This review is from Richard Claxton from September 2017:
“If you want to take a journey through the history of human evolution, how our psychology evolved and then consider what might be the next evolutionary steps for humanity (if we can find a way of preserving the biosphere that sustains us), you would do well to give this book a go. As a (1) non-scientist by educational background and (2) an environmental campaigner and activist, I found this a fascinating and thought-provoking read.
Jeff Rice’s lucid and often-conversational style makes the book very accessible; it also asks some profound questions about where we are going as a species, speculating on the very diverse possible outcomes as we enter the ‘Next Level of Complexity in the Universe’. Rice argues that, “in terms of evolution, we are in a transitional phase” and that “something is happening” in relation to that ‘Next Level’. Hitherto, we have been the ape that got lucky and evolved to be the all-powerful, all-consuming top species. But that pre-eminence may not last. One of Rice’s key arguments is that our psychology struggles to keep up with rapid technological advance and change: we are in essence “a Stone Age human in a Space Age World.” He goes on to say, “Technology has surged forward. The intellectual aspects of our brains are fast catching up but the more primitive caveman part of us, our emotions and our social structure, are trailing.” This discrepancy, he argues, contributes to our current inability to tackle serious global problems effectively, for example, climate breakdown and habitat loss. However, plenty of hope is offered in an often optimistic concluding section – evidence of human psychology and consciousness emerging that can take us beyond our hard-wired caveman impulses. A very interesting book.”