718. A Fascinating Novel - Jack London: Before Adam
I just finished listening to the audio version of this novel, available on Librivox. And even though they may never know, a big thanks to all those volunteers, who give me the chance to listen to good books.
In other entries, I have explained how the ability for emotional attachment is a part of the unique human evolution, which could only co-evolve along with the general cognitive and rational abilities. My source of such ideas is reading a lot about recent evolutionary biology and psychology.
Jack London wrote his novel in 1906/7, at times, when evolution was still a widely disputed concept. While this novel contains certainly a lot of imagination based upon limited scientific reality, his achievement is nevertheless very remarkable. He was able to brilliantly illustrate the evolutionary state of people, whose limited empathy and emotional attachment were in sync with their limited intelligence and their limited theory of mind.
I doubt that anybody with current knowledge of evolutionary biology, anthropology and archaeology could write a much better novel.