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

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

Paperback Phoenix

By (author) Richard Dawkins

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  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 52mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753819961
  • ISBN 13: 9780753819968
  • Illustrations note: 65
  • Sales rank: 10,533

Product description

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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Author information

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).

Review quote

...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