Review: "The Meaning Of Human Existence," by E.O. Wilson
This was one of the best books that I have read in a very long time. Essentially, a series of essays trying to elucidate the title, there are so many interesting, controversial and thought-provoking ideas and concepts that I feel I probably need to give it another read just to have it settle in a bit more.
Beautiful writing adorns Wilson's paragraphs at the same time that he is trying to conquer some deep and challenging concepts. Upon finishing the book I read several reviews and they all do it greater justice than I am able.
Simply put (if that's even remotely possible) Wilson is trying to reconcile the humanities with science, explain humankind's role in the universe, and extrapolate out to what our possible future as a planet might possibly be. Quite a bit to tackle in a short tome. Drawing on his lifetime of science and a vast array of writing, thought and different channels of inquiry, Wilson attempts to take these very large ideas and make them palatable to the common reader. Anyone who wishes to push themselves into new arenas of thought might want to take a shot at this book. Slow-going at times, one needs to put it down occasionally to consider his position, or even to read sections over again to pull out the detailed understanding of Wilson's pronouncements. Perhaps I found it very confirming since I happen to agree with many of his theories. (the predominance of science combined with the need for humanities, the absoluteness of evolution, the difficulties facing mankind as we newly embark on the real ability to destroy the planet from within, the conflict/cooperation between self and group. A demanding read, but one that most people should give consideration to. My highest regard and at 85 I hope Wilson continues to push us to think.