A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Author: Neil Shubin
Neil Shubin, the paleontologist and professor of anatomy who co-discovered Tiktaalik, the “fish with hands,” tells the story of our bodies as you've never heard it before. The basis for the PBS series. By examining fossils and DNA, he shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genomes look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Your Inner Fish makes us look at ourselves and our world in an illuminating new light. This is science writing at its finest—enlightening, accessible and told with irresistible enthusiasm.
The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor
Author: Neil Shubin
Publisher: Penguin UK
Your Inner Fish tells the extraordinary history of the human body and gives answers to some of the questions that only evolution can. Why do we look the way we do? Why are we able to do all the different things we do? And, finally, why do we fall ill in the way that we do? Neil Shubin draws on the latest genetic research and his huge experience as an expeditionary paleontologist to show the incredible impact the 3.5 billion year history of life has had on our bodies. He takes readers on a fascinating, unexpected journey and allows us to discover the deep connection to nature in our own bodies.
ABOUT THE BOOK In Your Inner Fish, Shubin attempts to explore the intersections of evolutionary biology and modern human anatomy. On his faculty page on the University of Chicago website, Neil Shubin writes: The philosophy that underlies all of my empirical work is derived from the conviction that progress in the study of evolutionary biology results from linking research across diverse temporal, phylogenetic, and structural scales. Writing in a friendly, accessible way, Shubin explains the various historical records that are encoded in the human body, from the structures of our eyes to the sequencing of our genes. MEET THE AUTHOR Nicole Cipri is a restless wanderer and passionate writer. A graduate of the Evergreen State School in Olympia, WA, Nicole has since written about such varied topics as modern urban farming, the role of glitterbombing as political theater, and the economic impacts of natural disasters. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK The book begins with Shubins first encounters with his own inner fish. He tells us about his expeditions to the far north in Canada, to Ellesmere Island, where he and his team of paleontologists and fossil finders scoured the rocks to try and find a transitional fossil from the time that the first animals were venturing onto land. The discovery of Tiktaalik Roseae is inarguably a transitional species, an intermediate between fish and the first land-walking tetrapods. In this and in other species, scientists have been able to trace the twisting path of our own anatomys evolution. In Tiktaalik, we are able to see the beginning of our limbs, from the muscles in our shoulders and chest to the bones of our wrists. Shubin traces our connections to animals past and present. Each chapter is devoted to a different part of the body: our hands, facial nerves, teeth inner ear, eyes, brain, olfactory sense. He gives us personal anecdotes as well. He describes his career, from how he first learned to find fossils, to his teams accidental uncovering of a tritheledont fossil, to the long search that led to finding Tiktaalik. CHAPTER OUTLINE Quicklet on Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish + About the Book + About the Author + Overall Summary + Chapter-by-Chapter Summary & Analysis + ...and much more Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish
Neil Shubin, a leading paleontologist and professor of anatomy who discovered Tiktaalik--the "missing link" that made headlines around the world in April 2006--tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Shubin shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria.
Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA
Author: Neil Shubin
An exciting and accessible new view of the evolution of human and animal life on Earth. From the author of national bestseller, Your Inner Fish, this extraordinary journey of discovery spans centuries, as explorers and scientists seek to understand the origins of life's immense diversity. “Fossils, DNA, scientists with a penchant for suits of armor—what’s not to love?”—BBC Wildlife Magazine 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.
**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
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 46-page guide for "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 11 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Interrelatedness of All Living Creatures and Repurposing Organs for New Functions.
Divided into four parts-Earth, Air, Fire, and Water-this book takes an elemental approach to the study of religion and ecology. It reflects recent theoretical and methodological developments in this field which seek to understand the ways that ideas and matter, minds and bodies exist together within an immanent frame of reference. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Nature focuses on how these matters materialize in the world around us, thereby addressing key topics in this area of study. The editors provide an extensive introduction to the book, as well as useful introductions to each of its parts. The volume's international contributors are drawn from the USA, South Africa, Netherlands, Norway, Indonesia, and South Korea, and offer a variety of perspectives, voices, cultural settings, and geographical locales. This handbook shows that human concern and engagement with material existence is present in all sectors of the global community, regardless of religious tradition. It challenges the traditional methodological approach of comparative religion, and argues that globalization renders a comparative religious approach to the environment insufficient.
In The Universe Within, Neil Shubin, one of the world's leading experts, reveals to us the extraordinary cosmic and evolutionary adventure of our own bodies. During the past 13.7 billion years (or so) since the Big Bang, our universe has evolved, stars have formed and died and our planet congealed from the matter in space. For aeons, the earth has circled the sun while mountains, seas and entire continents have come and gone. Against this epic backdrop, humanity's place in the cosmos can look tiny and insignificant. But as Neil Shubin shows in this revelatory new book, the one place where universe, solar system and planet merge is inside your body. Shubin shows how the origin of the Moon is tied to our internal body clocks; how the vast amounts of water on Earth and inside all living creatures crossed the deepest stretches of space to us; how strange fluctuations in the orbits within our solar system have led to our irregular ice-ages; and how tiny imbalances in the chaos immediately after the Big Bang can explain why matter exists at all. Delving below the earth's surface and into the frozen Arctic, exploring the smallest atomic structures and the vast reaches of space, Neil Shubin uncovers a sublimely beautiful, almost magical truth: that in every one of us lies the most profound story of all - how we and our world came to be. 'Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher ... a science writer of the first rank', Oliver Sacks Neil Shubin is a palaeontologist in the great tradition of his mentors, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. He has discovered fossils around the world that have changed the way we think about many of the key transitions in evolution and has pioneered a new synthesis of expeditionary palaeontology, developmental genetics and genomics. He trained at Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley and is currently a Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. His previous book is Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor.