The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B. Carroll

The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

bySean B. Carroll

Kobo ebook | September 17, 2007

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Throw out your fossils—the best evidence for evolution is now found in DNA.

DNA is the genetic blueprint of all creatures. Scientists have only recently discovered that it is also a living chronicle of evolution. In this book, leading biologist and writer Sean B. Carroll takes us on an exhilarating tour of the exquisite evolutionary record. The DNA record of evolution is filled with surprises. Immortal genes and evolution repeating itself are two of the stunners that await the lucky reader. The case for evolution can no longer be contested now that the DNA evidence is revealed.

Title:The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of EvolutionFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 17, 2007Publisher:W. W. Norton & CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393069699

ISBN - 13:9780393069693


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good albeit slightly technical read A good albeit slightly technical read on how evolution can be explained through DNA. Some interesting side trips are presented including a discussion on how species characteristics can both arise and then fall into disuse. This creates a fossil gene, one that still is part of the DNA but which no longer presents as a characteristic. The example the author gives is the de-selection of Red/Green colour vision in a species of fish that only lived in depths for which blue light penetrates. Another side trip was the Soviet Union disaster known as Lysenko. He was a senior official and a favourite of Stalin who rejected heredity and instead focused on nurture as influencing an organisms characteristics. A few million starvation victims later, he was ousted but unfortunately his legacy still lingers in the Russian sciences. Overall a good read, a bit technical for my layman inclination but that is okay. Carroll spent a bit too much time defending evolution against creation-detractors. I guess as an American author he needs to deal with this perplexing social circumstance.
Date published: 2014-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rewarding and Fulfilling Carroll gives it all up with this one. He begins by introducing you to an animal that has adapted to an increasingly frigid environment as it tags along with a migrating continent. The adaptations, we learn, have involved not just the increase in genetic information which provides new and novel characteristics, but also the loss of some otherwise essential genetic information that had, in its new environment, become detrimental. Here, he sets the pace for the entire book; not just revealing the evidence for the emergence of complexity in evolution, but also exposing the corrosive effect that time and mutation have on subordinate, or forgotten traits. If you want to understand the particulars of evolution, even that of our own species, you must read this book.
Date published: 2009-04-20