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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004 - Science - 673 pages
307 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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3 stars
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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
An educational book about the common origins of life. - 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  - Raisinlove - Goodreads

A must read! Read full review

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

User Review  - Paul Krug - Goodreads

The most fascinating book on evolution I have read (and there have been more than a few). Read full review

Contents

II
12
III
26
IV
27
V
35
VI
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VII
41
VIII
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IX
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LX
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X
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L
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C
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CI
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CII
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CIV
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CIX
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About the author (2004)

Richard Dawkins writes about such topics as DNA and genetic engineering, virtual reality, astronomy, and evolution. Dawkins was educated at Oxford University and taught zoology at the University of California and Oxford University, holding the position of the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. He is a member of the International Academy of Humanism. Dawkins' books include The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, and Climbing Mount Improbable. His book, entitled The God Delusion, shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children. Dawkins supports his points with historical and contemporary evidence. His title An Appetitie for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2013.

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