Loved it! Dawkins' enthusiasm about nature is contagious. I can't wait to read more about evolutionary biology.
He takes us in a journey back through time, following humans as they meet up with various other species when they reach a common ancestor on the way back. This means an even expanding group of species marching in step as we travel back and back....
Along the way he stops to tell tales about various creatures which seek to highlight the nature of evolution, to educate on particular amazing aspects of species developed through evolution, to speculate on possible theories to unresolved questions, and to put forth his stance on various point in biology and on larger social or religious issues....Continua
Unfortunalely I bought the kindle version of this book, which is as good as all other Dawkins' books.
This was the first Dawkins book I read, and what a pleasant surprise it was! I'm not really a regular reader of popular biology, so the gift book waited on my shelf for a few months before I braved it. Quickly I discovered that Dawkins does not just write with scientific authority, but also with a colorful, flowing narrative that is very readable.
In The Ancestor's Tale, Dawkins takes a fresh approach to tell the story of evolution. His conceit is to model the book on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: The story starts with a lone traveller, Homo Sapiens, travelling back into his ancestral history to meet his ancestors. As the pilgrims move closer towards their destination, the origin of all life on Earth, more and more companions join them, each with her own story to tell.
Dawkins starts the book with a short logical proof that demonstrates firstly that any two living humans must share a common human ancestor. He then extends this idea to show that any two living species must share a common ancestor species. This tree of ancestors forms the road network along which the tale's characters travel back in time.
The Ancestor's Tale is an excellent introduction to modern evolutionary theory, and written in a very accessible way. I finished this book with a new wonder at the world around me....Continua
This guy comes across as an arrogant prick. But boy can he write! This very original approach does two things
1) he covers the development of life backwards from humans to the simplest of cells.
2) he introduces genetic and evolutionary techniques to show how the links between the major groups of living things are established.
Leave yourself plenty of time to read it - however, it will be worth it if you persist.
Marvellous, full-on overview of the emergence of life. Gets better and better the further back it goes, and its expositions on the wonders of bacteria and archaea is something marvellous.