Between the Apes and the Angels


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The most interesting part of the book was the three alien species, particularly the relationship between the Gammans and the monsters on Beta created by t I was not aware that this book was part of a series when I began reading it. The most interesting part of the book was the three alien species, particularly the relationship between the Gammans and the monsters on Beta created by the mythical?

Sky Masters. Jan 10, Bill rated it it was ok. Picked this up at the library as it had been years since I read a story by Ben Bova. Sorry to say, I was very disappointed, and this made me sad for Mr. The story and particularly the dialogue is written in a style more appropriate for a juvenile or young adult novel than the average adult.

I was not aware that this was part of a series, but except for the weak ending, it can stand alone. Dec 15, Chris rated it really liked it. I really like reading Ben Bova's work. This novel was interesting in that though it was part of series it could have been a stand alone. I saw from other comments that some were disappointed, but Bova didn't waste his time telling us how things built up from the last novel to this point A good read, quick read.

Feb 13, Jayw added it. Earth sends a shipload of cutthroat academics light years to find intelligent life and save it from deadly radiation wave. Fortunately, the crew includes a off planet anthropologist with self esteem issues. Nov 27, Tom rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction. It's an interesting story but the plot lacks any sort of conclusion to the events and ignores the big mysteries it set up. May 20, Mimro rated it did not like it. DNF - waste of time. Caution: spoilers ahead! Ben Bova is a brilliant writer, but his endings leave a lot to be desired. Bova leaves several plot points unresolved at the end of this book, which will probably lead to another book in this series which I will, undoubtedly, read.

The problem with this approach is: Bova doesn't do a great job of picking up where he left off in the previous installment. A Stone Age civilization of humanoids inhabits Gamma, and it is the job of our heroes to save them from the approaching radiation death wave.


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We soon find out that a cataclysmic event happened several thousand years ago that caused the three planets to shift orbits. This event does not seem to be of natural origin, and the mythology of the inhabitants of Gamma attribute it to the all-powerful "Sky Masters. The events that lead to the destruction of the ancient civilization on Gamma remain shrouded in mystery. There is no pay off to this storyline at all, and we're left wondering if this storyline will be picked up at a later date.

Similarly frustrating is the amount of time spent on the aquatic inhabitants of the planet Alpha. A great deal of time is spent describing the effort involved with deciphering their language and making first contact, but this entire plot line is dropped mid-novel, never to be mentioned again.

I don't understand why the author would go to such great lengths to set up a very intricate storyline, and then abandon it without even the slightest connection to the larger narrative. These frustrating lapses are made up for by the genius of Ben Bova's writing. Each book in this series was headed for a five star review Bova creates great characters that the reader grows to truly care about. His story, despite being science fiction, is largely based on human emotions and interactions. The background may be alien, but the conflicts are all very human.

I can only hope that Bova picks up this narrative in a subsequent book, because I do want to know what becomes of the citizens of planet Gamma. You will too if you read this book. Oct 07, Richard rated it really liked it. Apes and Angels is the third book in the Star Quest Trilogy.

The plot continues where book two left off - the Earth sending ships out to planets light years from Earth to save less developed civilizations from a killer Death Wave of radiation sweeping through the universe. All of the characters are new and, once again, Bova creates great individuals that you will gravitate toward. Bova's characters are the main thing that endear me to his writing.

Despite living years in the future and on ships f Apes and Angels is the third book in the Star Quest Trilogy. Despite living years in the future and on ships far from earth, they all seem be just like people you know or even remind you of yourself. They are full of hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses, and must deal with the difficulties of bureaucrats and red tape that strangle their ambition. In Apes and Angels Bova weaves a tale full of such characters and gives us a story with many twists and turns.

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Bova gives us clear heroes and villains yet their hidden strengths and weaknesses tend to keep us guessing as to how they will actually behave when push comes to shove. I've already stressed my complaints, in earlier reviews, that Bova's male and female characters stick to outdated and stereotypical heterosexual scripts so I'm not going to repeat myself here. I think the actual science in this book is a bit better but I would still hesitate to put the Star Quest Series into the hard science, Science Fiction category.

If you have enjoyed any of Ben Bova's other books, you will love this one! Apr 03, Karl Geiger rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction. Third in the four-part "trilogy", The Star Quest. Note: minor spoilers. Our Hero, mid-level academician Brad MacDaniels, thinks outside the box and outwits his nemesis, the head of the science team, in order to make key discoveries about the intelligent life-forms that inhabit two of the Mithra star system's three worlds.

The humans suspect that a horrific war once engulfed the system, smashing orbits and unleashing terror Third in the four-part "trilogy", The Star Quest. The humans suspect that a horrific war once engulfed the system, smashing orbits and unleashing terror on the inhabitants.

