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The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life

Richard Dawkins, Yan Wong

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Prose: non-fiction, Science: general issues, Biology, life sciences, Evolution

A fully updated edition of one of the most original accounts of evolution ever written, featuring new fractal diagrams, six new 'tales' and the latest scientific developments.

THE ANCESTOR'S TALE is a dazzling, four-billion-year pilgrimage to the origins of life: Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong take us on an exhilarating reverse journey through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life. It is a journey happily interrupted by meetings of fellow modern animals (as well as plants, fungi and bacteria) similarly tracing their evolutionary path back through history. As each evolutionary pilgrim tells their tale, Dawkins and Wong shed light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection and extinction.

Written with unparalleled wit, clarity and intelligence; taking in new scientific discoveries of the past decade; and including new 'tales', illustrations and fractal diagrams, THE ANCESTOR'S TALE shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.

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Praise for The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life

  • In this extraordinary book, Dawkins turns chronicler. He does so with a clever twist that avoids the perennial problem of evolutionary history-telling ... As a contribution to the history of ideas this book is well worthy of Britain's top public intellectual. The arguments are as sharply honed as we have come to expect from Dawkins - Guardian

  • THE ANCESTOR'S TALE achieves the almost impossible: it makes biology interesting again

  • One of the richest accounts of evolution ever written - Financial Times

  • No other book I have read has given me such a dizzyingly immediate sense of the vastness and strangeness of the changes brought about by evolution over the eons, or how intimately all life is bound together ... THE ANCESTOR'S TALE makes you feel you have seen the world in a fresh, exhilarating way - Daily Telegraph

  • Should be given to all young persons starting out on their exploration of the world. It will excite their curiosity and awe and prove to them that the world is inexhaustible in its fascination - Sunday Telegraph

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Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist renowned throughout the world. He was educated at Oxford and taught zoology before becoming the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, in 1995. His previous books rank among the most influential intellectual works of our time. They include THE SELFISH GENE (1976), RIVER OUT OF EDEN (1995), and UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW (1999).

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