English (United States)Hanover Square Press
From blurry vision to crooked teeth, ACLs that tear at alarming rates, and spines that seem to spend a lifetime falling apart, it’s a curious thing that human beings have beaten the odds as a species. After all, we’re the only survivors on our branch of the tree of life. The flaws in our makeup raise more than a few questions, and this detailed foray into the many twists and turns of our ancestral past entails no shortage of curiosity and humour to find the answers. Why is it that human mothers have such a life-endangering experience giving birth? Why are there entire medical specialties for teeth and feet? And why is it that human babies can’t even hold their heads up, but horses are trotting around minutes after they’re born? In this funny, wide-ranging, and often surprising book, biologist Alex Bezzerides tells us just where we inherited our adaptable, achy, brilliant bodies in the process of evolution.
"Alex Bezzerides’s subject is one that should be of inherent interest to all humans: why evolution designed our bodies in such a seemingly eccentric manner, causing us to suffer from all manner of aches and pains. He provides the answers with gentle humour and easy-to-understand explanations. Along the way he also shares plenty of curious facts that, if you’re like me, you’ll feel compelled to share with family and friends."
"An exhilarating clamber through some of the remoter branches of the human family tree. Alex Bezzerides reminds us that our great grand- ancestors included fish and quadrupeds as well as the tree-climbing apes that more readily spring to mind. Evolution Gone Wrong is the fascinating tale of our imperfections: how millions of years of evolution created a species more intelligent than any other, but one blighted by faulty eyesight, back pain, and an unfortunate propensity for choking on its food."
"You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, and you’ll ache all over while reading this book."
"From opposable thumbs to flat feet to the pangs of childbirth, Bezzerides takes us on an unforgettable journey through this twisted miracle of evolution we call 'our body.'"
"...a fantastic, informative book…a home run…I recommend Evolution Gone Wrong highly to anyone wishing to grasp the mix of biological and cultural forces at work on our anatomy today.”
ALEX BEZZERIDES is a professor of biology at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, where he teaches a wide range of biology classes, from human anatomy and physiology to entomology. He has a bachelor’s
degree in biology and a PhD in neurobiology and behaviour. With a background in anatomy and evolution, Alex approaches the study of the human body with a curiosity for the historical roots of our anatomical imperfections. Alex Bezzerides lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter.