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Improbable Destinies by Jonathan B. Losos

Improbable Destinies

Improbable Destinies by Jonathan B. Losos
Hardcover
Aug 08, 2017 | 384 Pages
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  • Hardcover $28.00

    Aug 08, 2017 | 384 Pages

  • Ebook $14.99

    Aug 08, 2017 | 384 Pages

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Praise

“This is a wonderfully serious book with a lighthearted voice. Is evolution predictable or contingent? Big question. Why do adaptations converge? Big question. Why is the platypus unique? Smaller question, but fun! Read, enjoy, think.” —David Quammen, author of The Song of the Dodo and Spillover

“In a refreshingly accessible narrative, laced with piquant anecdotes, Losos underscores the human significance of science affecting not only how we interpret our own place on the planet but also how we envision life in distant galaxies. Wonderfully lucid; singularly engaging.” —Booklist (starred review)
 
“A cheerful, delightfully lucid primer on evolution and the predictive possibilities within the field.” —Kirkus (starred review) 

“Every now and then a brilliant book comes along that helps us rethink what we know about a subject. Jonathan B. Losos’ fascinating, compulsively readable Improbable Destinies is just such a book. . . . With vivacious writing and thoughtful, provocative insights, Losos’ captivating study of evolution deserves to be read alongside the books of E.O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth) and Stephen Jay Gould (Wonderful Life).”BookPage

“Improbable Destinies
 is one of the best books on evolutionary biology for a broad readership ever written. Its subjects—the unfolding of Earth’s biological history, the precarious nature of human existence, and the likelihood of life on exoplanets—are presented in a detailed, exciting style expected from an authentic scientist and naturalist.” —Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Losos explains both the science and the underlying philosophy of the questions being asked in an accessible and engaging manner . . . The book is as enjoyable as it is informative.” —Publishers Weekly

Is evolution a story foretold? Or is it little more than the rolls of DNA’s dice? In Improbable Destinies, Jonathan Losos tackles these fascinating questions not with empty philosophizing, but with juicy tales from the front lines of scientific research. Drunk flies, fast-evolving lizards, mutating microbes, and hypothetical humanoid dinosaurs all grace the pages of this wonderfully thought-provoking book.” —Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses and The Tangled Bank

“A rich, provocative, and very accessible book, Improbable Destinies is an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the ecological theater and evolutionary play of life, expertly guided one of its most insightful observers. Jonathan Losos has shone a light on a largely unheralded cast of fascinating creatures and ingenious scientists who are reshaping our view of why life is the way it is.” —Sean B. Carroll, author of The Serengeti Rules and Brave Genius

Praise for Jonathan B. Losos’ Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree:


“A rich compendium of information by an extraordinarily insightful biologist.” —Science

“Lucid language and simplicity in writing [create] magic throughout the book.” —Environment and Ecology

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