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The future of life

EO Wilson the great scientist and Wilson the environmentalist are speaking the same language. We need technology more than we need spiritual awakening

Edward O Wilson opens his new book with an imaginary letter to Henry David Thoreau-the 19th century American poet and amateur naturalist-whose cabin on Walden Pond once stood “two towns over” from where Wilson now lives in the suburbs of Boston. “The Sage of Concord,” Wilson calls him; but that was actually Thoreau’s townsman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who held mixed feelings about Thoreau. Emerson found Thoreau’s non-conformism and rejection of materialism admirable in theory, but hard to take in practice. “I love Henry but I can never like him,” he quoted a friend saying. “He is a man of incorruptible…

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