The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

4.5 16
by Sean B. Carroll
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393330516

ISBN-13: 9780393330519

Pub. Date: 09/10/2007

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

DNA evidence not only solves crimes—in Sean Carroll's hands it will now end the Evolution Wars.
DNA, the genetic blueprint of all creatures, is a stunningly rich and detailed record of evolution. Every change or new trait, from the gaudy colors of tropical birds to our color vision with which we admire them, is due to changes in DNA that leave a record and

Overview

DNA evidence not only solves crimes—in Sean Carroll's hands it will now end the Evolution Wars.
DNA, the genetic blueprint of all creatures, is a stunningly rich and detailed record of evolution. Every change or new trait, from the gaudy colors of tropical birds to our color vision with which we admire them, is due to changes in DNA that leave a record and can be traced. Just as importantly, the DNA evidence has revealed several profound surprises about how evolution actually works.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393330519
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/10/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
148,338
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Preface: Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt     13
Introduction: The Bloodless Fish of Bouvet Island     19
The Everyday Math of Evolution: Chance, Selection, and Time     41
Immortal Genes: Running in Place for Eons     69
Making the New from the Old     91
Fossil Genes: Broken Pieces of Yesterday's Life     117
Deja Vu: How and Why Evolution Repeats Itself     139
Our Flesh and Blood: Arms Races, the Human Race, and Natural Selection     153
The Making and Evolution of Complexity     189
Seeing and Believing     215
The Palm Trees of Wyoming     249
Sources and Further Reading     269
Acknowledgments     285
Index     287

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The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
CatoTheEldest More than 1 year ago
Carroll is understandably touchy about creationism, or intelligent design or whatever other euphemism is in fashion now. This book, read in tandem with "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", throws one monkey wrench after another into faith-based dogma. Not with a leer and a sneer as other noted scholars do. But with information and logic. I was already very familiar with Stephen J. Gould's collection of works, but these two books take the "macro-paleo" of those older works in a new and very illuminating direction: down into the DNA and the gene. Into the mechanics of evolution at the scale of the cell. In exquisite detail, Carroll builds up the apparatus of DNA, the layers of genetic functions, the cascade that actually generates species, and does it clearly and beautifully, without the stuffy academic tones common to this genre of books. Carroll isn't as graceful a writer as some, but the depth and detail of his insights will make you forget that.
gadfly1974 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Carroll is a well-respected biologist and a contemporary Darwin scholar. He shares his original insights and connects them to the latest research in evolutionary biology. The book will anger some conservative Christians. It will also frustrate many chiropractors, and well as the occasional Soviet communist. The tone is a bit arrogant, but the explanations of the DNA record are clear and accessible for anyone with a knowledge of high school biology and genetics. The story moves more briskly and clearly than I thought possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the evidence behind Darwinian evolution, you need to read this book. I particularly enjoyed reading about the ice fish, an animal completely free of red blood cells. You’ll find a favorite anecdote or two as well. I give it my highest recommendation!
leonardevens More than 1 year ago
An excellent introduction to how DNA is used to derive the history of evolution of species. The exposition is clear, and th author makes understandable some potentially difficult material. I strongly recommend this book.
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
Carroll does an excellent job of introducing basic genetics, animal development, and evolution by highlighting particular organisms and the history of their discovery and study. If you feel lost in evolution, this book is a good place to start, complete with suggested readings. This book was the basis for a Nova special on PBS as well. His final chapter explains the implications of the evolutionary process as humans have taken on a significant selective role and puts into perspective the jeopardy we play with life.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When asked by friends to suggest a book about evolution/science or to identify my favorite book, this is the book I tell them about.
DaisyMayAO More than 1 year ago
This book does a fantastic job of giving evidence for evolution while not shoving a liberal agenda down your throat. The example are fascinating and makes you look at the world in a brand new way. I even had my high school biology students read this as their honors project!