The Animal Within Us
Lessons about Life from Our Animal Ancestors
If you prefer to believe that biology dictates human destiny, you’ll enjoy reading The Animal Within Us. But if you think humans are a bit more complex than that, you might want to pass.
With a background in psychology and neurobiology (dual doctorates) as well as the world of business and finance (he founded the largest single-person venture capital fund in the United States in 1987), Glass presents a series of lessons linking animal bio-behavioral imperatives to human need for prayer, dominance in business, sexual behavior, and social deviance, among others. For example, advertisers are simply appealing to the human need to dominate; the triumph of global capitalism can be laid at the door of territorialism and drive to protect personal possessions; prayer comes from our “God genes” and need to display submission to a “supreme being.”
Glass’s explanations are extremely simplistic, more often than not begging the question and locking us back into essentialist arguments about “survival of the fittest.”
Glass’s intent is a worthy one, but his text is further marred by inept editing. Perhaps, biology is destiny, but to engage a mind tired of jargon-laden discussions of contemporary crisis and malaise, Glass needed to go into greater depth and provide more enlightened examples to support his argument.