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
Pubpsher: 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
Grand Winner of the 2014 Nautilus Book Awards Thoughtful observers agree that the planetary crisis we now face-climate change; species extinction; the destruction of entire ecosystems; the urgent need for a more just economic-political order-is pushing human civilization to a radical turning point: change or perish. But precisely how to change remains an open question. In Earth-honoring Faith, Larry Rasmussen answers that question with a dramatically new way of thinking about human society, ethics, and the ongoing health of our planet. Rejecting the modern assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Rasmussen insists that we must derive a spiritual and ecological ethic that accounts for the well-being of all creation, as well as the primal elements upon which it depends: earth, air, fire, water, and sunlight. He argues that good science, necessary as it is, will not be enough to inspire fundamental change. We must draw on religious resources as well to make the difficult transition from an industrial-technological age obsessed with consumption to an ecological age that restores wise stewardship of all life. Earth-honoring Faith advocates an alliance of spirituality and ecology, in which the material requirements for planetary life are reconciled with deep traditions of spirituality across religions, traditions that include mysticism, sacramentalism, prophetic practices, asceticism, and the cultivation of wisdom. It is these shared spiritual practices that can produce a chorus of world faiths to counter the consumerism, utilitarianism, alienation, oppression, and folly that have pushed us to the brink. Written with passionate commitment and deep insight, Earth-honoring Faith reminds us that we must live in the present with the knowledge that the eyes of future generations will look back at us.
Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA
Author: Neil Shubin
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.
A group of traders huddles around a pile of dried shark fins on a gleaming white floor in Hong Kong. A Papua New Guinean elder shoves off in his hand-carved canoe, ready to summon a shark with ancient magic. A scientist finds a rare shark in Indonesia and forges a deal with villagers so it and other species can survive. In this eye-opening adventure that spans the globe, Juliet Eilperin investigates the fascinating ways different individuals and cultures relate to the ocean’s top predator. Along the way, she reminds us why, after millions of years, sharks remain among nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures. From Belize to South Africa, from Shanghai to Bimini, we see that sharks are still the object of an obsession that may eventually lead to their extinction. This is why movie stars and professional athletes go shark hunting in Miami and why shark’s fin soup remains a coveted status symbol in China. Yet we also see glimpses of how people and sharks can exist alongside one another: surfers tolerating their presence off Cape Town and ecotourists swimming with sharks that locals in the Yucatán no longer have to hunt. With a reporter’s instinct for a good story and a scientist’s curiosity, Eilperin offers us an up-close understanding of these extraordinary, mysterious creatures in the most entertaining and illuminating shark encounter you’re likely to find outside a steel cage.
The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism
Author: Jack Fuller
Pubpsher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Across America, newspapers that have defined their cities for over a century are rapidly failing, their circulations plummeting even as opinion-soaked web outlets like the Huffington Post thrive. Meanwhile, nightly news programs shock viewers with stories of horrific crime and celebrity scandal, while the smug sarcasm and shouting of pundits like Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann dominate cable television. Is it any wonder that young people are turning away from the news entirely, trusting comedians like Jon Stewart as their primary source of information on current events? In the face of all the problems plaguing serious news, What Is Happening to News explores the crucial question of how journalism lost its way—and who is responsible for the ragged retreat from its great traditions. Veteran editor and newspaperman Jack Fuller locates the surprising sources of change where no one has thought to look before: in the collision between a revolutionary new information age and a human brain that is still wired for the threats faced by our prehistoric ancestors. Drawing on the dramatic recent discoveries of neuroscience, Fuller explains why the information overload of contemporary life makes us dramatically more receptive to sensational news, while rendering the staid, objective voice of standard journalism ineffective. Throw in a growing distrust of experts and authority, ably capitalized on by blogs and other interactive media, and the result is a toxic mix that threatens to prove fatal to journalism as we know it. For every reader troubled by what has become of news—and worried about what the future may hold—What Is Happening to News not only offers unprecedented insight into the causes of change but also clear guidance, strongly rooted in the precepts of ethical journalism, on how journalists can adapt to this new environment while still providing the information necessary to a functioning democracy.
Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution
Author: Donald R. Prothero
Pubpsher: Columbia University Press
Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite, Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "fishibian" Tiktaalik; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half-Shell"; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; the gigantic hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We meet the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and learn about the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we find out where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, this book makes a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution of life on Earth.
The laugh out loud romantic comedy with a twist for fans of Nick Hornby
Author: Danny Wallace
Pubpsher: Random House
A heartwarming everyday tale of boy stalks girl... My name is Jason – and I have just met the most incredible woman, on Charlotte Street. Well, I say 'met'. I sort of held her bags for a second. But she smiled at me! And it was this amazing smile. Of course, I don't know her name, or anything about her at all. But I do happen to have something of hers. She left behind one of those old-school disposable cameras. I’ve got it. It’s here in front of me. So there are two things I could now do: I could develop the photos. See her again, see her life. Maybe work out a way of finding her. Find that smile. Or I could chuck it in a bin like a grown-up. I’m fairly sure one of those ideas is a good one. I’m fairly sure the other might be illegal. Look, if you were me... what would you do? A heartwarming, laugh out loud novel perfect for fans of David Nicholls and Nicky Hornby from the bestselling author of Yes Man ***** Praise for Charlotte Street: 'One of this year's coolest must-reads' Stylist 'Fully of funny observations' Heat 'A brilliantly funny boy meets girl story' Mail on Sunday 'An unmissable read which will have you laughing out loud and melt your heart, all at once' Cosmopolitan