Intelligence in nature: an inquiry into knowledge / Jeremy Narby. some difficulty with the possibility of both nonhuman intelligence and the subjective acquis-. Intelligence in Nature has ratings and 59 reviews. Anthropologist Jeremy Narby has altered how we understand the Shamanic cultures and traditions that. Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry into Knowledge is a non-fiction book by Jeremy Narby. The book is an ethnographic work which continues Narby’s quest .

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Not as revelatory as The Cosmic Serpent but still an interesting read on the prevalence of intelligence in plants and animals beyond the accepted traditional scientific evaluation of Western science.


It’s main problem is that he didn’t go further. After reading this book, you may look at insects and trees differently. Sep 13, Elise rated it it was amazing. I was inteelligence way through and realized all I was reading was the bibliography, though.

INTELLIGENCE IN NATURE: An Inquiry into Knowledge

That is, it’s easier to think about the behaviour of ground ivy; and then of inetlligence gut, because “the brain is not limited to the skull. Mar 02, Stephen rated it really liked it. There definitely are some interesting parts here and there, but after finishing it I just wasn’t impressed with what I had learned. Vines seem able of making decisions, or rather, choices, on finding food for survival.

Perhaps “an exploration into shamanism and ancient wisdom” or somesuch would have served it better! Such research shows that emotions are a mix of brain states and body experiences, which include increased heart rate, hormonal activity, and input from the gut brain.

It did have interesting nuggets that amounted to the gratification of, say, an episode of Radiolab. Thus interviews with Japanese and Eastern European scientists doing work in this field form the evidential support for the book. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Jeremy Narby is a well-established anthropologist, and this book sums up his time trying to understand native tribes and Shamanism.

I think the author is correct in implying that much of human kinds jealous klinging to the notion that we are unique in our intelligence is a by-product of religion, but I would disagree that it is only Christianity that encourages that view. Quite disappointing after his original and interesting previous book “The cosmic serpent”. Having a gut feeling is not just a metaphor.


Now, in one of his most extraordinary journeys, Narby travels the globe-from the Amazon Basin to the Far East-to probe what traditional healers and pioneering researchers understand about the intelligence present in all forms of life.

Stay in Touch Sign up. Books of the Week. This book questions intentionality posed as “intelligence” in nature. For further confirmation, he talks to Western scientists who have done remarkable research on cases of nonhuman intelligence, like bees with abstract reasoning, crows that manufacture standardized tools, pigeons that distinguish between the works of Van Gogh and Chagall about as well as college students do, octopuses that break out of and into their tanks and slime molds that solve mazes.

The author approaches his hypothesis with caution, but an open mind and allows us to delight in his discoveri I read this book as part of my reading challenge to “read a book based on a true story”.

Preview — Intelligence in Nature by Jeremy Narby. In fact the extended quotes provided in the back of the book make for a fascinating read and Narby can be applauded for collecting it all in one place. In The Cosmic Serpentanthropologist Narby hypothesized that Amazonian shamans can “gain access in their visions to information related to On comparable to what molecular biologists know.

Intelligence in Nature by Jeremy Narby | : Books

Recommend it for sure, especially if you are into biology, evolu This book was fascinating. Nov 28, Kate rated it it was ok. In this intriguing treatise, he carries his project of syncretizing all forms of knowledge a step further, arguing that animals and plants exhibit intelligence comparable in many ways to that of humans. Please try again later. Mar 02, Pages Buy. This book was fascinating.

Apr 06, Ashley rated it really liked it Shelves: Beautiful overview of the many ways Nature shows us levels jeeremy intelligence that put away our ideas that it’s somehow inferior to us. In a controlled experiment, scientists asked people to draw cards from four decks, two of which were heavily skewed with penalties.

Intelligence in Nature – Wikipedia

These notes, then, often prove more edifying and entertaining than the text itself. I love this novel as to me it represents the perfect syncretism between the world of rational knowledge and sacred knowledge. Two sides of the same coin. I just wish Narby’s writing was even half as engaging I appreciate much of Narby’s direction with this book, but nxrby repetitive writing style is really tiresome. I’ve quoted parts of it in conversation. But Narby has done his homework—the endnotes themselves make excellent reading—and his well-researched and engagingly presented account of the “braininess” of even literally brainless creatures raises fascinating questions about the boundaries between man and nature.


I would recommend this to someone skeptical of narby’s thesis or interested in the process of an anthropologist’s entree to hard science. Just like the other book, this one takes the form of the report on the author’s journey of discovery, this time about the western notion of intelligence in nature.

After studying shamanism, Narby is interested to find out how western scientists approach this subject and if they are still all stuck on the idea of a mechanical animal. And although I do admit I enjoyed this book, I felt at nautre like there was something lacking in its entirety.

Rather than come to grips with the various definitions of intelligence, skill and knowledge, Narby skirts the issue and refuses to take any theoretical position other than this is all really complex stuff. But mostly the book only pages before notes is him digging up intelligence research in journals and visiting the scientists concerned.

Bacteria communicate – and shamanship has always recognised that everything communicates. Dec 22, Shaun rated it it was ok. So after reading a lot of jereky and articles, he takes the reader on trips to various scienitists around the world and interviews them about their research. Intelligence in Nature presents overwhelming illustrative evidence that independent intelligence is not unique to humanity alone.

Intelligence is one of those concepts which is age old and essential, but being fundamentally rearticulated in modern times.