The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks,
People by Neil Shubin
Stimulating, accessible, even profound
a stimulating narrative linking cosmology, climate and evolutionary biology,
Shubin uses geology as a common thread. Stories of Arctic digs blend seamlessly
with perspectives such as the nature of time and the criteria for fitness in
human evolution. Shubin is a relaxed expositor of many areas of science,
although at times I wished he would not shy away from the least technicality,
for example fuller details on radioactive dating would have helped completeness.
His stories of scientists are fresh, not an easy thing in popular science topics
and any lack of drill down in explanations is compensated by clear and current
Further Reading and Notes.
progression through this short book from deep history to recent past reminded me
that there are many other, some more comprehensive, books on terrestrial
evolution and its many outcomes. "The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 Billion Year
Story of Earth's Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams" comes to mind but
there remains a place for a shorter, very accessible book such as Shubin's which
benefits from an enjoyable narrative and style.