This discovery is a good set-up for a subsequent series novel that returns to Mithra's denizens after the galactic Death Wave has passed. With New Earth it's one of the better books of the series. As a stand-alone novel Apes and Angels works well and feels complete. Comments about the series stock characterizations and conflicts are covered in general comments under the reviews for the other titles: New Earth , Death Wave , and Survival May 29, Aristotle rated it it was ok.

Star Trek's prime directive. How much can you do in an hour? That's the problem with this book. Ben Bova, my first, had pages to give us a more complex story but gave us corporate bureaucracy and a love triangle. First contact was ridiculous. A crew of one? Didn't the Gammans realize he wasn't one of them? Didn't smell like them? Wearing a space suit?! I did like the relationship between' Brrd' and the Gammans The simple writing made it easy to finish.

Jean-Luc Picard would be disappointed. Star Quest Series consists of three full-length novels that span hundreds of decades. Listenable SciFi series. It is up to earthlings to travel the galaxy helping to protect other life forms found.

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And find them they do! Although connected via the light wave, the books stand alone in th Audiobook. Although connected via the light wave, the books stand alone in that characters are unique to each story. Narrated nicely by Stefan Rudnicki, no complaints. Feb 09, Craig Wakefield rated it liked it.

Brad is now spending hundreds of years to study men and creatures from stars far away. Perhaps though Brad needs to study himself. When someone puts aliens who are plant based ahead of his own life and the care and concern of a new spouse is he someone we can trust to know how to truly help humankind and those entities that live on planets far away from where we live? Bova loosely works to connect this novel to his Death Wave series. I wish it were more tightly written.

The third book in the Star Quest Trilogy and like the others it was a very good story with writing that was not all that good. The main question faced is should the mission include interfering with the culture of sentient life when it appears that forces have already conspired to keep that life form from developing and evolving. One wonders why those forces have done this and what would be the outcome if these beings are once again free to progress.

We do not get an answer to those questions whi The third book in the Star Quest Trilogy and like the others it was a very good story with writing that was not all that good. We do not get an answer to those questions which is as it should be.

Of Apes and Angels | Frankenfiction

May 21, Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it Shelves: other-sf-fantasy. However, halfway through the novel, a sudden change of circumstance alters the pace and power of the story into something more fascinating and disturbing Angels: A History. Dominique Lestel - - Sign Systems Studies 30 1 Adam Kolber - - Stanford Law Review Russon , Kim A. Parkers eds. Cognitive Relatives and Moral Relations. Richard W. A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy. Tobias Hoffmann ed. Karmel - - In A. Russon, Kim A. Cambridge University Press. Admittedly, we can glean almost nothing concrete about emotional connectedness as far back as 7 million years though we can continue to use modern day apes as models, and speculate in useful ways.

After 3 million years ago, the record of material culture—fossilized artifacts and other concrete products of hominid behavior—begins. At that point, tangible clues help us assess the changes that take place in empathy, meaning making, rule-following, imagination, and consciousness, and, indeed, in the pattern of nurturing and caring that lays the foundation for all of these. Throughout the millennia, hominid mothers nurtured their children; siblings played with each other and with their friends; adults shifted alliances, supporting first this friend, then another, against a rival.

The excitement in understanding human evolution is centered in tracing this mutual creativity and meaning making, indeed in tracing the evolution of belongingness. Third, the hominid need for belongingness rippled out, eventually expanding into a wholly new realm. In tandem with, and in part driven by, changes in the natural environment, in the hominid brain, and most important, in caregiving practices, something new emerged that went beyond empathy, rule-following, and imagination within the family and immediate group, and that went beyond consciousness expressed through action and meaning-making in the here and now.

As I explain in Chapters 6 and 7, language and culture became more complex as symbols and ritual practices began to play a more central role in how hominids made sense of their world. An earthly need for belongingness led to the human religious imagination and thus to the otherworldly realm of relating with God, gods, and spirits.

To express in straightforward language the profound depth of this human emotional connection to the sacred is a challenge. We hear no You and yet we feel addressed; we answer—creating, thinking, acting: with our being we speak the basic word, unable to say You with our mouth. In highlighting this critical balance between evolutionary continuity and evolutionary transformation, I want to be crystal clear about the role of belongingness in the origins of religion. I see belongingness as one aspect of religiousness—an aspect so essential that the human religious imagination could not have evolved without it.

In scientific lingo, belongingness is a necessary condition for the evolution of religion. Over the course of prehistory, belongingness was transformed from a basic emotional relating between individuals to a deeper relating, one that had the potential to become transcendent, between people and supernatural beings or forces. My focus on belongingness distinguishes my perspective from the dominant one today. In our age of high-tech science, when gene sequencing and brain-mapping reign supreme, it is little surprise to find that the most popular theories of the origin of religion center around properties of genes and brains.

