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Our nation is in an existential struggle pitting our democracy against the forces of autocracy. America’s growing inequalities in income and wealth and persistent racial inequities have divided our country, polarized our politics, and unleashed our tribal instincts. Our evolved human nature has given us a hybrid genotype. We are all partly selfish and partly altruistic, partly hierarchical/authoritarian and partly egalitarian, and we are all tribal. Is our hybrid human nature compatible with egalitarian democracy? 

 

Bruce Brodie argues in WHERE ARE WE GOING? that we must change our cultural environment if we are to suppress our tribal instincts, bring out the better angels of our nature, and cooperate to address our existential problems. We must greatly reduce our economic and racial inequities and achieve new attitudes and perspectives – understanding how dependent we are upon one another. We must restore the American Dream that allows us to rise from the depths of poverty to social and economic success through hard work and perseverance. Can we accomplish these goals and create a more egalitarian society that will preserve and strengthen our democracy? Can we prevail over the forces of autocracy? Are we up to the challenge?  

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Why Are We Here? takes us on a journey from the Big Bang to the origin and evolution of complex, intelligent life in a search for the meaning of human existence. How did chemistry come to life? How did the release of oxygen by cyanobacteria change the natural history of life? How did mass extinctions reset the clock and reshape the course of biological evolution? Why are we Homo sapiens so dominant? We share over 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, yet we build vast civilizations, while chimps are confined to forests and sadly to experimental laboratories and zoos. How come? How will cultural and technological evolution, which have now transcended biological evolution, shape the future of life on our planet? Can we escape the many existential threats that hover over us? Bruce Brodie takes us on an educational and deeply fascinating journey that will give us new perspectives about how we think about our world, our place and purpose in the cosmos, and the future of humanity.