Bill Bryson’s stunning exploration of science leaves us with a sobering thought: as powerful as we humans feel, the real truth is that we’re only a stroke of luck away from total annihilation most days of the week. And global pandemics aren’t the only reason why.
Imagine you’re a robot and someone–or something–else is running your life behind the scenes. Richard Dawkins’ groundbreaking 1973 bestseller The Selfish Gene argues just that. According to the “gene’s eye view” of evolution, we only exist as vessels to protect and pass on our genes, which are the things that really matter. This controversial claim was a game changer in the science of evolution.