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on 19 August 2017
Great book for explaining evolution. It is easy to understand. There is a little bit about how palaeontologist work and make discoveries to set the scene. The subject of how we evolved from fish and the necessary embryology that explains it was interesting. For me though, once the point about how we developed from fish to human had been made, the novelty wore off and I got a bit bored with it. It is, however, a really good book for myth busting creationism. But Creationists are too set in stone to realise this. There are much newer books about evolution but what makes this book a classic is its straightforwardness and clarity. Though I said it would bust the Creationist myth, there is no hint of atheist or religious axe grinding involved and this makes it a pleasure to read. It is just a book about the facts and it has facts to back that fact up!
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on 10 February 2014
Having read quite a number of other reviews here, I feel I have to give my take on this book. Yes it is "lightweight" in the sense that the reader is not overburdened with detail, methodology, scientific rigour and analysis. But readability - and it is highly readable - doesn't diminish even slightly the monumental significance of the book's content.

This book is NOT a treatise on vertebrate paleontology, or on evolution, or on anything. Essentially it is edited highlights of Shubin's career, mostly looking for and studying fossil fish-like creatures, and the scientific context thereof. Shubin and his colleagues are fortunate to have contributed to great leaps forward in mankind's understanding of his biological inheritance. In that sense I would compare Shubin's book with George Smoot's Wrinkles In Time, an equally slim, readable account of an even bigger scientific quest (NOT however a treatise on cosmology).

As for the author's supposed leanings toward intelligent design as opposed to Darwinian evolution, I don't think Shubin makes any telling statement on the subject. For his purposes he probably doesn't need to. In any case, God doesn't make it into the index.
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on 2 August 2017
Very well written light introduction of how our bodies came to be what/how they are now.

The author uses paleontology, anatomy and gentics to build the story for the reader and its a great story. We have all asked ourselves in our life, how did we become as we are now, how did our eyes, ears come to be? This book provides the basic answers to that question, it is a light answer for the layman not the expert.

Great and easy read, definitely recommended.
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on 19 October 2010
Not bad at all. Probably a great introduction to those completely unaware, while at the same time a well thought out collection of origin stories for those wishing to pass on the knowledge but lack the presence of mind to properly collect their thoughts together.

The text alternates between adventure story mode, along the lines of some of Fortey's work describing field-work (complete with arctic escapades and rising tides), and arguments based on very accessibly written DNA and molecular analysis.

I would have preferred Shubin to call a spade a spade and talk about his subject openly rather than beating around the "descent with modification" bush, but I expect this is to allow the book to be published in a country like the USA where the word evolution is anathema.
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on 1 January 2015
A ggod read. How anyone can deny evolution is beyond me - read this and you will know more about a crucial link in the transition of animals from sea to land. Only four stars because I found a bit of attributed speech unconvincing "That's it", said one of the pupils, "it's halfway between a fish and a reptile!" - or similar. Nonetheless, it is a good read and my knowledge was widened by it.
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on 8 June 2016
Hooked by the TV series I bought the book. Loved it just as much. Engaging author who explains the material in an enthusiastic and clear way. I always enjoy reading or hearing from people who clearly love their work. Great for explaining why things are as they are to my clients.
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on 27 October 2017
Having had a passion for the Evolutionary story since childhood and read many books on subject, I can safely say this is one of the more fun and easy to read. It's more of a journey than a collection of facts as Neil and his colleagues discover these fantastic fossils of tropical animals in the midst of coldness of Greenland. The book then diverges onto a more 'biological' phase, connecting our inner organs towards our early fish-like ancestors.
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on 13 September 2013
I think the thing that really makes Your Inner Fish stand out is the enthusiasm Shubin shows. He really, really cares about what he's writing about- he finds it excitin- and that comes across. I found myself smiling as I read some of his descriptions; he's that evocative a writer. His descriptions are very, very clear, starting off as simply as possible and slowly building in complexity, but ensuring the reader is never left behind. In particular, the frequent use of analogies and diagrams really helps to get some more difficult points across. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anybody interested in evolution, palaeontology, genetics, or biology in general.
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on 8 June 2016
A smartly written highly informative story of a 375 million year old find. The tone is upbeat, pleasant and the writer never patronises or talks down to the reader. I read this in just a couple of days and really didn't want to put it down.
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on 11 April 2013
I found this one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. The idea that as humans we have an ancestry which stretches back to the beginning of life on earth as demonstrated by fossil links and supported by DNA, gives a deep value to the understanding of our inner beliefs. So many interesting subjects are raised. For example I swim for pleasure and fitness and was amazed to discover that fish fins and our four limbs share a similar architecture through their bone structure. How fins become limbs is just one of the
fascinating insights bought to life in this eminently readable book.
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