How did the replication bomb we call "Life" begin and where in the world or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the The New York Times described his style as "the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius"), Richard Dawkins confronts the ancient mystery. "Dawkins is above all a masterly expositor, a writer who understands the issues so clearly that he forces his readers to understand them too. River Out of Eden displays these virtues to the full." --New York Times Book Review "Dawkins has gone to the heart of his subject and presented it with energy, insight, verve." --Los Angeles Times "[River Out of Eden] abounds with metaphors that make things brilliantly clear....an excellent introduction to many important evolutionary ideas." --Nature
Nearly a century and a half after Charles Darwin formulated it, the theory of evolution is still the subject of considerable debate. Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins is among Darwin's chief defenders, and an able one indeed-- witty, literate, capable of turning a beautiful phrase. In River Out of Eden he introduces general readers to some fairly abstract problems in evolutionary biology, gently guiding us through the tangles of mitochondrial DNA and the survival-of-the- fittest ethos. (Superheroes need not apply: Dawkins writes, "The genes that survive . . . will be the ones that are good at surviving in the average environment of the species.") Dawkins argues for the essential unity of humanity, noting that "we are much closer cousins of one another than we normally realize, and we have many fewer ancestors than simple calculations suggest."