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Peter D Fisher - writer 

                 MA. BA (Hons). dip Phys.

From Slime Eater to Sapiens : the quest for meaning in a Darwinian world.

Six Hundred million years ago in the period we now call the Ediacaran, a variety of different kinds of worm-like creatures were feeding on a slimy, microbial mat made up of bacteria, algae and other microorganisms that then covered much of the sea bed. These were some of the first multicellular organisms and they lived many millions of years before the famous Cambrian explosion when animals with legs, eyes, antennae and exoskeletons first appeared in the fossil record. One of these primitive species of creatures would eventually lose its worminess and evolve into fish, some of which would grow legs and leave the sea, ultimately evolving via a rich variety of animal forms into Homo sapiens.


At some remote time in our early evolutionary history, perhaps even as far back as the Ediacaran, a little creature first developed the capacity to have a flickering and temporary inner sensation of something. What that muted and fleeting inner feeling was we don’t know. Maybe it was a momentary distaste for the passing shadow of a predator, but whatever it was, it made something matter enough to make this little creature change her behaviour. (She might of course have been he, but let's stick with she.) This creature, let’s call her Nova, had become aware. This was the primitive beginnings of what would evolve into the extraordinary richness of human consciousness, and Nova’s appearance was an event of game changing significance for the whole universe, because for the first time something mattered. Until then, as far as we know, the universe was soulless, purposeless and mechanistic, nothing could have been important because there was nothing that could know anything was important. Nova changed everything.


“From Slime Eater to Sapiens” is a book that blends science and philosophy to find out what it means to be human. But unlike other books that deal with this theme it takes a bottom-up perspective. Starting with the basics it shows how the simple awareness of Nova evolved into the rich and wondrous complexity of human consciousness. Its particular viewpoint implies a new and controversial way of seeing things. The fact that evolution was underpinned by unfeeling mechanisms like natural selection has massive and far reaching consequences for the way we think, even impacting the fundamentals of human value systems like morality, ethics and politics. It is a challenging new way of thinking which seems more important than ever today when the tectonic plates of cultural change seem to be shifting as never before.

Please note: This book is a work in progress, and not available to buy. If you are a literary agent or work in the mainstream publishing industry and you would like to see a proposal please contact me.