Week 3

Our Evolution Over the Past 500 Million Years

A lot happened to us over the past 0.5 billion years. We became deuterostomes with heads, backbones, legs, hair and nipples. This post-Cambrian period contains only about 10% of our evolution but is the focus of ~90% of all biologists. Astrobiological and microbiological perspectives are needed to cure this vertebrate-centrism.

The Ancestor’s Tale: a pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution,
by Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong 2016 (revised and expanded edition), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston

Your Inner Fish: a journey into the 3.5-billion-year history of the human body
by Neil Shubin 2008 Pantheon Books, New York

The Rise of Fishes: 500 million years of evolution
by John A. Long, 2011, 2nd edition, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

Once We All Had Gills: growing up evolutionist in an evolving world
by Rudolf A. Raff 2012, Indiana University Press, Bloomington

Most phylogenetic trees do not include...