Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements
This book presents the intriguing hypothesis that human evolution has been directed by the need for locomotion. It is a fascinating theory, and well-supported in this excellent book. This book assumes some familiarity with different branches of science such as biology, chemistry, and physics, but an educated reader will enjoy author Matt Wilkinson’s infectiously enthusiastic writing style, which, while it doesn’t shy from technical, scientific or medical terminology, is easy to follow and keeps the reader from getting lost in details. The book starts with a detailed analysis of how humans move – walk, run, skip – and compares that to other animals. But this leads to the question: Why do we differ, and where, when, and how did the changes take place? Each succeeding chapter travels further back in evolutionary time to a major shift in locomotion. Various competing hypotheses are presented – science is still open canon – and the narrative is peppered with allusions to literature and history, and enlivened with photographs and explanatory diagrams. And it’s a lot of fun. Reading it, you will be surprised by questions you never considered, and amazed at the wonder of evolutionary adaptation that brought us to our current form.
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