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

  • Kay
    Jan 07, 2019
    I enjoyed the other three books by Quammen that I've read, but had difficulty getting into this one. Seemed like a really hard slog and too focused on material of little interest to me. Bailed after fifty pages or so. ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Betsy
    Mar 29, 2019
    I really enjoyed this book. It was primarily a history of the science of evolutionary microbiology (evolution from the viewpoint of microbes), including small biographies of many of the primary players in the field. However, the author kept coming back to one scientist, Carl Woese, who...
  • 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  Beauregard Bottomley
    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 ...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Jan 21, 2019
    Summary:Fascinating material presented in an approachable way, but overall organization was lacking. Many of you who enjoy natural history will have read about Charles Darwin. You may already know that he originated the tree of life as a way of visualizing the process of evolution...
  • Alison
    Dec 22, 2018
    A good science book is a wonderful thing, and this is a really good science book. Quammen weaves his story between people and science, following ideas and personalities, discoveries and molecular phylogenetics in a careful balance intended to keep a relatively ignorant audience afloat....
  • Peter Tillman
    Apr 19, 2019
    Here's the review that made me cancel my hold on this one: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Also https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Both 2 star reviews, and Tony has been a reliable source for me in the past. OK, and my two previous tries of Quammen books were duds,...
  • jrendocrine
    Mar 25, 2019
    I was very disappointed with this book. It is not what it boasts of being (book blurb "There's no one who writes about complex science better than David Quammen"). As a biologist who was taught the usual prokaryote/eukaryote tree in college (a long time ago) I was excited that some...
  • 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 ...
  • Michael Huang
    Feb 25, 2019
    Many supposedly clear-cut concepts can become unambiguous upon closer studies. The history of science is full of such examples. Darwin himself was unnerved when he realized that some of his thinking would ?undermine the stability of species?. This book tells the stories about how t...
  • Camelia Rose
    Feb 07, 2019
    Not sure how radical it is, The Tangled Tree is an up-to-date account of evolution, or it is about the evolution of our scientific understanding of evolution. The principals of Darwinian evolution still stand, however, the details have been reworked. New discoveries are powered by DNA ...
  • Graeme Newell
    Feb 09, 2019
    New advances in genetic research are facilitating a massive rewrite of the story of life. Peeking inside DNA and RNA is changing our understanding of how life developed. We?ve always been taught that bacteria came first, then plants arose, and finally animals. The new evidence is ...
  • 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. ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Liza Fireman
    Sep 03, 2018
    Oh so boring, so so boring. Some writers know how to turn scientific data into a popular knowledge, and can make you even have fun as well as make you learn new things. They can make amazing accessible magic from the deep knowledge without completely losing the essence of it. Most can...
  • 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! ...
  • RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
    Mar 19, 2019
    4 stars. Update: 3-20-19 at 12:53 Eastern Standard Time I will be rereading this book. A friend and I used to talk about this subject in depth. I also read books and watch documentaries similar to this book ( due to this friend) in the before I join Goodreads Era. Some stuff I did ...
  • Edmée
    Nov 18, 2018
    More accurately biographies of the scientists who made the discoveries. Read only if you are interested in their hair color or waist size. At least 2/3 of the book reviews basic science that would already known by readers. ...
  • Dax
    Feb 01, 2019
    Really interesting stuff. Unless you are fresh off a molecular biology class, you will struggle to keep up with the terminology, but Quammen does a great job of simplifying things and clearly illustrating the implications of each new development and breakthrough. You do not need to...