Monday, 14 July 2008

The Ancestor's Tale

The Ancestor's Tale: a pilgrimage to the dawn of evolution
by Richard Dawkins, Yan Wong

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By Richard Dawkins, YanWong
Contributor Yan Wong
Published 2004
Mariner Books
Evolution (Biology)/ Philosophy
673 pages

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Renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views. Loosely based on the form of Chaucer"s Canterbury Tales, Dawkins"s Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on earth. As our pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the very first primordial organism. Dawkins"s brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel way. It also lets him shed bright new light on the most compelling aspects of evolutionary history and theory: sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical dispersal, and more. The Ancestor"s Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of all living things.

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