The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life?s history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature. In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of t Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understa...

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Title:The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
Author:David Quammen
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:480 pages pages

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life Reviews

  • Gail
    Aug 31, 2018
    Let?s start here: Mind. Blown. Few books I?ve read in my long life have had such a walloping impact. This deserves the National Book Award for non-fiction. It?s that good. Do you wonder about the origin of life? Evolution? The ?whats? and the ?hows? more than the ...
  • Dorothy
    Sep 12, 2018
    "Science itself, however precise and objective, is a human activity. It's a way of wondering as well as a way of knowing. It's a process, not a body of facts or laws. Like music, like poetry, like baseball, like grandmaster chess, it's something gloriously imperfect that people do. The...
  • Mehrsa
    Oct 22, 2018
    5 stars for how fascinating this theory is and 1 star for the book. The book is just a bunch of short bios about a bunch of scientists from Darwin to the present who have contributed to misunderstanding and then understanding better, the history of evolution. The big breakthroughs are ...
  • Tony
    Nov 02, 2018
    THE TANGLED TREE. (2018). David Quammen. **. The extended title of this book was: ?A Radical New History of Life.? It kind of sounds like Twilight Zone, doesn?t it. Unfortunately, the author got lost in his list of players to the point where what they discovered became less impo...
  • Jonna Higgins-Freese
    Aug 28, 2018
    A large part of the book was about Carl Woese, a character who was odd, but about whom I really could not care. He used early, difficult sequencing techniques to identify the Archaea, an entirely separate form of life, different from bacteria, plants, and animals. But since this was al...
  • Leo Walsh
    Nov 14, 2018
    Often, we learn about science via dense textbooks. They seem definitive. There are illustrations and graphs and chemical reactions and mathematical notations. we often forget that the knowledge therein is provisional. Sure, it's often trivial stuff. Like there being only 8 plantets now...
  • Riley
    Oct 04, 2018
    Excellent review of the scientific dramas around our understanding of the tree of life. What struck me most was how often a dogma would get upset. Every major advance involved some scientist convincing all the others that what they thought impossible had happened. To me it says that we...
  • Charlene
    Sep 05, 2018
    I feel so disappointed. It was like being a kid and getting a half eaten chocolate Santa on Christmas as your only gift. This seems like a book half written. When I got the the end, I just sat there in completely disbelief. Some parts of this book are exceptional. For example, this is ...
  • Christina Dudley
    Sep 02, 2018
    Wow. A lot has changed since I took AP Biology in 1985-6! Back then it was classic Darwin and prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the reason some bacteria were antibiotic resistant was because they were descended from the few survivors with some random mutation that gave them resistance. A...
  • Carol Kean
    Aug 11, 2018
    Comprehensive, exhaustive, entertaining, at times gossipy, and altogether wonderful! If more science books were so rich with stories of the scientists, more students might be riveted to classes in genetics and evolutionary biology. I cannot imagine the years of research that must ha...
  • Gary
    Sep 04, 2018
    There is no one correct way of dividing a world, identity is fleeting and reification leads to oversimplification. All of that is within this book as the author looks at where the incredibly interesting world of microbiology stands today and what it means for understanding our current ...
  • John Wood
    Sep 12, 2018
    Just how was life created and how does it change and evolve? This book delves into the history of human exploration of these questions, the discoveries, the discoverers, the theories, the theorists, opposing viewpoints, opposers, the collaborations, the collaborators... The road is win...
  • Dennis
    Aug 17, 2018
    This book provides an extremely interesting, enjoyable, and readable overview of the history of the theory of evolution, from Darwin and before, up to the most current ideas. The central figure in the book is Carl Woese, who discovered Archaea, and there are also many engaging mini-bio...
  • Tim Dugan
    Aug 30, 2018
    It?s ok but I wish it had more technical details. The people stories are ok but less valuable than the science ...
