Monday, October 16, 2006
I liked The Cosmic Serpent enough to immediately get Narby's Intelligence in Nature. He sets out to find scientists who believe animals are intelligent, and finds several studying bees and butterflies and slime molds. Some of these scientists are beginning to think these creatures are not only intelligent but possibly sentient. Even plants and amoeba get similar respect in labs and journals. He reminds us that Darwin himself thought ants were intelligent creatures, and not the mere machines 20th century science would describe. Narby moves around from the Amazon to Scotland to Switzerland to Japan on his quest, but this little book failed to move me as much as his other. Most of it was a re-hash of an old Carl Sagan book I read when I was perhaps 13:
I fear Narby was stung by the lack of attention his previous work achieved in the scientific community. Now he's plodding along far too cautiously. Intelligence in Nature is no where near as enthusiastic as The Cosmic Serpent.