free hit counter code The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People

Availability: Ready to download

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?   In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing con **Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?   In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human bodies—our hands, heads, and jaws—and the structures in fish and worms that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. 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. WITH BLACK-AND-WHITE LINE DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT


Compare
Ads Banner

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?   In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing con **Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?   In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human bodies—our hands, heads, and jaws—and the structures in fish and worms that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. 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. WITH BLACK-AND-WHITE LINE DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT

30 review for The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jaylia3

    When the continent of India slammed into Asia creating the Himalayas it changed the world climate which altered the plants available for food eventually leading to our ability to perceive color. How? This fascinating book, a sort of big history/big science blend, is exactly as its title describes it. The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets and People explores how the properties of our bodies and the course of our lives have been affected by the universe we live in, When the continent of India slammed into Asia creating the Himalayas it changed the world climate which altered the plants available for food eventually leading to our ability to perceive color. How? This fascinating book, a sort of big history/big science blend, is exactly as its title describes it. The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets and People explores how the properties of our bodies and the course of our lives have been affected by the universe we live in, beginning with the big bang. It also includes some science history with personality filled stories of how plate tectonics and other scientific theories were first hypothesized, and it gives a taste of how current scientists in in the author’s field of biological sciences work, for instance dropping to all fours to hunt for tiny fossils that shed light on the evolution of our Earth. The tone is enthusiastic, and the endnotes include lots of suggestions for further reading. My copy of the book is decked with post it flags marking sections I have already reread several times, often sharing them with whoever happens to be around me at the time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    B Schrodinger

    I've had Your Inner Fish on my to-read shelf for a while now, but I thought I'd give Neil's new one a try first. What a little condensed power-house it was. As a fellow scientist I'm well-versed in the theories presented here; but teh book offered much more. Firstly, it ties together multidisciplinary sciences in a neat little dialogue. One moment you're reading about biology, the next geology, but it all ties together. Science as a spectrum is well demonstrated here. Secondly, the history of thes I've had Your Inner Fish on my to-read shelf for a while now, but I thought I'd give Neil's new one a try first. What a little condensed power-house it was. As a fellow scientist I'm well-versed in the theories presented here; but teh book offered much more. Firstly, it ties together multidisciplinary sciences in a neat little dialogue. One moment you're reading about biology, the next geology, but it all ties together. Science as a spectrum is well demonstrated here. Secondly, the history of these discoveries was told with great detail. Shubin discusses the political and scientific climate of the time of the discoveries giving great detail and insight into the nature of scientific research. This book is recommended for fellow scientist and science enthusiasts. I'd question whether a layman may find it too dense in comparison to other popular science books (such as Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything). Great read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I have a bit of a nerd crush on Shubin, having now read both of his books this year. What I like about his writing, is that it is as smart and informative as it is accessible. I don't know about your average Joe, but I do not have a degree in evolutionary biology, astronomy, or tectonics, so it was sure nice to find an author who can really explain the tricky details. I've read explanations of Carbon 14 dating of fossils in both this book and Nick Lane's Oxygen, and I only really got Shubin. Lan I have a bit of a nerd crush on Shubin, having now read both of his books this year. What I like about his writing, is that it is as smart and informative as it is accessible. I don't know about your average Joe, but I do not have a degree in evolutionary biology, astronomy, or tectonics, so it was sure nice to find an author who can really explain the tricky details. I've read explanations of Carbon 14 dating of fossils in both this book and Nick Lane's Oxygen, and I only really got Shubin. Lane went right over my head, like a supersonic jet. Compared to Your Inner Fish, the author's first book, The Universe Within has a broader scope. Sometimes Shubin steps aside to weave in relevant stories of great scientists, and it takes a page or two to connect the dots, but the desirable "a-ha" moment never seems to miss the reader. The first few chapters that deal with formation of our planet and life in general, as well as chapter nine that talked about human evolution were of the most interest to me. There are a few theories and topics that I would love to expand my knowledge on a little further: the great conveyor belt of the bedrock, life in pre-historic Antarctic, a single male ancestor of all Native American people, and the mysterious civilization of Natufians. Thankfully, the book also contains a fascinating and very extensive section with notes and further reading suggestions, with the help of which I have already added several other scientific works to my shelves. I cannot wait to see what else Mr. Shubin publishes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I like sense-of-wonder science, like Carl Sagan’s assertions that we are “starstuff”. This sounds as if it’s going to be in that vein, and in a way it is — certainly it brings home that it’s only possible for us to have iron in our blood because of ancient fusion in the hearts of stars — but on a more banal level, it’s the perfect way of revising what you’ve learnt in the Open University’s introduction to science module, S104. If you can follow and understand everything here, you’re okay on at l I like sense-of-wonder science, like Carl Sagan’s assertions that we are “starstuff”. This sounds as if it’s going to be in that vein, and in a way it is — certainly it brings home that it’s only possible for us to have iron in our blood because of ancient fusion in the hearts of stars — but on a more banal level, it’s the perfect way of revising what you’ve learnt in the Open University’s introduction to science module, S104. If you can follow and understand everything here, you’re okay on at least the first and second book of that course. It’s fairly simply written, not going too much into depth about the technical details, but more providing a survey of some important scientific discoveries. Though the title The Universe Within may imply that it’s more about our own bodies, it actually goes into a lot of Earth science, touching on continental drift, global warming, even the formation of planets and the existence of water in the solar system. It’s an easy enough read, and not a bad way to check your understanding. Originally posted here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gendou

