Carl Coon distills billions of years of natural and human history into a few beautifully-written pages in his new book, A Short History of Evolution. Coon demonstrates why there is no need to believe in any magical force at work to explain how things came to be the way they are, and how everything has happened in accordance with a natural order of change.
Not content to stop with the emergence of homo sapiens 50,000 years ago, Coon shows how processes akin to those of biological natural selection have shaped the growth of our civilization. Even war, with all its horrors, has had beneficial effects on our species as a whole (if not on the individuals immediately affected). At least as important as war, though, is “altruism” – a naturally occurring phenomenon without which our species would never have survived.
Treat yourself to a view from 50,000 feet of how we came to be the way we are.
By Carl Coon
Carl Coon spent his career serving as an American diplomat in the Middle East and South Asia, including a stint as American ambassador to Nepal. His previous books include Culture Wars and the Global Village; One Planet, One People; Creatures of the Earth and the Mind; and Sic Transit.
Carl Coon is also the author of One Planet, One People.