In The Cosmic Serpent, anthropologist Narby hypothesized that Amazonian shamans can "gain access in their visions to information related to DNA" comparable to what molecular biologists know. In this intriguing treatise, he carries his project of syncretizing all forms of knowledge a step further, arguing that animals and plants exhibit intelligence comparable in many ways to that of humans. His shaman friends heartily endorse the idea, regaling him, over a friendly pot of hallucinogenic ayahuasca brew, with conversations they have had in the trance state with animal and plant spirits. For further confirmation, he talks to Western scientists who have done remarkable research on cases of nonhuman intelligence, like bees with abstract reasoning, crows that manufacture standardized tools, pigeons that distinguish between the works of Van Gogh and Chagall about as well as college students do, octopuses that break out of and into their tanks and slime molds that solve mazes. Scientists may find Narby's ongoing efforts to assimilate shamanic mysticism to Western science - he associates, for example, Amazonian legends about humans turning into jaguars with Darwin's theory of evolution - naïve and illogical. But Narby has done his homework - the endnotes themselves make excellent reading - and his well-researched and engagingly presented account of the "braininess" of even literally brainless creatures raises fascinating questions about the boundaries between man and nature.
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Jeremy Narby, Ph.D. is the author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. He lives in Switzerland.
A follow-on book to Cosmic Serpent, this book carries through the theme of DNA as the repository for intelligence in nature. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Michael Flanagan
Excellent book! Offers good points where the typical Darwinian theory lacks.Published 6 months ago by Jared Deily
An excellent study of the intelligence that rests within each living part of this wonderful earthPublished 8 months ago by Richard O. Jacobs
Narby is the author of The Cosmic Serpent, a classic work exploring the world of Amazonian shamanism and its access to plant intelligence and even the informational structure of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nowick Gray
I'm very happy with this item. Well made and shipped professionally all at a very reasonable price. I do recommend this to others.Published 13 months ago by Sama Takeo
Narby interweaves his own travels and experiences, with fascinating science on plant intelligence. It's knowledge we should all have. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Raine