Recent years have seen remarkable discoveries in regards to the mental abilities of dogs, dolphins, crows, elephants and other species not closely related to ourselves. That's changed how researchers think about the evolutionary pressures that foster higher intelligence and, for some, how they think about our place in life's great pecking order. The piece -which ran in the Chronicle Review section -- is freely available online.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.