    This book reminded me of A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Except, it isn't as well written, or as comprehensive. Shubin introduces the formation of the planets and our moon. He talks about circadian rhythms. He talks about oxygen and how it allows for big bodies and mammals, etc. He tries to be Carl Sagan, with pontification on how stars go supernova and make the chemical elements that find their way into out bodies. That's about it. I guess that's the origin of the title? He This book reminded me of A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Except, it isn't as well written, or as comprehensive. Shubin introduces the formation of the planets and our moon. He talks about circadian rhythms. He talks about oxygen and how it allows for big bodies and mammals, etc. He tries to be Carl Sagan, with pontification on how stars go supernova and make the chemical elements that find their way into out bodies. That's about it. I guess that's the origin of the title? He never says. This book sort of felt like a waste of my time. It wasn't awfully written, but it wasn't that good, either.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    Very solid 4 out of 5 *. Fascinating content, well-written, personal and easily digested. Popular science at its best! "Ours is a species that can extend its biological inheritance to see vast reaches of space, know 13.7 billion years of history, and explore our deep connections to planets, galaxies, and ohter living things. There is something almost magical to the notion that our bodies, minds, and ideas have roots in the crust of Earth, water of the oceans, and atoms in celestial bodies. The st Very solid 4 out of 5 *. Fascinating content, well-written, personal and easily digested. Popular science at its best! "Ours is a species that can extend its biological inheritance to see vast reaches of space, know 13.7 billion years of history, and explore our deep connections to planets, galaxies, and ohter living things. There is something almost magical to the notion that our bodies, minds, and ideas have roots in the crust of Earth, water of the oceans, and atoms in celestial bodies. The stars in the sky and the fossils in the ground are enduring beacons that signal, though the pace of human change is ever accelerating, we are but a recent link in a network of connections as old as the heavens." (Page 190) The above paragraph sums up what the themes that this book explores. One of the chapters deals with continental drift. I've read the story many times before but I still find it highly amusing and a bit distressing that what any child given a map of the world can see was considered a heretical idea as little as 50 years ago. The importance of continental drift? It created an enormous amount of new coast line, susceptible to erosion and dumping sediments into the sea, thus burying the mud consisting of rotting single celled organisms. This covering of this mud led to an increase in oxygen levels, enabling the evolution of warm-blooded mammals (page 117/118). All in all, this book is immensely readable and highly recommended for anyone curious about the history of our world and its creatures.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Not perfect, but pretty darn good. Rounded up to a full 5 stars because it was so full of memorable tidbits. Shubin may be a paleontologist, but you'll learn about astronomy, physics, microbiology, social sciences... And so many things in between. Accessible science writing that offers a solid starting point to many additional disciplines.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Bashaar

