Cambridge University Press
April 26, 1996
Our minds must be considered among the wonders of the natural world. It seems hardly credible that an organised assemblage of molecules can generate vivid feelings and sensations, yet the brain is such an assemblage and it does… So, how does our conscious mind arise from our physical brain? Evolving the Mind examines this question by following two main themes: how theories of the mind have evolved in science and how the mind itself evolved in Nature.
This book is written in a very accessible way. It is amusing, serious, informative and at times conversational. It starts in history and follows a trail for a physical theory of consciousness inadvertently laid down by twentieth century science.
Graham Cairns-Smith is a Reader in Chemistry at the University of Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Both his undergraduate degree and his PhD were taken at Edinburgh, the latter in the field of organic and solid-state chemistry. He then moved to a lectureship at Glasgow, teaching organic chemistry, molecular biology and the history and nature of science. He is well known throughout the world for his ideas on the nature, origin and evolution of life, themes which have appeared in his string of successful books: The Life Puzzle (1971), Genetic Takeover (1982), Seven Clues to the Origin of Life (1985), and Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life (1986). Seven Clues to the Origin of Life has so far been translated into eight languages. In addition to his books, Dr. Cairns-Smith has given invited lectures worldwide and made numerous contributions to radio and television programmes.