- Series: Science Masters Series
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (August 22, 1996)
- ISBN-10: 0465069908
- ASIN: B0027VSZTS
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 85 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,331,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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River Out Of Eden: A Darwinian View Of Life (Science Masters Series)
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Nearly a century and a half after Charles Darwin formulated it, the theory of evolution is still the subject of considerable debate. Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins is among Darwin's chief defenders, and an able one indeed-- witty, literate, capable of turning a beautiful phrase. In River Out of Eden he introduces general readers to some fairly abstract problems in evolutionary biology, gently guiding us through the tangles of mitochondrial DNA and the survival-of-the- fittest ethos. (Superheroes need not apply: Dawkins writes, "The genes that survive . . . will be the ones that are good at surviving in the average environment of the species.") Dawkins argues for the essential unity of humanity, noting that "we are much closer cousins of one another than we normally realize, and we have many fewer ancestors than simple calculations suggest."
"An excellent introduction to many important evolutionary ideas." -- --Nature
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I have read many of Dawkins' books and articles and this is a winner! If you're interested in learning exactly what Dawkins means by "The Selfish Gene" or the DNA river - this is the read & it's a quickie! The concepts are not as difficult in this book as in many others. Rather, it's a layman's explanation of our beginnings from the replication bombs in space to the biological zygote (or previous bacteria) and on to our own technological replication bombs. Now, I get why he was lead to the next step: memes.
A fun read about the river of DNA that flows in all of us! And, it was particularly interesting to learn about Mitochondrial eve and the importance of the female line as it is always a pure line (no mixing of DNA there!), making it much easier for scientists to study.