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  • Transcendence

  • How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time
  • By: Gaia Vince
  • Narrated by: Gaia Vince
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Transcendence

By: Gaia Vince
Narrated by: Gaia Vince
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Summary

How four tools enabled humanity to control its destiny 

What enabled us to go from simple stone tools to smartphones? How did bands of hunter-gatherers evolve into multinational empires? Listeners of Sapiens will say a cognitive revolution - a dramatic evolutionary change that altered our brains, turning primitive humans into modern ones - caused a cultural explosion. In Transcendence, Gaia Vince argues instead that modern humans are the product of a nuanced coevolution of our genes, environment, and culture that goes back into deep time. She explains how, through four key elements - fire, language, beauty, and time - our species diverged from the evolutionary path of all other animals, unleashing a compounding process that launched us into the Space Age and beyond. Provocative and poetic, Transcendence shows how a primate took dominion over nature and turned itself into something marvelous.

©2020 Gaia Vince (P)2020 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • 21-12-22

Great book but unfortunately poor recording

An amazing book full of fascinating facts and information. A real eye opener. The story telling is compelling, and the author is tells the story in an animated and engaging way. I loved it.

Unfortunately, the recording is not great as there are a lot of unpleasant mouth noises that really distract from the content (particularly if you have misophonia). Some more careful editing and quality control could have really improved this as an audio book. If you are misophonic or sound sensitive, I recommend reading rather than listening!

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The first half is good, the second half not so

Fire and Language make sense (although ‘writing’ is arguably much mire important than language), but once you get to beauty and time, the author fails and starts to list numerous examples that are either not very relevant, or not very solid to begin with.

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  • Kurt Leyendecker
  • 01-10-20

Far too much bias and unsupported conclusions

This is a thought provoking book; however, from the very beginning a was concerned that the author was drawing unsupported conclusions from the studies and research she sighted. This in and of itself did not challenge the veracity of the conclusions but did little to support them either. In the end (literally, the last 10% of the book), Gaia unleashed her abject hate of conservatives serving up ridiculous assertions based on cherry picked research that supported her viewpoint. Very disappointing - this could have been a great book, but now I find myself wondering whether much of her assertions throughout the first 90% are equally suspect.

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  • Larry Conroy
  • 09-06-22

Cannot recommend this book

This is a terrible book. It is non-stop pontificating of half truths supported by cherry picked data. It is emblematic of the recent non-rigorous psuedo-science. I cannot recommend this to anyone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-03-22

Tarique Perera

One of the best books I have read. And I have read many. Highest compliment I can make.

1 person found this helpful