Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom Audiobook | Sean B. Carroll | Audible.com
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Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom | [Sean B. Carroll]

Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom

For over a century, opening the black box of embryonic development was the holy grail of biology. Evo Devo--Evolutionary Developmental Biology--is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll explains how we are discovering that complex life is ironically much simpler than anyone ever expected.
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Publisher's Summary

For over a century, opening the black box of embryonic development was the holy grail of biology. Evo Devo--Evolutionary Developmental Biology--is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll explains how we are discovering that complex life is ironically much simpler than anyone ever expected. Perhaps the most surprising finding of Evo Devo is the discovery that a small number of primitive genes led to the formation of fundamental organs and appendages "in all animal forms."

The gene that causes humans to form arms and legs is the same gene that causes birds and insects to form wings, and fish to form fins; similarly, one ancient gene has led to the creation of eyes across the animal kingdom. Changes in the way this ancient tool kit of genes is used have created all the diversity that surrounds us.

Sean Carroll is the ideal author to lead the curious on this intellectual adventure--he is the acknowledged leader of the field, and his seminal discoveries have been featured in Time and The New York Times".

©2009 Sean B Carroll; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Terry A. Gray Escondido, CA 05-26-10
    Terry A. Gray Escondido, CA 05-26-10 Member Since 2008

    ever reader

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    "Challenging but rewarding"

    This is a book that requires close attention and a good working knowledge of genetic terms. It may be frustrating or just plain too difficult for those not versed in at least the basics of genetics, developmental biology, especially some basic embryology, and modern evolutionary theory. The specialist's terms come fast and furious in spite of a very able narrator. If you are hopelessly lost when someone says "homeotic Hox gene" then perhaps easing into this topic would be better than trying to listen to this book, or at least have the Wikipedia handy and be prepared to stop and do a lot of term checking. For the experienced student it is outstanding. Even for the uninitiated generalist, however, the final chapters on human evolution and evolutionary science vs. fundamentalist ignorance are outstanding.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas North LibetyThailand 03-13-10
    Thomas North LibetyThailand 03-13-10
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    "Better in Print"

    I love audio books, but this one should be read in print. The narrator is fine. It is just too hard to visualize while doing anything else. And if you're not doing anything else, why not read a book? There may be important diagrams, I don't know. Tantor audio books refer you to their web site for visuals. Not this one.

    As for the science and thought, could not be better. Great work by a fine scientist about a critically important branch of biology.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Jacksonville, FL, USA 04-10-10
    Joan Jacksonville, FL, USA 04-10-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Good science, needs pictures"

    As a professional biologist, I enjoyed the book very much. But, and this is a big but, if you don't know any developmental biology I'm afraid you'll get lost. I checked the hard copy out of the library so I could see the pictures. My advice is to borrow the book and look while you listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Mill Valley, CA, United States 07-22-11
    Scott Mill Valley, CA, United States 07-22-11
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    "Keep your finger on rewind..."

    I am not a biologist and I had only a passing familiarity with evo-devo in my head -- but I still found this book intensely engrossing and readable. You have to really pay attention and learn the terminology as you go (i.e. not necessarily a good read in the car because I think you may need to rewind & re-listen quite a bit -- I listened to it while hiking and had my Ipod in my hand the whole time) because the narrative builds heavily upon early information rather steadily throughout the book. Perhaps you have heard the term evo-devo before, or epigenetics, or read something about HOX, or toolkit, genes. Perhaps you also found other titles on evolution good reads -- like "Why Evolution is True" (Coyne) and "Greatest Show on Earth" (Dawkins) -- but their material was a bit too basic for you. Then, I think this book is a great "next step" on the topic of Evolutionary theory for the layman. It may not be quite the "casual read" that the Coyne and Dawkins books were, but, if you want a readable introduction to evo-devo, I think Carroll did a wonderful job at introducing the topic to the non-professional in this book. I loved it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Atlanta, GA, USA 10-04-09
    Nathan Atlanta, GA, USA 10-04-09
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    "Try the author’s other books first"

    After enjoying to all of Sean Carroll's audio books, this is my least favorite. It's not a book where you try to catch every detail that the author is communicating, but listen for the general conclusion.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine ARDMORE, PA, United States 07-15-12
    serine ARDMORE, PA, United States 07-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Must Read"
    What did you love best about Endless Forms Most Beautiful?

    One of the best books written in the history of time. Clearly demonstrates how evolution works. You will never think about the switches that turn genes on in the same way again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Deerfield, IL, United States 01-24-11
    Steve Deerfield, IL, United States 01-24-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Great book, great insights, learned a lot"

    This is a great book, with a very important topic. I rated Sean Carroll's other book, Making of the Fittest, a 5 and this a 4, only because it isn't quite as well organized. I wish 4.5 was an option. This is well worth the time, and critical if you want to understand evolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Park City, UT, United States 08-30-10
    Ted Park City, UT, United States 08-30-10 Member Since 2000
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    "Carroll deserves Better Narration"

    Carroll's other books on Audible ("Remarkable Creatures" and "The Making of the Fittest") were well produced audio books. This one is not. Although not quite monotonous, the reader lacks adequate inflection to bring this text alive. Consequently, it loses the zest that the text should otherwise evoke. If you like Carroll's other works, then give this a go, but only if you can withstand a lackluster production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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