The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People

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Pantheon Books, 2013 - Science - 225 pages
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**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?

In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human bodies—our hands, heads, and jaws—and the structures in fish and worms that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. In The Universe Within, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, Shubin takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we look the way we do. Starting once again with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe's fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies.

WITH BLACK-AND-WHITE LINE DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT

 

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Contents

Two Blasts from the Past
15
Five The Ascent of Big
80
six Connecting the Dots
98
SEVEN Kings of the Hill
120
EIGHT Fevers and Chills
140
NINE Cold Facts
157
TEN Mothers of Invention
179
Further Reading and Notes
191
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About the author (2013)

Neil Shubin is the author of the best-selling Your Inner Fish, which was chosen by the National Academy of Sciences as the best book of the year in 2009. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, Shubin is associate dean of biological sciences at the University of Chicago. In 2011 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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