  • Ev
    Nov 13, 2018
    I really waffled on whether to give this book a 4 or 5 - basically, it could have started from chapter 49. The preceding chapters helped to flesh out the phenomenal journey - developing central characters such as Carl Woese, who made the discovery of a third form of life - but it was l...
  • Faith
    Sep 07, 2018
    I guess what I really wanted was a magazine article with conclusions. This had much more biographical information than I wanted. Actually, it had much more of everything than I wanted. I assume that I am not the correct audience for this book. ...
  • June
    Dec 10, 2018
    I maybe more easily pleased by the subject matter. No discovery as a first encounter to surprise me, but the elucidation exhilarated me with many hypotheses (potential si-fi?). All the breakthroughs and prospects in evolutionary biology since pre-Darwinian are compiled in such a fasci...
  • Bill Leach
    Sep 04, 2018
    This book reviews the ideas of the Tree of Life from it's origin with early thinkers, primarily Darwin, through the understanding that the Bacteria and Archaea form separate domains. The book also has a number of secondary themes. The life of Carl Woese, who was largely responsible...
  • linhtalinhtinh
    Dec 13, 2018
    A riveting account on some of the most important findings related to evolution in microbiology in the 20th and early 21st century. Perhaps because the previous book I read by Quammen, Spillover, was so well writen, I just picked up this one almost without hesitance. Once again, Quammen...
  • Taylor Ahlstrom
    Sep 10, 2018
    The Tangled Tree is a rich, fascinating tale?not just of the history of evolutionary biology?but of the people behind the discoveries. While the book is primarily focused on Carl Woese and his immense contributions to the field, it weaves in and out of those he worked with, those w...
  • Radiantflux
    Nov 06, 2018
    99th book for 2018. This is a captivating history of the changing ideas surrounding the evolutionary tree life, from Charles Darwin to the latest findings in computational phylogenetics. Quammen writes really well and the story and it's complications are fascinating. However, the b...
  • Angie
    Jul 12, 2018
    This is a book at war with itself, trying to be many things at the same time. It is a well-written examination of evolution, the inadequacy of the standard tree metaphor for it, and the messiness of gene transfer. Quammen explores horizontal gene transfer and the uncertainty in what a ...
  • Rossdavidh
    Oct 01, 2018
    David Quammen has written a great book, wrapped in a pretty good one. I rarely give 5-star reviews, and from me a 3-star review actually means "I liked it", just like the goodreads scale advises. Nonetheless, I have given Quammen's books 5 stars on more than one occasion, and never les...
  • Feisty Harriet
    Oct 19, 2018
    4.5 stars; this was delightfully fascinating and I learned so much about micro phylogenetics, which--weirdly--is not a topic I knew much about but am SO FASCINATED BY! Phylogenetics is basically what happened with DNA and genetics PRIOR to what we know as "evolution"...meaning, the spe...
  • Carol Peters
    Aug 24, 2018
    Excellent. Boatloads of stuff I didn't know about that has been discovered during the past twenty years of bio-evolutionary-mathematical-physics. What is so far known about horizontal gene transfer. Was sorry it ended. Highly recommend. ...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Sep 05, 2018
    Meticulously researched, but Quammen?s ability to frame a complex scientific theory in a captivating story is lacking. Pick up The Tangled Tree if molecular phylogenetics is what makes your heart go pitty-pat. ...
  • Kathleen
    Sep 17, 2018
    National Book Award Longlist for Nonfiction 2018. Wow?where to start? Probably the most ?blow your mind? thing is that 8% of the human genome originated in virus genomes. This is just one of the insights resulting from scientists studying molecular phylogenetics, where the study ...
  • Conor
    Sep 16, 2018
    Horizontal gene transfer is a thing! Darwin is overrated! This book was fine but pretty niche! ...
  • Emma Bec
    Sep 15, 2018
    This was a wonderful book. It explains the advances in biology over the last century or so and how these have fundamentally changed how we view life and evolution. It explained the science really well and brought it to life with the stories of the scientists who worked on it. I really ...
  • Devon DeRaad
    Nov 25, 2018
    As a budding scientist, it is an invaluable opportunity to read not just the scientific details of a field, but to also have every colorful, human quirk of the field laid out masterfully before you. This book illuminates the rise of molecular phylogenetics and it?s utility in resolvi...