    I love readable scientific books that are written in an entertaining style and at a level that someone with a non-science college degree can understand. This book really filled that bill for me. It starts with the big bang and traces developments since then that led to human beings: how solar systems formed, how the earth's atmosphere came to contain so much oxygen, and so on. I am a person of faith and it disappoints and perplexes me that so many other people of faith are anti-science. To me, i I love readable scientific books that are written in an entertaining style and at a level that someone with a non-science college degree can understand. This book really filled that bill for me. It starts with the big bang and traces developments since then that led to human beings: how solar systems formed, how the earth's atmosphere came to contain so much oxygen, and so on. I am a person of faith and it disappoints and perplexes me that so many other people of faith are anti-science. To me, it is all the more awe-inspiring to understand that I am "fearfully and wonderfully" made of atoms that formed in the big bang over 13 billion years ago. Science is about what and how; it will never explain why. Why is the province of faith. But to humbly seek to understand what and how is just another form of worship in my opinion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Troy Neujahr

    Shubin's science, anecdotes, and warmly friendly writing style make "The Universe Within" an intriguing read. While I as a conservative Christian and pastor cannot agree with Shubin's evolutionary scientific conclusions, I nevertheless appreciated hearing his voice in this book, and found the breadth of topics to be sufficiently satisfying. All in all, a good read if you appreciate a scientist who is able to speak from his worldview with articulation and without condescension.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adam Heckathorn

    I did not want this book to end. From beginning to the end every part was fascinating.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Liedzeit

    I did learn quite something in this book. That the continental drifting resulted in more oxygen. And that India bumping into Asia led to a cooling of the Earth and that made our ancestors developing color vision (because this helped them finding more nutritious food.) But I did not like the astronomical part of the book and certainly not the biographical stuff. Shubin was a student of Gould. So he felt he had to mention Baseball, by the way. I had never heard of Stigler’s law, which states that I did learn quite something in this book. That the continental drifting resulted in more oxygen. And that India bumping into Asia led to a cooling of the Earth and that made our ancestors developing color vision (because this helped them finding more nutritious food.) But I did not like the astronomical part of the book and certainly not the biographical stuff. Shubin was a student of Gould. So he felt he had to mention Baseball, by the way. I had never heard of Stigler’s law, which states that no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer. This law was found by Robert Merton. Okay, so it is kind of funny. But somehow it reminds me of Sturgeon's law. And that, I believe, was pronounced by Ted. 7/10

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    I had this book on my pile to read for a while now, but didn't happen until I found a used copy of the audiobook and was able to listen to that while I worked. This was a good, but obviously compact, look on how life started and evolved on Earth, using astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry and paleontology to tell the story. The best part is while telling the parts of the story, some of the people and scientists mentioned aren't the usual ones that always brought up in popular science books - s I had this book on my pile to read for a while now, but didn't happen until I found a used copy of the audiobook and was able to listen to that while I worked. This was a good, but obviously compact, look on how life started and evolved on Earth, using astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry and paleontology to tell the story. The best part is while telling the parts of the story, some of the people and scientists mentioned aren't the usual ones that always brought up in popular science books - so even if you have read other science books about the general ideas on how the Earth was created or how life began, you will still learn plenty of new things from this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Some aspects of this book were entertaining and the science seems very up-to-date. But overall it was too disjointed. I think the best part of this book is going to be the suggestions for further reading, because there is such a wide range of topics he touched on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jarod

    A really great introduction to basic sciences. Does a wonderful job of connecting the dots between cosmology, physics, biology, geology, etc. Recommend it to anyone with an interest in science without formal education in it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Islomjon

    "The Universe Within" takes a new sight in understanding human position in Universal and biological terms. Book is written with an exiting taste and true discerning of its subject; book is read fast and contains valuable and amusing information about Universe, planets and nature. Mostly, I praise chapters that discuss about geology and climate in the planet Earth.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris, the Dalek King

