Darwin may have argued that new species emerge through a slow, gradual accumulation of tiny mutations, but the fossil record reveals a very different scenario-the sudden emergence of whole new species, with no apparent immediate ancestors.
In this provocative and timely book, Jeffrey Schwartz presents a groundbreaking and radical new theory that explains exactly how evolution works. Turning to the marvels of genetics, paleontology, embryology, and anatomy, and introducing the recent discovery of an extraordinary type of gene, known as homeobox genes, Schwartz provides an evocative answer to the long-standing question: How do species emerge?
Writing with the expert knowledge only an insider can bring, Schwartz tells the intriguing history of the study of evolution, from the initial breakthrough discoveries to the famous Piltdown controversy up through the genetics revolution. Sudden Origins is a monumental book that ties together all the threads of evolutionary theory while providing a compelling answer to one of life's most enduring conundrums. This book is crucial reading for anyone who has ever pondered mysteries of our evolutionary heritage.
Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of the critically acclaimed The Red Ape and What the Bones Tell Us. He is also the coauthor, with Ian Tattersall, of the forthcoming landmark three-volume work, The Human Fossil Record.