The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language

The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language

by

, biology, book_club, Science, Nonfiction, Biology, History

When John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary published The Major Transitions in Evolution, it was seen as a major work in biology. Nature hailed it as a book of "grand and daunting sweep.... A splendid and rewarding tour de force." And New Scientist wrote that it captured "the essence of modern biology," calling it "an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable."
Now, in The Origins of Life, Maynard Smith and Szathmary have completely rewritten Transitions to bring their ideas to a wider audience of general readers. Here is a brilliant, state-of-the-art account of how life evolved on earth, focusing primarily on six major transitions--dramatic breakthroughs in the way that information was passed between generations. The authors offer illuminating explorations of the origin of life itself, the arrival of the first cells with nuclei, the first reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies, and the birth of language.
The Origins of Life represents the thinking of two leading scientists on questions that engage us all--how life began and how it gradually evolved from tiny invisible cells into whales and trees and human beings.

Title:The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780198504931
Format Type:

    The Origins of Life: From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language Reviews

  • Anton

    Very difficult, but worth it, as it's totally amazing in its chain of reasoning and speculation: demonstrates the possibility of life evolving from inert chemicals to the present day via accident alon...

  • Dietmar

    A comprehensive review of key events that are proposed by the two authors during the evolution of life. Apparently the target of the book is all readers with interests in biology and the formation of ...

  • Helio

    This book was a disappointment. It gave a bunch of descriptive aspects of lifeforms but not much on how the diversity came about. For instance saying an early eurkoyote might have accidently swallowed...

  • Santhosh Totiger

    Very concise, not a single word is superfluous. A must read for anyone who is willing to understand how life originated be it on earth or extra terrestrial planet. Now I plan to read their Major trans...

  • Dhananjay

    Too dense. Many concepts are heavy so would have preferred more illustrations/explanations. But still overall important book.Might be outdated about a few chapters/ points....

  • Betsy Curlin

    A good chronological account of how life began and evolved, up through humans and the origin of language....

  • Clydas

    This book kindled my interest in evolutionary biology. I have a science degree but no specific training in biology, and I found it to be pitched at an appropriate level. It's great at giving the big p...

  • Richard

    Too hard for me at the moment in many places (my lack of biological knowledge). But fascinating nonetheless....

  • Jon

    Fascinating, if lacking in depth...

  • Eric

    It's hard to write good, clear general science books. A very interesting premise, but somehow didn't grab me very well...but I had just read a really great novel, so that's hard to match with non-fict...