    This was very entertaining, but I couldn't help but feel by the end that is was a bit lacking in substance. Maybe it is just because I came off a monster of an 19hours audiobook, but by the time we got to the end, it felt like it was just starting to get going. I kinda wanted it to go into further detail about a lot of this stuff. It was very easy to listen to, though, so I have to give it points for readability. 3.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I don't understand how this book gets its name. It is really a geological/biological/astronomical survey of earth over time. 13.7 billion years ago - The formation of the universe and how the different elements were created. This chapter includes a nice write up of how scientist estimate the age of the universe and the odd fact that all of the stars are red-shifted indicating they are moving away and why that radio telescope in New Jersey was important. 4.7 billion years ago - The creation of the I don't understand how this book gets its name. It is really a geological/biological/astronomical survey of earth over time. 13.7 billion years ago - The formation of the universe and how the different elements were created. This chapter includes a nice write up of how scientist estimate the age of the universe and the odd fact that all of the stars are red-shifted indicating they are moving away and why that radio telescope in New Jersey was important. 4.7 billion years ago - The creation of the earth and other planets in the solar system including the formation of the moon from a collision with earth. This chapter includes an explanation of how scientists date the earth and why those comet rocks were important, but not the only way they did it (they also used some very old rocks in Australia). 2.4 billion years ago - The evolution of large animals from the single-celled and simple multi-celled forms of life that dominated the fossil record of earth the previous 2 billion years. 65 million years ago - The great die off of dinosaurs and other reptilian forms of life that happened when an asteroid hit the earth and how such cataclysmic events are not uncommon, including one die-off that occurred as a result of changing sea chemistry. Reading this book and watching that Bill Nye debate brings up some issues between science and religion. Science shows the universe is unimaginably old with billions of stars at vast distances. The religion teaches that God only took the same time to create all of that as he did on the oceans. One view encourages a view of man as a humbly small part of a huge universe, the other as something special. Science shows that all life is related. We share DNA with even the humblest jelly fish. Religion teaches that man is a special creation of God and can therefore do what he pleases to the earth and all other life forms on it. Science shows the earth has gone through several biological apocalypses where almost every species on earth has gone extinct. Religion claims the earth is only 6000 years old and the species on it are immutable. We can do whatever we want to the planet and not worry. I think I am buying the science. That does not eliminate a belief in God, it just eliminates a belief in most religions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arvind Balasundaram

    In this lively book, Neil Shubin (noted author of Your Inner Fish), makes paleontology, carbon chemistry, and climate science all come together in explaining our lives and the world around us. Drawing on the deep connectivity between our chemical composition and the natural processes in our universe, Shubin makes an immediate case of how dependent we are on almost everything around us. He explains how the state of the planet is greatly dependent on its carbon balance, a process maintained and go In this lively book, Neil Shubin (noted author of Your Inner Fish), makes paleontology, carbon chemistry, and climate science all come together in explaining our lives and the world around us. Drawing on the deep connectivity between our chemical composition and the natural processes in our universe, Shubin makes an immediate case of how dependent we are on almost everything around us. He explains how the state of the planet is greatly dependent on its carbon balance, a process maintained and governed by seemingly discrete earth processes. Volcanoes spew carbon into the air, which then settles in rocks via acid rain. This flows into the ocean by way of erosion due to rivers and glaciers. The ocean floor has rifts that create new ocean floor, while at another end, older sea floor gets buried into the earth's internal core at subduction fault zones, thus feeding the volcanic activity. In typical flowing writing style, Shubin identifies how the collision of India into the Tibetan landmass led to the formation of the Himalayan range, an activity so profound in its absorption of carbon from the air, that it led to steady declines in the world's temperature, thus leading to the Ice Ages. This book nicely pulls together facts available from other sources - but it excels in its ability to intertwine all these discrete facts into a yarn that clearly and compellingly demonstrates our intimate connection to the universe around us. Besides, there is the passion of interbeing here, as Shubin succintly summarizes his story in ten quick chapters, accompanied by an exhaustive list of references for the more serious reader. As the universe changes, so do we. Sometimes these changes are catastrophic, as when the landmass pulled away from Antartica, transforming it very quickly into a teeming landscape of frozen ice instead of the greenery it once nurtured. In other cases, the changes are more gradual, but still going on. It gives special relevance to the Upanishadic quip: "Tat tvam asi" - that thou art..

