Why can identical twins develop different diseases like schizophrenia? Why are tortoiseshell cats always female? Why was Audrey Hepburn so delicately beautiful? Why do we age, develop disease or become addicted to drugs?
Colin Tudge travels from his own back garden round the world to explore the beauty, variety and ingenuity of trees everywhere: from how they live so long to how they talk to each other and why they came to exist in the first place. Lyrical and evocative, this book will make everyone fall in love with the trees around them.
The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counter-attack on creationists, followers of ‘Intelligent Design’ and all those who still question evolution as scientific fact. In this brilliant tour de force Richard Dawkins pulls together the incontrovertible evidence that underpins it: from living examples of natura selecetion to clues in the fossil record; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.
Easily the most influential book published in the nineteenth century, Darwin’s The Origin of Species is also that most unusual phenomenon, an altogether readable discussion of a scientific subject. On its appearance in 1859 it was immediately recognized by enthusiasts and detractors alike as a work of the greatest importance: its revolutionary theory of evolution by means of natural selection provoked a furious reaction that continues to this day.
The Origin of Species is here published together with Darwin’s earlier Voyage of the ‘Beagle’. This 1839 account of the journeys to South America and the Pacific islands that first put Darwin on the track of his remarkable theories derives an added charm from his vivid description of his travels in exotic places and his eye for the piquant detail.
Drawing on Darwin’s secret “transmutation” notebooks from the period just after his Beagle voyage, and on his private letters, David Quammen has created a meticulous, humane portrait of the man, and a lucid explication of his work, that captures both the personal foibles and the scientific substance. It’s an intimate view of a great scientist—taking readers behind the veil of Darwin’s greatness and his fame, following him closely through the joys, struggles, and sorrows of his quiet but extraordinarily consequential life. Quammen has spent his career shadowing field biologists and describing their characters, their adventures, their ideas; here he gives us the pre-eminent field biologist of all time. Read this book and you will never again feel the same about that formidable, cold word: “Darwinism.”