From Scientific AmericanIn this expansive book, Dawkins, the well-known evolutionary biologist and author (The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, A Devil’s Chaplain, among others), gives us an eloquent treatise on evolution, ne-glecting neither the latest developments nor his own provocative views. As the title suggests, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales provides the model for the book’s conceit–a pilgrimage back through four billion years of life on earth. We join with other organisms at rendezvous points where we find common ancestors, until we arrive at the “grand ancestor of all surviving life.” As Dawkins explains: “Backward chronology in search of ancestors really can sensibly aim towards a single distant target … and we can’t help converging upon it no matter where we start–elephant or eagle, swift or salmonella, wellingtonia or woman…. Instead of treating evolution as aimed toward us, we choose modern Homo sapiens as our arbitrary, but forgivably preferred, starting point for a reverse chronology…. Following Chaucer’s lead, my pilgrims, which are all the different species of living creatures, will have the opportunity to tell tales along the way to their Canterbury, which is the origin of life. It is these tales that form the main substance of this book.” About the AuthorRichard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist renowned throughout the world. He was educated at Oxford where he did his doctorate under the nobel-prize winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen. From 1967-1969 he was an Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkley. Since 1995 he has been Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His books rank among the most influential intellectual works of our time. Enjoy!
Richard Dawkins – The Ancestor’s Tale
The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins
[Audiobook – 18MP3s]
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