While something can be learned from such scenarios, they are sterile to the degree that they fail to grasp the significance of what matters most: people deeply and emotionally engaged with others of their kind, and eventually with the sacred. That social interactions played a central role in the origins of religion is not, of course, an original insight.

Such an emphasis may no longer be favored, but at least since the time of the pioneering sociologist Emile Durkheim in the early twentieth century, and indeed since Buber, theorists have expressed the importance of connections between religion and social-emotional phenomena. A few theorists continue that trend today.

But as I have indicated, to fully probe the origins of religion, we must look beyond even the first glimmers of human evolution to examine the emotional lives of the apes. And so I start the evolutionary clock earlier than do others who chart the origins of the religious imagination.

The challenge at the heart of this book is to tell the story of the earliest origins of religion. As is already clear, commitment to an evolutionary perspective on religion amounts to a claim that humans evolved God gradually and not via some spiritual big bang. Before moving, in subsequent chapters, to specifics of the evolutionary perspective itself, it remains to say something more concrete about religion itself.

One linguistic clarification can be made immediately. Nor do I claim—nor, indeed, could I claim—that these sacred beings are real in our world. Matters of faith are not amenable to scientific analysis, experimentation, or testing; writing as a biological anthropologist, I remain agnostic on this question. My focus is on our prehistory, and on how—and why—we evolved God as that prehistory unfolded.

Our exploration of the evolution of the religious imagination begins with visits to three locations across the globe. Slowly we make our way under the thick, humid canopy, and find ourselves looking over the shoulder of a scientist who observes a female, not yet of adult age, laying motionless on the ground.

She is dead, the victim of an attack by a leopard. In death, Tina becomes a magnet for other members of her community. Sitting around her body are twelve individuals, six males and six females. But these quiet observers are not people of the Senufo or Guro tribes, or indeed of any of the other human tribes in the region where Tina was born. They are chimpanzees, our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. Regourdou Cave, southern France, about 65, years ago: a small group of hominids gathers to bury one of their own.

Of special importance to the group, the individual who died deserves an elaborate send-off. Chosen members have been at work preparing for the burial ritual. Now, the time has come. The body, folded into a crouched position, is placed on a series of flat stones at the bottom of a depression. Two leg bones from a bear are placed at the foot of the body, while atop the chest is positioned a slab of rock.

Next, a variety of tools is brought to the slab, together with a foreleg bone from a bear, intentionally split in half. The slab, and indeed the body itself, is then covered by a mixture of an ashlike substance with boulders and cobbles. And finally, the entire burial mound is marked with the antler of an elk, and a fire is lit there.

After the burial ritual, participants feast on bear meat. As they finish and file away from the grave, some of them already plan their next visit to honor the grave. Admittedly, some of my reconstruction here is speculative. Strictly speaking, I cannot know whether group members were chosen to prepare the ritual, or whether bear meat was eaten after rather than before or during the burial, or what the hominids involved may have thought or planned at any given moment.

Apes and Angels

Yet in all key respects, this scenario is true to the archaeological analysis and the speculations are highly consistent with it. Living in Europe and Asia, so astonishingly like us in some ways and utterly different in others, Neandertals are arguably the most fascinating hominids of all. To interpret convincingly what happened at Regourdou 65, years ago, we must enter the realm of ritual.

To begin with: the burial. The placement of the body, its association with tools and stones, and the marking of the grave rule out the work of a natural process. Neither water, nor animals, nor anything related to long-term geological change, could account for these precise arrangements.

What role did the deceased Neandertal play in life at Regourdou? Did he or she possess some special knowledge or skills valued by the group? Did participants in the burial mourn their loss, expressing sorrow through tears or gestures or words, or all three? If only we could peer through the millennia and find answers to questions like these, as well as to others that touch directly on the origins of religion. Were the animal bones and tools included in the grave as a way to ease a path into the afterlife?

Did Neandertals conceive of some otherworldly, sacred dimension into which they passed upon death? Resourcefulness helps here, primarily a willingness to navigate by an indirect compass. A focus on the type of animal bones found with the body is a good place to start; understanding what happened at Regourdou is enhanced by knowing about the relationship between Neandertals and bears. Consider what is found at Regourdou on the other side of a wall from the burial site: an area called the bear cist.

Essentially a stone coffer, the cist consists of walls and a ceiling.

Between the Apes and the Angels Between the Apes and the Angels
Between the Apes and the Angels Between the Apes and the Angels
Between the Apes and the Angels Between the Apes and the Angels
Between the Apes and the Angels Between the Apes and the Angels
Between the Apes and the Angels Between the Apes and the Angels

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