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  • Published: 19 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141984209
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

Transcendence

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




A TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2019: the astonishing story of how culture enabled us to become the most successful species on Earth

Humans are a planet-altering force. Our closest living relatives, the now-endangered chimpanzees, continue to live as they have for millions of years. Yet we evolved through the same process. What are we then?

Gaia Vince argues that our unique ability to determine the course of our own destiny rests on a special relationship between our genes, environment and culture going back into deep time. It is our collective culture, rather than our individual intelligence, that makes humans unique. Vince shows how four evolutionary drivers - Fire, Language, Beauty and Time - are further transforming our species into a transcendent superorganism: a hyper-cooperative mass of humanity that she calls Homo omnis. Drawing on leading-edge advances in population genetics, archaeology, palaeontology and neuroscience, Transcendence compels us to reimagine ourselves, and shows us to be on the brink of something grander - and potentially more destructive.

  • Published: 19 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780141984209
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Gaia Vince

Gaia Vince is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in science, the environment, and social issues. She was awarded the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, becoming the first solo female winner in the Prize’s history. She has been an editor at Nature Climate Change, Nature and New Scientist. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, The Times, Science, Scientific American, the American Scholar, International New York Times, BBC online Australian Geographic and the Australian. She also devises and presents science documentaries for radio and television. She blogs at WanderingGaia.com and tweets at @WanderingGaia.

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