Book Review: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Posted: January 8th, 2011 under book review, education, philosophy, video.
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Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Brent has been participating in a science book club. I love reading books about science; however, going to school in addition to working full time makes it difficult for me to find the time for leisurely reading. Fortunately I had a week of vacation from work scheduled simultaneously with a break between semesters of nursing school. I eagerly picked up this month’s assigned book, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo from the library.

Author Sean B. Carroll discusses evolutionary developmental biology which is the relationship between embryonic development and evolutionary changes. He explains how “tool kit genes,” a small number of genes which emerged 600 million years ago, are the primary components for building all animals. He discusses how the amazing diversity in the world is controlled by “genetic switches” which instruct these tool kit genes where to act and what to do.

Here is the link to a good video about his book:

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

I enjoyed reading “Endless Forms Most Beautiful.” I found some of it difficult to follow, such as when Carroll discussed the complexity of axes and poles within the latitude and longitude of embryos’ coordinate systems. I had to read back over some of these parts several times. Overall it was truly fascinating and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed discussing the book with the members of the science book club and hearing different perspectives and insights.

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