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Intelligence in Nature Paperback – March 2, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Some aspects of insect and animal behavior have been observed and then relegated to Darwinian survival of the fittest without pursuing it further: camouflage techniques, heightened sense of smell, night vision are easy categories to assign as 'traits'. Narby enters the world of shaman and shares how trances induced by varied means give the shaman the ability to communicate with organisms, understanding their innate intelligence.
But the real joy of reading this treatise is the manner in which Narby relates his information. No 'from the pulpit' technique here, instead this is a conversational, open minded, keenly observant and intelligent man who encourages us to be more aware of the fellow nature creatures around us, giving them the respect that is their due. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, February 06
Narby's search for intelligence in nature takes us into the biology labs of a select group of scientists around the world who are trying to identify humanlike intelligence within the plant and animal life of the natural world. From the Peruvian Amazon to Japan, we meet scientists whose investigations are undoubtedly fascinating. But Narby's inquiry begins and ends with large questions hanging in the air. We learn interesting things about how slime mold, for example, appears to make decisions, or how certain tropical birds ingest clay to prevent disease in much the same way that we use antibiotics. But then what? Why is intelligence in nature such a puzzling question to science when it seems so obvious to anyone who regularly walks in the woods with a curious and observant eye? And why should it be left to mainstream science to decree the existence of something for which scientists themselves can reach no defining consensus?
Narby asks good questions in this book but he doesn't go very far with them. His tentativeness in the company of scientists is curious given the open-minded enthusiasm he brought to his experiences with shamans in the Peruvian Amazon, which he first wrote about in The Cosmic Serpent. There, far from his academic and cultural roots, he eagerly pushed the edge of conventional knowledge.Read more ›
"Intelligence in Nature" is the work of a visionary - not of the cheap and bland type of futurologist our technoculture is so good in creating. This book re-instates Narby as a visionary in the best sense of the word. His scientifically trained anthropological gaze is, thankfully, still untamed enough to place itself outside both the usual frontiers of our institutional academic research and the comfortable safety of our socially acquired common sense.
In "Intelligence in Nature" his account of our efforts to understand and cope with the present challenges of our life amidst a multitude of other sentient life forms is built from the stand point of a consciousness that has actually been there - on "the other side" of our arbitrary cultural, existential and psychological boundaries. Having experienced first hand the meaningfulness and uniqueness of the abundant life that envelops our own restricted and partial understanding of nature Narby - as the shamans he has once learned from - is again in an ideal position to guide us through the path toward plenitude he has been gradually building with his works.
Following the best anthropological tradition Narby goes out yet again to do his field work. It is only that this time the field includes not only the rich landscapes of the Peruvian Amazon inhabited and acted upon by shamans and parrots, the French-Swiss border where the Jura Mountains are criss-crossed by purposeful scientists and earthworms or the old Estonian farm where a herbal healer and her "talking" plants share their knowledge in front of a welcoming fireplace.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A follow-on book to Cosmic Serpent, this book carries through the theme of DNA as the repository for intelligence in nature. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael Flanagan
Excellent book! Offers good points where the typical Darwinian theory lacks.Published 15 months ago by Jared Deily
An excellent study of the intelligence that rests within each living part of this wonderful earthPublished 17 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 22 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 22 months ago by Sama Takeo