Some Assembly Required

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

by Neil Shubin

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781101871331
  • 9781101871348
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 can help to determine whether our presence here is accidental or inevitable.

Over billions of years, ancient fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and ape-like 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 changes such as these have happened. We have now arrived at a remarkable moment--archaic 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.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781101871331
  • 9781101871348

In The Press

“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

"Enjoyable . . .  Eloquent . . . This superb primer brings the intellectual excitement of the scientific endeavor to life in a way that both educates and entertains.—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“A welcome new exploration of the evolution of human and animal life on Earth . . . Shubin explores it with his characteristic enthusiasm and clarity . . . A fascinating wild ride.”Kirkus Reviews (starred)


About The Author

NEIL SHUBIN is the author of Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within. He is the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago and Associate Dean of Biological Sciences. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. He lives in Chicago.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781101871331
  • 9781101871348