In his last book, Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy—our hands, our jaws—and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago.
Now, he takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we are the way we are in his new book, The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People. Starting once again with fossils, Shubin turns his gaze skyward. He shows how the entirety of the universe's 14-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies.
From our very molecular composition, he makes clear, through the working of our eyes, how the evolution of the cosmos has had profound effects on the development of human life on earth.
Neil Shubin has been one of the major forces behind a new evolutionary synthesis of expeditionary paleontology, developmental genetics, and genomics. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and UC Berkeley, Shubin is currently associate dean of biological sciences at the University of Chicago.