The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will Audiobook, by Kenneth R. Miller Play Audiobook Sample

The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will Audiobook

The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will Audiobook, by Kenneth R. Miller Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Fred Sanders Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781508256717

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

88:35 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

22 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

50:34 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

A radical, optimistic exploration of how humans evolved to develop reason, consciousness, and free will.

Lately, the most passionate advocates of the theory of evolution seem to present it as bad news. Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature.

Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it’s not a social or cultural theory of everything. In The Human Instinct, he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness—one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we’ve evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe.

Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct is a moving and powerful celebration of what it means to be human.

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“Readers seeking a modification of doctrinaire Darwinism will find a thoughtful, scientifically sound, evolution-based exponent in Miller.”

— Booklist 


  • “Following in Darwin’s footsteps, Miller makes the slam-dunk case for why, in light of our origins, humans are still special.”

    — Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
  • “Absorbing, lucid, and engaging. An eloquent and deeply grounded case that it was evolution that gave us our humanity.”

    — Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology at Washington University, St. Louis
  • “Fascinating…Confronts both lay and professional misconceptions about evolution from both scientific and philosophical perspectives.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Insightful….[Miller’s] universe is a kaleidoscope of dazzling evolutionary possibilities.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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About Kenneth R. Miller

Kenneth R. Miller is professor of biology at Brown University and a critically acclaimed bestselling author. He serves as a science advisor to The News Hour on PBS and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his honors are the Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University, and the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About Fred Sanders

Fred Sanders, an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs,Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.