Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution

Maitland A. Edey, Author, Donald C. Johanson, Editor Little Brown and Company $19.95 (418p) ISBN 978-0-316-21076-8
As taught in most science courses, the discovery of biological evolution is dry stuff. By contrast, in this wonderfully engaging book from the coauthors of Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind , the researches of Lamarck, Mendel, Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace and modern evolutionary biologists add up to an intriguing human drama. How Darwinism survived the critical onslaughts of creationists and scientists alike makes for a tale of stubborn persistence, ingenuity, sheer luck and ultimate vindication with the advent of geneticists who unravelled the workings of DNA. Paleoanthropologist Johanson, discoverer of ``Lucy,'' a three-million-year-old fossil of an upright- walking African hominid, and Edey, former Life writer-editor, enliven their tale with down-to-earth cameos of scientists at work. In the closing section, they outline a tentative Homo family tree that posits our descent from Miocene apes, taking into account Lucy and the 1985 discovery of a fossil popularly known as the ``Black Skull.'' It would be hard to imagine a more readable, comprehensive survey of the story of evolution. Illustrated. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-14-013265-6
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