Explaining Life Through Evolution by Prosanta Chakrabarty

The story of four billion years of life on Earth 

Prosanta encourages us to think of life as being like a book, one that is always in the making. What we see living around us today are just the last few pages. If we look out on to the millions of species that we share this planet with we can trace their histories, and ours, back through nearly four billion years of evolution. We can also think of all the living things around as the young leaves on an ancient and gigantic ‘Tree of Life’, all of us connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors..

Praise for the book

“This incredibly readable and engaging primer on evolutionary principles and processes is a ‘must have’ for any reader’s bookshelf. I enjoyed not only the elaboration of how evolution works but also the sections on misconceptions and applications. It even clarifies important timely topics like race as a social rather than genetic construct and our current COVID-19 pandemic.”

— Dr. Mohamed Noor, Darwin-Wallace Medal winner; Dean of Natural Sciences, Duke University

“An enlightening and entertaining climb through the tree of life. Prosanta Chakrabarty is a superb educator who wants more than anything to persuade you to think. He offers an accessible and affable guide to evolution, what it is, what it isn’t, how it works and why it matters – especially right now. Essential reading for students, teachers and anyone who’s ever wondered how life on earth came to be the way it is.”

— Dr. Helen Scales, author of Spirals in Time and The Brilliant Abyss
About the author

Prosanta Chakrabarty is an evolutionary biologist at Louisiana State University where he is a professor and curator. He is a Senior Fellow at TED, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He grew up in New York City; his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal (the city where he was born) and his PhD is from the University of Michigan.

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