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Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

Dr. Schubin has truly succeeded in tracing a fun and informative account of human evolution by looking at fossil and extant homologues. Drawing (especially) from paleontology, but also from fields such as molecular genetics, Schubin takes the reader on an introductory ...
Dr. Schubin has truly succeeded in tracing a fun and informative account of human evolution by looking at fossil and extant homologues. Drawing (especially) from paleontology, but also from fields such as molecular genetics, Schubin takes the reader on an introductory ride through vertebrate form, function, and genetics. I would highly recommend this title as a must-have to any person interested in the biological, medical, or paleontological sciences, whether professional or avocational.

posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Evolution at It's Best

This book by Neil Shubin was an easy read, although I was not convinced with the author's opinions of how the human body came to be. Neil Shubin talked about how the human body was related to ancient fish found in fossils. He explores all over the world and shares his ...
This book by Neil Shubin was an easy read, although I was not convinced with the author's opinions of how the human body came to be. Neil Shubin talked about how the human body was related to ancient fish found in fossils. He explores all over the world and shares his findings in this book. This book was an easy read with great pictures and graphs to explain each thought. The author had definite opinions about how the human form came to be. The author left no room for any religious theory.

-OSU Comp. Student 2009

posted by 1080033 on March 8, 2009

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    evolutionary biology for everyone

    This small-sized book teaches many of the key aspects of evolution by focusing features of you and me, like our hands and eyes and necks, and shows how they developed over the millennia from more ancient critters, not just earlier mammals or vertebrates but all the way back to bacteria. A really fun book to read, and nonetheless solidly accurate and never over-simplifying complex issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You are a Zoo!

    This is a wonderfully written and engaging book which takes one on a paleontologist's journey to undersrtand the human body. The story line of discovery is quite enganging and the writing is basic and accessible to general readers yet makes accurate connections to recent discoveries and work. I highly recommend this book as essential reading for those who have a human body or know any human bodies. For Human Anatomy and Physiology students: it is a great way to quiz yourself!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    The ideal of design is perfection - an object so well put togeth

    The ideal of design is perfection - an object so well put together that the alteration of the slightest detail ruins the overall effect. La Gioconda. More commonly, design can be classified as "organic". A simple concept embellished by contingency. Make do with what you have available. Sometimes contingency can lead to its own beauty - more often it's a mess.
    In this little book, Neil Shubin provides an overview of a number of perspectives by which one can trace the evolutionary history of the human body from the earliest single-cell (despite the title) organism. The author takes us on a somewhat breathless romp through evolutionary anatomy and physiology in what amounts, often, to a textbook update. He opens Your Inner Fish with an excellent description of the frustrations, triumphs, luck and hard work of paleontological field exploration. In the chapters that follow he combines humor and expertise in detailing the evolutionary paths to human appendages, the parallels between anatomy and genetics, between physiology and biochemistry. Along the way he finds time to discuss the evolutionary implications of such diverse topics as hiccups and hernias.
    Like S. J. Gould, Shubin comes up short in making the fundamental connection between architecture and phylogeny. Why not, in the assembly of limbs, 5, many, 2, 1 or even 4, 1, 3, 2 instead of 1, 2, many, 5? Is the order inevitable or accidental? Is ET a cute joke or a reasonable alternative?
    The book could well have been titled "A brief introduction to human comparative anatomy", but that would not have been very sexy. However, "brief" should have been appended to the title, for that would have helped to soften the books major flaw - too much is attempted in too little space, especially when one takes into account a bit too much repetition. The author does redeem himself to some degree with an excellent set of annotated notes that includes a solid selection of additional readings.
    Shubin deserves kudos for taking on such a daunting task and coming up with a fine book that is well worth the read and an excellent starting point for further exploration.
    Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Nice read.

    I would recommend it to anyone who is an environmentalist since it really allows us to see how related we really are to all animals not just chimps.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    What a thought!

    My comments should be received in light of the fact that I'm a self-admitted science nerd. However, this book was liked by my wife also (English degree). Any person curious about the history of life on Earth will find this book fascinating. This fish (Tiktaalik) establishes an anatomical connection between it and goes all the way up the chain to mammals.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Your Inner Fish

    Enjoyed the book. Worth a read for anyone interested in learned about the connection between all animal life forms on the planet.

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