Lynne A. Isbell


On her book The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well

Cover Interview of August 06, 2009


If I were to be granted one wish arising from The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent, it would be for readers to begin to see life a little differently.  Some might understand deep time and evolution better.  Others might appreciate more what our wonderful brains can do.  Some might realize that they have greater control over themselves than they thought.  Some might learn just how close is our biological connection with other mammals.  Some might replenish their awe for life and the world that supports it all.  Some might even begin to like snakes more.  Some might be inspired to test the predictions presented in the book.  Some might combine their talents to form interdisciplinary collaborations to conduct the tests.

I would love to see the Snake Detection theory more thoroughly tested than I have been able to do.  That is the only way to determine if it will have lasting scientific merit.  Right now, the Snake Detection theory is just at the stage that the theory of evolution by natural selection was at the time Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

We have continued to test Darwin’s theory, and each test seems to make it stronger.  I don’t know if the Snake Detection theory will have similar success.  I would like it to, of course.  But even if it doesn’t, that’s okay.  In the process of finding out, we will gain greater understanding of who we’ve been, who we are, and our place in the world, both as the world has changed over the millions of years that it’s been our home and as it changes so rapidly now.

© 2009 Lynne Isbell