Quirks of Human Anatomy
Cambridge University Press, 13/08/2009
EAN 9780521518482, ISBN10: 0521518482
Hardcover, 280 pages, 25.3 x 21.5 x 2.2 cm
With the emergence of the new field of evolutionary developmental biology we are witnessing a renaissance of Darwin's insights 150 years after his On the Origin of Species. Thus far, the exciting findings from 'evo-devo' have only been trickling into college courses and into the domain of non-specialists. With its focus on the human organism, Quirks of Human Anatomy opens the floodgates by stating the arguments of evo-devo in plain English, and by offering a cornucopia of interesting case studies and examples. Its didactic value is enhanced by 24 schematic diagrams that integrate a host of disparate observations, by its Socratic question-and-answer format, and by its unprecedented compilation of the literature. By framing the 'hows' of development in terms of the 'whys' of evolution, it lets readers probe the deepest questions of biology. Readers will find the book educational and enjoyable, as it revels in the fun of scientific exploration.
'Author Lewis Held brings readers a rich and extensively documented exploration of the evolutionary and developmental bases of modern human anatomy. ... From my perspective as a teacher of anatomy, I rejoice any time that an exploration of the human form makes clear the evolutionary basis of our biological features. However, Quirks hits the jackpot by delivering on the other two components that contribute to our current form: development and function. A second strength of this book is that it provides detailed - and extensively illustrated and documented - accounts of developmental genetics and pathways focused around the sorts of questions that beginning students in anatomy might have ... the illustrations are very helpful ... I heartily recommend this book and found it a joy to read.' Andrew J. Petto, Evolution: Education and Outreach