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    All the galaxies in the cosmos, like every creature on the planet, and every atom, molecule, and body on Earth are deeply connected. That connection begins at a single point 13.7 billion years ago.This book takes a big scientific fact and then links it back to life on Earth and our lives specifically. For example, the Big Bang created particles that exist on Earth and in living creatures today (including us). Along the way he tells the stories of scientists whose "wacky theories" just happened t All the galaxies in the cosmos, like every creature on the planet, and every atom, molecule, and body on Earth are deeply connected. That connection begins at a single point 13.7 billion years ago.This book takes a big scientific fact and then links it back to life on Earth and our lives specifically. For example, the Big Bang created particles that exist on Earth and in living creatures today (including us). Along the way he tells the stories of scientists whose "wacky theories" just happened to be right and what happened in the process of proving them. Those personal stories, along with Shubin's own scientific exploration which is interspersed throughout the chapters, bring the science to a personal level and keep the reader engaged. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Shubin celebrates the science and connections without imposing any philosophical opinions on us. I have seen some complaining about his lack of concern about climate change and it was then that I realized how refreshing it was to just get the facts without the author's personal opinion as well. The book is only 240 pages so clearly it is an overview, but it is one with just enough details for those who, like me, have just a smattering of scientific knowledge. Note: I received this review copy from the Amazon Vine program.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    3.5 stars What I liked: - context-rich factoids interweaving geology, astronomy, chemistry, biology, physics, and the history of science - the extensive, descriptive "further reading" section. Love that stuff, especially in overviews like this where I sometimes want more info. What I didn't like: - the interdisciplinary interweaving sometimes felt like mental ping-pong, which made it hard to maintain focus at times - I didn't get the point of all the portraits of dead science dudes. I don't care what 3.5 stars What I liked: - context-rich factoids interweaving geology, astronomy, chemistry, biology, physics, and the history of science - the extensive, descriptive "further reading" section. Love that stuff, especially in overviews like this where I sometimes want more info. What I didn't like: - the interdisciplinary interweaving sometimes felt like mental ping-pong, which made it hard to maintain focus at times - I didn't get the point of all the portraits of dead science dudes. I don't care what they looked like or that they had a stare-down with a rattlesnake. However, this didn't bother me nearly as much as.... - the whole thing about Marie Tharp, with long detailed descriptions about how her work as a scientist was basically belittled as "girl talk" and her career was eclipsed by that of her male supervisor (who ignored her ideas until she had "mountains of data" to prove her observations about underwater ridges that basically led to the conclusion that continental drift was a real thing) and Shubin not only never mentions that institutional sexism almost cost us major scientific insights, but feels the need to point out that Tharp's relationship with her supervisor/colleague was "emotionally intense but entirely platonic." Cue a moment of stabby rage in the middle of a book about happy sciencey things >_<

  21. 5 out of 5

    Arianne

    completely beautiful book. It might sound silly to say but at leas to me, this book is perfect in every single way. The universe, our galaxy, the earth and all the wonderful developments that have come into fruition are all such beautiful things and processes to admire! We have such a deep connection to our environment, yet it doesnt feel like it? Through this book, I've felt like I've solidified a mysterious missing piece... a sort of lost-family connection. Seeing the development of the earth, completely beautiful book. It might sound silly to say but at leas to me, this book is perfect in every single way. The universe, our galaxy, the earth and all the wonderful developments that have come into fruition are all such beautiful things and processes to admire! We have such a deep connection to our environment, yet it doesnt feel like it? Through this book, I've felt like I've solidified a mysterious missing piece... a sort of lost-family connection. Seeing the development of the earth, then of land and sea, then of plants and animals... now humans and cities and etc... we have been given to see the world in SUCH a different way! Such a beautiful and TRUE way! Not only is this such a phenomenal book to use as a lens to see the world in a completely alternative way - it's author is also just such an amazing person for compiling this! I've attended his book release/presentation for this in Seattle and he was just so personable, witty, charismatic, happy, welcoming... just such a nice guy who wrote such a great book! LOVE THIS BOOK AHHHH!!!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather Marshall

