Explaining Life Through Evolution Prosanta Chakrabarty

As living, breathing, and thriving humans, we often believe a common pretense: we are the most superior form of life. Sometimes people refer to organisms, especially humans, as ‘perfectly designed’, but our aquatic ancestors had to twist and stretch and rework what they already had. You can’t get to the perfect solution for being a human from that fishy starting point! 

Looking forward to a book that explains life? Well, here it is! Explaining Life Through Evolution opens a window to the four billion-year history of the millions of species we see on this planet. This book does not simply narrate the story of evolution: It brings to light who we are and where we came from. As humans we often focus on identifying our differences, no matter how small; Prosanta Chakrabarty demystifies our perceived differences and emphasizes our similarities. As more and more people take ancestry tests, sending their DNA samples and money to genealogy testing centres, we need to be educated on what the results actually mean scientifically; and we all have to decide together what it means socially. He thinks we should be celebrating the fact that our diversity comes from the same little drops of water and sunlight, each of us just shining a little differently as seen through the prism of evolution.

Prosanta encourages us to think of life as being like a book, one that is always in the making. What we see living around us today are just the last few pages. If we look out on to the millions of species that we share this planet with we can trace their histories, and ours, back through nearly four billion years of evolution. We can also think of all the living things around as the young leaves on an ancient and gigantic ‘Tree of Life’, all of us connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.

Evocative, comprehensive and thought-provoking, this is a book which will compel you to reimagine life.

About The Author: Prosanta Chakrabarty is an evolutionary biologist at Louisiana State University where he is a professor and curator. He is a Senior Fellow at TED, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He grew up in New York City; his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal (the city where he was born) and his PhD is from the University of Michigan.

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