Vancouver Book Club

Blueprint

The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

by Nicholas A. Christakis

Synopsis

Expand/Collapse Synopsis

"A dazzlingly erudite synthesis of history, philosophy, anthropology, genetics, sociology, economics, epidemiology, statistics, and more" (Frank Bruni, New York Times), Blueprint shows how and why evolution has placed us on a humane path -- and how we are united by our common humanity.

For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions -- our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations -- we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society.

In Blueprint, Nicholas A. Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide.

With many vivid examples -- including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots, and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own -- Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness.

In a world of increasing political and economic polarization, it's tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilization, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped, and are still shaping, our genes today.

Unless otherwise noted, the BC Humanist book club will be held on the first Tuesday of every month at a member's home.

Please suggest books for upcoming months and invite anyone who may be interested.

Most books are available at the Vancouver Public Library or local book stores or through the BC Humanist Association.

Please call for the address

WHEN
December 03, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm
WHERE
Goldis' Home - Max 12 attendees
Dunbar
Vancouver, BC
Canada
Google map and directions
CONTACT
Kirsten Brawn · 604 266 9336

Will you come?



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