The Universe Within by Best-Selling Author Neil Shubin

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From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish comes The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People, the answer to a scientific mystery story as big as the world itself: How have astronomical events that took place millions of years ago created the unique qualities of the human species?

In his last book (the best-selling Your Inner Fish), Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy—our hands, our jaws—and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago.

Now in The Universe Within, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, Shubin takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we look the way we do. Starting once again with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe’s fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies.


About the Author: Neil Shubin is the author of the best-selling Your Inner Fish. He has been one of the major forces behind a new evolutionary synthesis of expeditionary paleontology, developmental genetics, and genomics. He and his colleague made one of the most important fossil discoveries in the history of the National Geographic Society. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and UC Berkeley, Shubin is currently associate dean of biological sciences at the University of Chicago.

Advanced Praise for The Universe Within:

“An intelligent, eloquent account of our relations with the inanimate universe.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Shubin is a leading proponent of the fusion of paleontology, developmental genetics, and genomics, and the result of his efforts is a volume of truly inspired science writing. Appropriately vast in scope, Shubin deftly balances breadth and depth in his search for a ‘sublimely beautiful truth’.”—Publishers Weekly

“Even those familiar with the basic underpinnings of how we evolved will find The Universe Within engaging. It is laced with Shubin’s own fossil-hunting adventures and filled with colorful tales of historical figures, such as Henrietta Leavitt, who discovered a way to measure a star’s distance from Earth, and Galileo’s lesser-known writings on how gravity dictates an organism’s shape.”—Scientific American

“Walt Whitman yawped, ‘I contain multitudes,’ and in Your Inner Fish (2008), Shubin confirmed him by demonstrating how the evolution of life on earth is inscribed in the human body. Now Shubin shows that all creation, from the big bang on, is packed in there, too…. In short, universal history made us what we are. Wow.”—Booklist, starred review

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