    I really enjoyed this book. I dove into The Universe Within by Neil Shubin with no expertise in the subject. It was easy for me to follow and understand. In this book Neil Shubin had a way of making me the reader so interested and always wanting to know what was going to be around the corner. I love how he broke everything down, explaining the different scientists and how there different ideas originally came about. My only criticism for this book would be the fact that it didn't seem to flow as I really enjoyed this book. I dove into The Universe Within by Neil Shubin with no expertise in the subject. It was easy for me to follow and understand. In this book Neil Shubin had a way of making me the reader so interested and always wanting to know what was going to be around the corner. I love how he broke everything down, explaining the different scientists and how there different ideas originally came about. My only criticism for this book would be the fact that it didn't seem to flow as nicely as I would have liked, that did make it difficult to read. And although the information given was so interesting, I was a little disappointed that he didn't talk more about the connection between Homo sapiens and the Universe, it focused on geology allot more than I expected, when I first picked up the book I already had a pretty good Idea of what it he was going to be discussing, honestly I was way off. But regardless it was still well written and had loads of good information.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    Neil Shubin, you'll remember, is the guy (or at the face of the team) who discovered Tiktaalik, which was all over the news a while ago. He wrote a book about that, which I quite enjoyed. The Universe Within is more generic pop-sci, which is a bit disappointing; it's certainly not bad pop-sci, but there's also little to set it apart from a hundred other such books. Still, if you're looking for a low-difficulty thing under two hundred pages about the history of life, you could do worse. Neil Shubin, you'll remember, is the guy (or at the face of the team) who discovered Tiktaalik, which was all over the news a while ago. He wrote a book about that, which I quite enjoyed. The Universe Within is more generic pop-sci, which is a bit disappointing; it's certainly not bad pop-sci, but there's also little to set it apart from a hundred other such books. Still, if you're looking for a low-difficulty thing under two hundred pages about the history of life, you could do worse.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I just heard Neil Shubin speak at Harvard Bookstore and look forward to reading this book! I enjoy all types of science books, and Geology is one of my favorite areas of science, and so it is exciting to see a book that links geology with anatomy and biology. In this talk, Shubin showed slides of places where he has explored for fossils - Painted Desert in Arizona, Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Greenland, all places I would love to go to enjoy beautiful geology. He is an engaging speaker, and so I just heard Neil Shubin speak at Harvard Bookstore and look forward to reading this book! I enjoy all types of science books, and Geology is one of my favorite areas of science, and so it is exciting to see a book that links geology with anatomy and biology. In this talk, Shubin showed slides of places where he has explored for fossils - Painted Desert in Arizona, Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Greenland, all places I would love to go to enjoy beautiful geology. He is an engaging speaker, and so I look forward to the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joe Iacovino

    This was a fun book to read. I was little hard on Shubin with "Your Inner Fish" as I was expecting a more technical read but this this time I expected a popular science book and with that expectation I was very pleased. The book jumps off to a pretty quick start and is a real smooth read. I would have liked to see a little more chemistry just to tie everything together a bit tighter. Also, I prefer footnotes that serve as little asides. Regardless, this is a great book for anyone who has an inte This was a fun book to read. I was little hard on Shubin with "Your Inner Fish" as I was expecting a more technical read but this this time I expected a popular science book and with that expectation I was very pleased. The book jumps off to a pretty quick start and is a real smooth read. I would have liked to see a little more chemistry just to tie everything together a bit tighter. Also, I prefer footnotes that serve as little asides. Regardless, this is a great book for anyone who has an interest in science and is an effortless read. Nice work.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    As my first non-fiction in years, I couldn't be happier with my choice. Neil Shubin does a superb job of taking complex theories, histories, and stories and folds them into manageable and easily understood packages. Though I'm not currently working in the field of Earth sciences, this book brought me back to my childhood explorations in creek beds and forests, finding connections between myself and our planet. A big thank you to Shubin for re-opening this curiosity within.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gary Beauregard Bottomley

    Fun and easy to follow listen. Ties together Darwin's evolution of man with the evolution of the universe and some of its constituent parts. If your like me and you just can't get enough about evolution and our place in the universe (who among us can?), than I would recommend this short, well written and informative book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    In the great Goodreads competition of books named The Universe Within, the results just in, we have to say that this was the more enjoyable one to read. I was hoping to feel more connected to rocks after this book - not that I have anything against rocks, mind you - but they just didn't come to life for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dominic

    I liked his first book a lot because it was packed with facts and interesting things about our biology. This book takes a slightly more "Gee whiz, isn't the universe amazing" approach which left me feeling a little pandered to.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daphne Miller

    Although not as fantastic as Your Inner Fish (Shubin's previous book) this book is a great reminder of just how intimately our biology (and our health) is connected to our environment and our planet.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.