* A TIMES BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR *
From the prize-winning author of Adventures in the Anthropocene, the astonishing story of how culture enabled us to become the most successful species on Earth
‘A wondrous, visionary work’ Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers
Humans are a planet-altering force. Gaia Vince argues that our unique ability – compared with other species – 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, showing us to be on the brink of something grander – and potentially more destructive.
‘Richly informed by the latest research, Gaia Vince’s colourful survey fizzes like a zip-wire as it tours our species’ story from the Big Bang to the coming age of hypercooperation’ Richard Wrangham, author of The Goodness Paradox
‘Wonderful … enlightening’ Robin Ince, The Infinite Monkey Cage