Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Human History

Finished May 13
Your Inner Fish: a journey into the 3.5-billion-year history of the human body by Neil Shubin
This is a fascinating look inside the human body, at the history of how we work and why we work the way we do. Shubin traces our body and its makeup back first to the fossil of an ancient fish, a fish beginning to live on land, Tiktaalik, found on Ellesmere Island. He also traces different bits of us back to worms, microbes, insects and other life forms.
He breaks down his investigation into our anatomy into different functions and makes it come alive. I particularly liked his description of how to isolate DNA in your kitchen.
He includes discussion of how the evolution of our bodies has resulted in things not working as well as they could have, and discusses why some of our body bits don't do what they are designed to.
I really enjoyed this new way of looking at the human body and the insights that arose from his connections to the past.

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