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SKU: 9780670095100

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  • Pub Date : Feb – 2022
  • Author : Prosanta Chakrabarty
  • Publisher : Allen Lane
  • Category : Non-fiction
  • Binding Type : Hardback
  • Price : 599
  • ISBN : 9780670095100


Why do we need to understand the history of life? And, why through

We need to know as this understanding not only tells us where we came
from, but also who we are. As humans we tend to see the differences
between us, no matter how small, but we are all more similar than many
are willing to believe.

As more and more people take ancestry tests, sending their spit and
money to 23andMe and other genealogy testing centers, we need to be
educated on what the results actually mean scientifically; and we all have
to decide together what it means socially. Many of us are coming to learn
that gender, race, sex and sexuality are things that are on a spectrum,
but for much of our modern existence we've forced them into a few
arbitrary, usually binary, categories. We wanted to chop up a rainbow
into separate pieces when instead we should be celebrating the fact that
all that diversity comes from the same little drops ofwater and sunlight,
each just shining a little differently. Like all species, we are defined by our
differences as much as by our similarities.

In this book, Prosanta asks us to think of life as being this book, an
unfinished book for sure. We're just seeing the last few pages of each
chapter. If we look out on the eight million species that we share this
planet with, think of them all being four billion years of evolution. They're
all the product of that. Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and
gigantic tree of life, all of us connected by invisible branches not just to
each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.
As a biologist, he says, 'I'm still trying to learn, with others, how
everyone's related to each other, who is related to whom.'


Prosanta Chakrabarty is one most eminent ichthyologists in the world.
He teaches Evolution to undergraduates and the general public, and to
keep them engaged he has learnt that a big textbook and equations
won't cut it. With this book he has made an attempt to write a fun but
straightforward explanation of what evolution is, and what it isn't - and
why it still matters today.

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