Sunday, February 4, 2018

Book Review: Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson
Hardcover, 256 pages Published October 2017 by Liveright

I tend to not review the non-fiction books I read because I skip around, sometimes I don't finish them, or they are for research for my own books. I decided to give this one a review because I read cover to cover. It will be a short review however. The odd thing was I grabbed it off the new release shelf at the library with out really realizing that it was very connected to the novel I would end up reading next. (Well I finished The God Gene first)

So what interested me in this book. Edward O. Wilson is a famous award winning naturalist and I have read bits and pieces of his musings before. I thought a look at how we as a species developed the ability to think creatively might be useful as an author. It is funny looking briefly over the online reviews it is clear that many missed the point of this book.

There is a degree that Wilson is expressing himself in a stream of conciseness that feels unstructured. It is clear he has many thoughts about the how humanity made the leap from instinct to be able to create art. The point of the book is that the humanities like art, fiction, and film need to have a closer relationship with the sciences in what he considers a third enlightenment. Could he have just said that without giving a detailed history of how humans learned to imagine? Maybe but it is important to remember what an amazing gift that is.

It is one thing recount events that happened down the generations, but how amazing is it that stories that exist totally in one person's mind lives on in words, and images. We have a chance to explore the universe, and inner space in way thought impossible as science and science fiction work together. We need creative minds and trained minds to work together to unlock discovery. That was the point.

The history of how story, and human evolution have always been tied together is much of the point here. It is a short book, but lots of interesting insights and I agree with the basic point.

Also I learned was the world's most famous Pulitzers prize winning biologist considers Alien and Carpenter's the Thing to be the two best science fiction films ever. He is smart dude.

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