The Universe Within: A Scientific Adventure

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9780141041902: The Universe Within: A Scientific Adventure

A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

In The Universe Within, Neil Shubin reveals the connection between the evolution of the cosmos and the evolution of the human body.
 
Just as the history of the earth is written in the rocks, so too is the universe’s 14-billion-year history written in the human body. Starting at the smallest level, with our very molecular composition, Shubin explores the question of why we are the way we are, tracing the formation of the planets, the moon, and the globe of Earth through the development of the organs, cells, and genes that make up human life.

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About the Author:

Neil Shubin is the author of the best-selling Your Inner Fish, which was chosen by the National Academy of Sciences as the best book of the year in 2009. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, Shubin is associate dean of biological sciences at the University of Chicago. In 2011 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue
 
Having spent the better part of my working life staring at rocks on the ground, I’ve gained a certain perspective on life and the universe. My professional aspiration—uncovering clues to the making of our bodies—lies inside the baked desert floor or deep within the frozen Arctic. While this ambition may seem eccentric, it is not much different from that of colleagues who peer at the light of distant stars and galaxies, map the bottom of the oceans, or chart the surface of barren planets in our solar system. What weaves our work together are some of the most powerful ideas that mankind has ever developed, ones that can explain how we and our world came to be.
 
These notions inspired my first book, Your Inner Fish. Inside every organ, cell, and piece of DNA in our bodies lie over 3.5 billion years of the history of life. Accordingly, clues to the human story reside within impressions of worms in rock, the DNA of fish, and clumps of algae in a pond.
 
While I was thinking about that book, it became clear that worms, fish, and algae are but gateways to ever deeper connections—ones that extend back billions of years before the presence of life and of Earth itself. Written inside us is the birth of the stars, the movement of heavenly bodies across the sky, even the origin of days themselves.
 
During the past 13.7 billion years (or so), the universe came about in the big bang, stars have formed and died, and our planet congealed from matter in space. In the eons since, Earth has circled the sun while mountains, seas, and whole continents have come and gone.
 
Discovery after discovery in the past century has confirmed the multibillion-year age of Earth, the sheer vastness of the cosmos, and our species’ humble position in the tree of life on our planet. Against this backdrop, you could legitimately wonder if it is part of the job description of scientists to make people feel utterly puny and insignificant in the face of the enormity of space and time.
 
But by smashing the smallest atoms and surveying the largest galaxies, exploring rocks on the highest mountains and in the deepest seas, and coming to terms with the DNA inside every species alive today, we uncover a sublimely beautiful truth. Within each of us lie some of the most profound stories of all.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Universe Within is a thrilling journey from today all the way back to the Big Bang, which shows the deep connections between the human body and the universe, from Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish What links the birth of the moon to our body clocks? How did the creation of the Atlantic Ocean affect how we have children? What does the water inside us and on Earth have to do with the deepest stretches of space? Humanity s status in the cosmos can seem insignificant. Yet, as Neil Shubin shows, the one place where the universe, solar system and planet merge is inside your body. Exploring the smallest atomic structures and vastest reaches of space, Shubin uncovers a sublime truth: that in every one of us lies the most profound story of all - how we and our world came to be. Neil Shubin is a palaeontologist in the great tradition of his mentors, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. He has discovered fossils around the world that have changed the way we think about many of the key transitions in evolution and has pioneered a new synthesis of expeditionary palaeontology, developmental genetics and genomics. He trained at Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley and is currently a Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. A new, fresh way of telling the story of life, the universe and everything .hugely enjoyable Tim Radford, Guardian Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher .a science writer of the first rank Oliver Sacks Glorious, uplifting .It tracks the very atoms in our bodies back to the Big Bang, and shows how all the molecules that comprise us have roots in the formation of Earth .What is special about the book is its sweep, its scope, its panorama Wall Street Journal. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141041902

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Universe Within is a thrilling journey from today all the way back to the Big Bang, which shows the deep connections between the human body and the universe, from Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish What links the birth of the moon to our body clocks? How did the creation of the Atlantic Ocean affect how we have children? What does the water inside us and on Earth have to do with the deepest stretches of space? Humanity s status in the cosmos can seem insignificant. Yet, as Neil Shubin shows, the one place where the universe, solar system and planet merge is inside your body. Exploring the smallest atomic structures and vastest reaches of space, Shubin uncovers a sublime truth: that in every one of us lies the most profound story of all - how we and our world came to be. Neil Shubin is a palaeontologist in the great tradition of his mentors, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. He has discovered fossils around the world that have changed the way we think about many of the key transitions in evolution and has pioneered a new synthesis of expeditionary palaeontology, developmental genetics and genomics. He trained at Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley and is currently a Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. A new, fresh way of telling the story of life, the universe and everything .hugely enjoyable Tim Radford, Guardian Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher .a science writer of the first rank Oliver Sacks Glorious, uplifting .It tracks the very atoms in our bodies back to the Big Bang, and shows how all the molecules that comprise us have roots in the formation of Earth .What is special about the book is its sweep, its scope, its panorama Wall Street Journal. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141041902

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Universe Within: A Scientific Adventure, Neil Shubin, The Universe Within is a thrilling journey from today all the way back to the Big Bang, which shows the deep connections between the human body and the universe, from Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish. What links the birth of the moon to our body clocks? How did the creation of the Atlantic Ocean affect how we have children? What does the water inside us and on Earth have to do with the deepest stretches of space? Humanity's status in the cosmos can seem insignificant. Yet, as Neil Shubin shows, the one place where the universe, solar system and planet merge is inside your body. Exploring the smallest atomic structures and vastest reaches of space, Shubin uncovers a sublime truth: that in every one of us lies the most profound story of all - how we and our world came to be. Neil Shubin is a palaeontologist in the great tradition of his mentors, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. He has discovered fossils around the world that have changed the way we think about many of the key transitions in evolution and has pioneered a new synthesis of expeditionary palaeontology, developmental genetics and genomics. He trained at Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley and is currently a Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. "A new, fresh way of telling the story of life, the universe and everything.hugely enjoyable". (Tim Radford, Guardian). "Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher.a science writer of the first rank". (Oliver Sacks). "Glorious, uplifting.It tracks the very atoms in our bodies back to the Big Bang, and shows how all the molecules that comprise us have roots in the formation of Earth.What is special about the book is its sweep, its scope, its panorama". (Wall Street Journal). Bookseller Inventory # B9780141041902

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