The question posed here is about the similarities between the biological world and the world of intelligence. Ultimately, it is about how order arises from seemingly "blind" forces. The book is very intruiging and easy to read. It abounds with examples of how Nature has the power to make curiously "intelligent" systems out of physical laws. For example, the way outer electrons in a molecule act as "ambassadors" and how proximity plays a role, as it does in human societies is carefully examined.
What's interesting here is an ages old question: is man really thinking, or is it a number of natural processes just playing themselves out? Same goes for the societies throughout history.
This may seem like poking blindly at the big picture, but the author presents so many examples from (mostly) biological processes. That is the value of this book. The author is obviously knowledgeable about these processes, and has given a lot of thought to their relationship to the way humans operate. It is this volume of similarities that gives one a pause to think about it.
At the end of the book, the author considers the Universe to be a sort of an "automaton". This isn't a new idea, and in fact, I am reading another book on this subject that took the subject to a much deeper level. Time permitting, I will review that book some time too.
In any case, it is known that the laws of nature seem to resemble each other as we look around. Even different phenomena seem to have common expressions, for example the wave equation for the sound and for the probability waves in quantum theory. In this book, this is taken to the level of biological and societal. I think there is more to this, and the question author asks are worth considering. Because the ultimate question is that of ourselves: are we fitting the same mold of clever works of Nature, or are we somethng divine? The author argues that the divine has no place, and actually, has no need if we're to look for the answer.
Whether this is true or not, perhaps the future will tell. In the meantime, this was an intruging piece to read.
(review of free book)