“The book is both informational and highly engaging, in the tradition of Bill Bryson’s A Brief History of Nearly Everything, and works equally well for pleasure reading and as a substitute for a science textbook. Brodie has a gift for pithy phrases (“We humans require hierarchy but yearn for our egalitarian heritage”) that render the text deceptively simple while making it a joy to read..."
"Expertly organized and presented, Why Are We Here? would prove to be an excellent choice for a curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Evolution Science collections and supplemental studies lists. Impressively informed and informative, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject..."
Midwest Book Review
Will Change How You View All Living Creatures
Wow!! What a blend of history and science written in a manner that will satisfy readers like me, curious to learn more about the evolutionary history of life as we know it, and readers interested in the science involved.
I commend the author for breaking the book into six parts, as this makes the book more readable. Brodie has done it with such a deft touch that each chapter can be a stand-alone read. (As he interacted in the Preface, "each chapter is self-contained and can be read in isolation.") This prompted me to read Chapter 20 (The Rise of Dominance of Homo Sapiens - Part V) before beginning Chapter 5. It was ingenious as this served to heighten my interest in reading all the chapter I'd skipped.
Although I'm still not sure why we're here, I'm a lot more knowledgeable of how we evolved to our current state, which in turn has changed how I view all living creatures sharing our planet. This is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about the multi dimensional aspects of our Earth's history and the life that has graced its surface over the past three-plus billion years.
This book starts from the chemical level to the unicellular level to the development of complex life forms to give us a picture of how life evolved on earth. The author uses readable language to give us an appreciation of complex events and of the absolute miracle that life evolved to where we are now.
I like the division of the book into 6 sections. Any of these can be read as a stand alone discussion of the major events in the history of our earth. I believe those with a science background will enjoy the early chapters that explain how random organic chemicals miraculously aligned in a way to evolve into unicellular organisms. Others my prefer to start with the section on human evolution. The last section addresses major current issues and the links of technological advancement with the possible evolution of a new species of human.
The mysteries of life make a fascinating story. Dr. Brodie shows a wonderful touch in telling this story in a fashion that will engross readers from all backgrounds. I encourage you to read this book and feel sure you will better understand "Why are we here"!
This book (Why Are We Here) is full of information based on an impressive survey of scientific research and a review of notable other books. In my opinion, everyone will improve their knowledge and understanding of a variety of topics by reading this book. Dr. Brodie does a very good job of explaining scientific research that many people would otherwise find difficult to grasp.
This book presents a wide perspective on our planet and the species living on it. Reading this book enabled me to understand more clearly concepts like global warming. The organization of the book does not require the reader to read the chapters sequentially. I believe that most readers will find the final six chapters (Part VI) to be of particular interest as they provide a framework for consideration of the future of our planet and the species that inhabit it. The glossary is helpful in dealing with the scientific terminology and the list of specific references can help an interested reader to delve further into concepts that are introduced in this book.
All-in-all, I think that any person interested in where we are now and where we might be headed could find Dr. Brodie’s book of real value to them. I expect I will return to it often as I continue to read articles related to any of the concepts addressed in his work.
- Matt Oechsli
- Karl Fields