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

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One of the most brilliant scientists of our age gives us his definitive work: a synthesis of his comprehensive vision of life. THE ANCESTOR'S TALE is a pilgrimage back through time; a journey on which we meet up with fellow pilgrims as we and they converge on our common ancestors. Chimpanzees join us at about 6 million years in the past, orang utans at 14 million years, as we stride on together, a growing band. The journey provides the setting for a collection of some 40 tales. Each explores an aspect of evolutionary biology through the stories of characters met along the way. The tales are interspersed with prologues detailing the journey, route maps showing joining lineages, and life-like reconstructions of our common ancestors. THE ANCESTOR'S TALE represents a pilgrimage on an unimaginable scale: our goal is four billion years away, and the number of pilgrims joining us grows vast - ultimately encompassing all living creatures. At the end of the journey lies something remarkable in its simplicity and transformative power: the first, humble, replicating molecules.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 52mm | 598.74g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 65
  • 0753819961
  • 9780753819968
  • 8,616

Review quote

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 -- Matt Ridley Guardian THE ANCESTOR'S TALE achieves the almost impossible: it makes biology interesting again -- Steve Jones One of the richest accounts of evolution ever written Financial Times 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 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 -- Robert Hanks Daily Telegraph ...Dawkins is unequalled in his ability to express complex ideas in layman's terms without sounding patronising. -- Simon Shaw MAIL ON SUNDAY more readable than almost anyone else, a master of liquid-clear prose and revleatory pearls of insight. -- David Smith THE OBSERVER

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About Yan Wong

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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