Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

Book details

  • File Size: 22 MB
  • Format: epub
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 19, 2020)
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2020
  • Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07ZWCS78G

The author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish gives us a brilliant, up-to-date account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth.

Over billions of years, fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and ape-like primates changed into humans who walk on two legs, talk and write.

This is a story full of surprises. If you think that feathers arose to help animals fly, or lungs to help them walk on land, you’d be in good company. You’d also be entirely wrong.

Neil Shubin delves deep into the mystery of life, the ongoing revolutions in our understanding of how we got here, and brings us closer to answering one of the great questions – was life on earth inevitable…or was it all an accident?

Reviews:

“An engaging, must-read for anyone with an interest in evolution.”–Library Journal (starred review)

“A rollicking ride . . . It’s light of touch, anecdote-rich and funny . . . satisfyingly informative . . . Fossils, DNA, scientists with a penchant for suits of armour–what’s not to love?”– BBC Wildlife Magazine

“Another winner from Dr. Shubin, who skillfully and thoughtfully steers us through the incredibly fascinating world of DNA and fossils. Dr. Shubin’s clear and engaging writing rewards us with a deeper understanding of how all life on our planet is interconnected. Steeped in the paradigm of evolutionary theory, he inspires us to think more deeply about our connectedness with the natural world. Charles Darwin would applaud Dr. Shubin’s clear explanations and insightful rendering of the incontrovertible evidence for the evolution of all life on planet Earth.”–Donald Johanson, director, Institute of Human Origins; discoverer of “Lucy”

“Neil Shubin has been one of my favorite science communicators ever since I took his undergraduate anatomy course. In this ambitious and readable book, Shubin blends his own research, epic tales from the history of science, and the latest discoveries in paleontology and genetics to tackle some of the biggest mysteries of evolution. This is an engrossing account from a scientific storyteller at the height of his talents.”–Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh paleontologist and author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

“Shubin is a brilliant scientist storyteller–an eloquent narrator, who draws you into his rich, evolving world of walking fish and mutant flies, prehistoric birds and precocious biologists. Part adventure, part mystery, with twists and turns you couldn’t make up if you tried, Some Assembly Required is an irresistible read!”–Robert M. Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science, and author of Symphony in C

“Through tales of remarkable creatures, and some even more remarkable people who study them, Neil Shubin unravels the mystery at the heart of evolution–how nature invents. From bacteria to brains, fish lungs to ballistic salamander tongues, Shubin decodes the surprising origins of the marvelous gadgets that have driven the riot of life’s diversity.”–Sean B. Carroll, author of The Serengeti Rules and Brave Genius

“He has done it again. Shubin gives us an insightful, fun, and authoritative look at the big story of life and its major transformations. In Some Assembly Required, one encounters curious scientists, surprising histories and a clear sense of the ways in which a diversity of scientific perspectives provides a richer view of life than could any one perspective on its own. This terrific book is new and exciting enough to engage a biology professor (Rob) and clear and engaging enough to fascinate a high school student (Olivia). We couldn’t put it down (or rather, one of us would put it down for a minute only to have the other pick it up).”–Prof. Rob Dunn, author of Never Home Alone and Olivia Sanchez Dunn, high school student

“Enjoyable . . . Eloquent . . . This superb primer brings the intellectual excitement of the scientific endeavor to life in a way that both educates and entertains.”–Publishers Weekly (starred)

“A welcome new exploration of the evolution of human and animal life on Earth . . . Shubin explores it with his characteristic enthusiasm and clarity . . . A fascinating wild ride.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Exhilarating . . . [Shubin] is one of the best.”–Booklist (starred)

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