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Jun 8, 2016

E.O. Wilson Chases The ‘Great Riddle’ Of Human Existence

Posted by in categories: cosmology, neuroscience

For those who missed my 2014 review of E.O. Wilson’s book, “The Meaning of Human Existence.”


With a title as audacious as “The Meaning of Human Existence,” even a casual reader couldn’t be faulted for expecting a veritable Rosetta Stone to the cosmos and life as we know it. But in his latest book, Edward O. Wilson offers no philosophically-satisfying answers to this age-old “existence” question. And maybe that’s his point.

After all, the ability to ponder our own existence is at once a blessing and a curse. Neither sharks nor swallows seem to worry about too much more than their next meal. Yet in fifteen chapters, Wilson — a renowned biologist, naturalist, author and Harvard University professor emeritus, strips humanity of its soul.

Wilson is steadfastly averse to spiritual intangibles; somewhat skeptical about ever fully understanding consciousness, yet overly sanguine about cosmology’s progress in understanding the nature of the universe. He also spends a significant portion of the book trashing organized religion in ways that — in this atheistic age at least — seem both arbitrary and predictable.

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  • cacarr on June 8, 2016 11:40 pm

    I think Forbes can do better.