Darwin among the Machines

The Evolution of Global Intelligence


By George B. Dyson

Formats and Prices




$19.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $16.99 $19.99 CAD
  2. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 4, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

As timely now as it was when it was first published in 1997, Darwin Among the Machines tells the story of humankind’s long journey into the digital age. Historian of technology George Dyson traces the course of the information revolution, illuminating the lives and work of visionaries — from Thomas Hobbes to John von Neumann — who foresaw the development of artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial mind. Weaving a convincing, occasionally frightening narrative of the evolution of the global network, Dyson explores the limits of Darwinian evolution to suggest what lies ahead. Computer programs and worldwide networks are combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured, he argues. We are living in the midst of an experiment — one that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life. Now in a new paperback edition, this classic work on the emergence of collective mechanical intelligence will resonate for generations to come.


  • Nature
    “An extraordinarily exciting, intriguing and very idiosyncratic book.... An almost perfect example of the effective literary treatment of scientific subjects.”

    Los Angeles Times
    “An original, creative work of intellectual history.”
    “A cogent, succinct history of thinkers and thinking that paved the way, occasionally unwittingly, to today's technology.”

On Sale
Sep 4, 2012
Page Count
304 pages
Basic Books

George B. Dyson

About the Author

George B. Dyson is a historian of science and the author of Turing’s Cathedral, Baidarka, and Project Orion. A boat designer and builder, he lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Learn more about this author