Well, that was a fast read. While we were at TAM6 earlier this summer, someone recommended Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. Shubin is one of the discoverers of Tiktaalik, thus the title and motivation for the book. Plus, everyone seems to be talking about Sonic Hedgehog these days (see here and here and here to start with) and Sonic’s background is explained within too. The book is a fast explanation of some critical concepts of evolution, paleontology and embryonic development. Shubin has a very fun, science-geek-cool style of writing that makes you wish you were in his classroom. Reading Your Inner Fish was in some ways like reading an updated, much much shorter version of Dawkin’s The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. It was all about all the things that make us all related to other creatures and how evolution has led to species differentiation and some very odd phenotypes.
This was a book that I read on my way to Donald Prothero’s Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. In fact, I was trying to talk to my new friend at TAM6 about Prothero’s book and he kept raving about Shubin’s title. I’ll read and comment on Prothero before hearing him speak in early October.