The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Science - 673 pages
314 Reviews
The 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 our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "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 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 life on Earth. Here Dawkins shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.
  

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Amazingly written and easy to read. - Goodreads
The ladies at the reference desk are evil. - Goodreads
Dawkins is a very capable writer. - Goodreads
Heavy reading, but very educational. - Goodreads
BIG book, dense prose. - Goodreads
The basic premise is simple. - Goodreads

Review: The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

User Review  - Alisia - Goodreads

Finally!! I think I spent more time with this book than any other in recent years...a solid six weeks. That's not to say it was boring or hard to get through, quite the opposite. I enjoyed slowly ... Read full review

Review: The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution

User Review  - Jason - Goodreads

I thought he made some very interesting points, though much of the information in this book were things that I had already been exposed to elsewhere. His presentation of the material was in a way that was refreshing and accessible to a wider audience. Enjoyable read. Read full review

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Contents

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About the author (2005)

Richard Dawkins taught zoology at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position he has held since 1995. Among his previous books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and A Devil's Chaplain. Dawkins lives in Oxford with his wife, the actress and artist Lalla Ward.

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