I've been looking for a book that explains the origin of where we get our morals from and why we humans behave the way we do. I thought this book would have a good biological explanation to how all that came to be. What I got instead was drivel that went from one tangent to another in every chapter. It really pissed me off. It had me asking myself "What is this guy talking about?"
The sad thing is, the topics covered in this book would have been interesting had it not been full of the most dull writing I have ever come across.
In each chapter, he talks about several things that have nothing to do with each other. But all he had to do was focus on one of them and elaborate on one of them rather than throw random pieces of information into each chapter and call it a book on human biological history.
The book begins with a very good Prolugue about how a Russian Anarchist named Kropotkin escapes from a prison with the help of lots of people. It makes you wonder what compelled a group of people to risk their lives to get this man out of prison. I thought this book would give us a biological history of how we came to be. That's what I was hoping for. And that's what this book prepares you for.
But alas, from there it's all downhill. Every chapter that is followed has a variety of random things thrown in that are unreleted. Or maybe the writer did a terrible job at explaining how they are linked. Either way, nothing made any sense.
Chapter 1 talks about ants and bees. Then it talks about the selfish gene, and then ancient rome, and then the relationship between a fertilised egg and its mother. All the writer had to do was talk about the importance of collectivisim. But then even that wasn't clear.
Chapter 2 talks about how we humans have divisions of labour, how each and every one of us can do different tasks unlike ants that are either Worker Ants and Army Ants. But then he goes on about Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, using the Parable of the Pin Maker. I'm guessing the whole point of this chapter is about how specialisation makes us humans a better species. Again, another poorly written chapter.
Chapter 3 talks about Prisoner's Dilemma. Here he goes on about Maths, Economics and Morals. This was by far the most confusing chapter. I have no idea what he was trying to say here.
Chapter 4 was where I lost my patience with this book. First he talks about bats, the neocortex of the brain, it goes on and on about "Tit-for-tat" and then he talks about football.
I got fed up. I put the book down. That's not a good sign.
What does any of this have to do with the Prologue of the book?
None of the above explains nor give us a biological history of our morals or our behaviours.
It is books like this that really piss me off.
Maybe the author is very knowledgabel about biology, maths, economics and all that kind of stuff, but his wrting is terrible. He goes all over the place. I can't understand why anyone gave this book a 5-star review.
Until he gets an editor, I will never read another book by this author again.
Overall, a poorly written mess by an awful writer.
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