The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
Okay, I might have to grant people the "elitist" bit, because, well, I'm a bit of an elitist myself. But I dare you all to read this book and then tell me that Dawkins isn't a total squishy.
Let's just say this - he stops in the middle of the book to talk about how much he misses Douglas Adams, who was a dear friend of his. He waxes poetic about evolution and how much he wishes he could meet our...more
Pre-eminent among these to me, for sheer mind-expanding awe, is the fact that life on this planet has developed precisely once, as far as we know, and everything on earth has evolved from it. That means...more
Often I agree with Dawkins' views on creationists, but usually he's an obnoxious ass about it. Thankfully, in this book he only disses them occasionally. For most of the book he sticks to his strengths, i.e., clear and exciting explanations of the beautiful yet structured diversity of the natural world.
Lots of nifty thoughts about how evolution works and how mind-shatteringly cool life is. There's an interesting...more
By tracing our lineage back through these various “concestors” Dawkins mak...more
Dawkins' knowledge of zoology shines as he gives examples of the fascinating animals that share some of our genes. Readers will undoubtedly learn about plants and animals they had never heard...more
Dawkins is a seductive writer... I would recommend always reading somethin...more
An interesting factoid that never occurred to me, for instance: if we'd ever manage to burn all the fossil fuels and other biomass that did not get fully decomposed and recycled, we would no longer have an oxygen atmosphere, but revert to the reducing carbon-dioxid...more
Throughout his tales Dawkins exposes the attempts to coexist between cousins in an ever changing habitat. As it turns out, these involuntary attempts sometimes succeed, resulting in complex symbiotic relationships, and sometimes th...more
Clearly, anywhere; for as lon...more
In The Ancestor's Tale, Dawkins offers a masterwork: an exhilarating reverse tour through evolution, from present day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life four billions years ago. Throughout the journey Dawkins spins entertaining, insightful stories and sheds light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection, and extinction. The Ancestor's Tale is at once an essential education in evolutionary theory and a riveting read. Washington Post Book World: "As full and clear a picture of t...more