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Oliver Sacks on Your Inner Fish
Since the 1970 publication of Migraine, neurologist Oliver Sacks's unusual and fascinating case histories of "differently brained" people and phenomena--a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a community of people born totally colorblind, musical hallucinations, to name a few--have been marked by extraordinary compassion and humanity, focusing on the patient as much as the condition. His books include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film), and 2007's Musicophilia. He lives in New York City, where he is Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University.
Fish paleontologist Shubin illuminates the subject of evolution with humor and clarity in this compelling look at how the human body evolved into its present state. Parsing the millennia-old genetic history of the human form is a natural project for Shubin, who chairs the department of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and was co-discoverer of Tiktaalik, a 375-million-year-old fossil fish whose flat skull and limbs, and finger, toe, ankle and wrist bones, provide a link between fish and the earliest land-dwelling creatures. Shubin moves smoothly through the anatomical spectrum, finding ancient precursors to human teeth in a 200-million-year-old fossil of the mouse-size part animal, part reptile tritheledont; he also notes cellular similarities between humans and sponges. Other fossils reveal the origins of our senses, from the eye to that wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption the ear. Shubin excels at explaining the science, making each discovery an adventure, whether it's a Pennsylvania roadcut or a stony outcrop beset by polar bears and howling Arctic winds. I can imagine few things more beautiful or intellectually profound than finding the basis for our humanity... nestled inside some of the most humble creatures that ever lived, he writes, and curious readers are likely to agree. Illus. (Jan. 15)
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Before reading this book, I had certain expectations going in, primarily among them were that I was A) Going to learn some interesting things about evolution and the human body and... Read morePublished 1 day ago by adidab14
The sheer knowledge contained within the pages of this book is incredible, and with every chapter I was being bombarded with new and profound information. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Ryan Taylor
Excellent read. A nice account of Tiktaalik's discovery and impact by the primary investigator, and a fascinating round-up of various bone shape and function changes in the... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Stephen Kives
Great book. Terrific writer that tackles a very dense subject, but makes it fun, interesting and a pleasure to read.Published 28 days ago by william myers
This book will do an excellent job at persuading creationists that evolution is real without being combative or even using persuasive language. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeffrey Eldred