author of the bestselling 'The Weather Makers' Even those broadly familiar with humanity's story will find new information and insights in Vince's fascinating study. * Publishers Weekly * Wonderful. There was a lot I hadn't heard about before . . . interesting and enlightening. -- Robin Ince Beautifully written . . . At her best Vince takes dizzying leaps, making connections between archaeology, anthropology, genetics and psychology. She is especially good on the delicate interplay between genes, environment and culture. Vince steps with lightness. -- Tom Whipple * The Times * A hugely enjoyable sprint through human evolutionary history . . . Read it. -- Tim Radford * Nature *


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