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Some Assembly Required: Book summary and reviews of Some Assembly Required by Neil Shubin

Some Assembly Required

Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

by Neil Shubin

Some Assembly Required by Neil Shubin X
Some Assembly Required by Neil Shubin
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About this book

Book Summary

The author of the best-selling Your Inner Fish gives us a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth--a new view of the evolution of human and animal life that explains how the incredible diversity of life on our planet came to be.

Over billions of years, ancient fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and apelike primates evolved into humans that walk on two legs, talk, and write. For more than a century, paleontologists have traveled the globe to find fossils that show how such changes have happened.

We have now arrived at a remarkable moment—prehistoric fossils coupled with new DNA technology have given us the tools to answer some of the basic questions of our existence: How do big changes in evolution happen? Is our presence on Earth the product of mere chance? This new science reveals a multibillion-year evolutionary history filled with twists and turns, trial and error, accident and invention.

In Some Assembly Required, Neil Shubin takes readers on a journey of discovery spanning centuries, as explorers and scientists seek to understand the origins of life's immense diversity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Making complex scientific ideas both accessible to and enjoyable for the general public is a rare skill, but one that Shubin, a University of Chicago biology professor, has mastered...This superb primer brings the intellectual excitement of the scientific endeavor to life in a way that both educates and entertains." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A fascinating wild ride through the mechanics of evolution." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"An engaging, must-read for anyone with an interest in evolution." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Another winner from Dr. Shubin, who skillfully and thoughtfully steers us through the incredibly fascinating world of DNA and fossils. Dr. Shubin's clear and engaging writing rewards us with a deeper understanding of how all life on our planet is interconnected. Steeped in the paradigm of evolutionary theory, he inspires us to think more deeply about our connectedness with the natural world. Charles Darwin would applaud Dr. Shubin's clear explanations and insightful rendering of the incontrovertible evidence for the evolution of all life on planet Earth." - Donald Johanson, director, Institute of Human Origins; discoverer of "Lucy"

"Neil Shubin has been one of my favorite science communicators ever since I took his undergraduate anatomy course. In this ambitious and readable book, Shubin blends his own research, epic tales from the history of science, and the latest discoveries in paleontology and genetics to tackle some of the biggest mysteries of evolution. This is an engrossing account from a scientific storyteller at the height of his talents." - Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh paleontologist and author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

"Shubin is a brilliant scientist storyteller—an eloquent narrator, who draws you into his rich, evolving world of walking fish and mutant flies, prehistoric birds and precocious biologists. Part adventure, part mystery, with twists and turns you couldn't make up if you tried, Some Assembly Required is an irresistible read!" - Robert M. Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science, and author of Symphony in C

The information about Some Assembly Required shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Neil Shubin Author Biography

Photo: John Weinstein

Neil Shubin is the author of two popular science books, The Universe Within (2013) and the best-selling Your Inner Fish (2008), 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 the Robert Bensley Distinguished Service Professor and Associate Dean of Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago. In 2011 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Link to Neil Shubin's Website

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