Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish, Some Assembly Required, and The Universe Within will be digitally visiting instructors who are using any of his books this spring semester. If you would like to arrange for him to visit your class, please Direct Message him on Twitter: @NeilShubin.
A lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth—a new view of the evolution of human and animal life that explains how the incredible diversity of life on our planet came to be. Prehistoric fossils coupled with new DNA technology have given us the tools to answer some of the basic questions of our existence: How do big changes in evolution happen? Is our presence on Earth the product of mere chance? Neil Shubin delves into these questions in Some Assembly Required, revealing a multibillion-year evolutionary history filled with twists and turns, trial and error, accident and invention.
“Dr. Shubin’s clear and engaging writing rewards us with a deeper understanding of how
all life on our planet is interconnected. Steeped in the paradigm of evolutionary theory,
he inspires us to think more deeply about our connectedness with the natural world. Charles
Darwin would applaud Dr. Shubin’s clear explanations and insightful rendering of the
incontrovertible evidence for the evolution of all life on planet Earth.” —Donald Johanson,
director, Institute of Human Origins; discoverer of “Lucy”
“Shubin is a brilliant scientist storyteller—an eloquent narrator, who draws you into his
rich, evolving world of walking fish and mutant flies, prehistoric birds and precocious biologists.
Part adventure, part mystery, with twists and turns you couldn’t make up if you tried, Some
Assembly Required is an irresistible read!” —Robert M. Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science,
and author of Symphony in C
Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Book Award
Finalist for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books
The story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Neil Shubin shows us why we look the way we do—that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria.
“Shubin’s hand, transformed from what was once a fishy fin, provides a powerful example of
what evolution is capable of. . . . A deft synthesis.” —New Scientist
“A compelling scientific adventure story that will change forever how you understand what it
means to be human.” —Oliver Sacks
“Magisterial. . . . If you want to understand the evolutionary history of man and other animals,
and read no other account this year, read this splendid monograph.” —Financial Times