This is the synopsis of Ancestor's Tale on wikipedia [link] Take a look at the words being used to describe the book.


"The narrative is structured as a pilgrimage, with all modern animals following their own path through history to the origin of life. Humans meet their evolutionary cousins at rendezvous points along the way, the points at which the lineage diverged. At each point Dawkins attempts to infer, from molecular and fossil evidence, the probable form of the most recent common ancestor and describes the modern animals that join humanity's growing travelling party. This structure is inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

The pilgrimage visits a total of 40 "rendezvous points" from rendezvous zero, the most recent common ancestor of all of humanity, to rendezvous 39, eubacteria, the ancestor of all surviving organisms. Though Dawkins is confident of the essential shape of this phylogenetic taxonomy, he enters caveats on a small number of branch points where a compelling weight of evidence had not been assembled at the time of writing.
Fig. 2: A highly resolved, automatically generated Tree Of Life, based on completely sequenced genomes.[1][2]

At each rendezvous point, Dawkin recounts interesting tales about cousin animals which are about to join the band of pilgrims. Every newly recruited species, genus or family has its own peculiar features to offer as amusement for readers. For instance, Dawkins discusses why the axolotl never needs to grow up, how new species come about, how hard it is to classify animals, and why our fish-like ancestors decided to move on to land. These peculiar features are studied and analyzed using a newly introduced tool or method from evolutionary biology, carefully woven into a tale to illustrate how the Darwinian theory of evolution can explain all diversity in nature with scientific facts.

Even though the book is best read sequentially, every chapter can also be read independently as a self-contained tale with an emphasis on a particular aspect of modern biology. As a whole, the book elaborates on all major topics in evolution. The Ancestor's Tale can be considered an encyclopedia on evolution written into a collection of fascinating stories.

Dawkins also tells personal stories about his childhood and time at university. He talks with fondness about a tiny bushbaby he kept as a child in Malawi (Nyasaland). He described his surprise when he learned that the closest living relatives to the hippos are the whales.

The book was produced in two hardback versions: a British one with extensive colour illustrations (by Weidenfeld & Nicolson), and an American one with a reduced number of black-and-white illustrations (by Houghton Mifflin). Paperback versions and an abridged audio version (narrated by Dawkins and his wife Lalla Ward) have also been published.

The book is dedicated to Dawkins' friend and mentor, population geneticist John Maynard Smith, who died shortly before the book went to press."

I took the liberty of fixing one part already which was originally:
"The Ancestor's Tale can be considered an encyclopedia on evolution disguised as a collection of fascinating stories."

which i changed to:
"The Ancestor's Tale can be considered an encyclopedia on evolution written into a collection of fascinating stories."

There are others. I like how they slipped in "newly introduced tool or method from evolutionary biology" Someone is going in and editing to make Richard Dawkins seem illegitimate. I wonder what other pages say.. What have you seen? what have you corrected? Tell stories if you have them.

Tags: Dawkins, Richard, ancestors, definition, editing, semantics, tale, the, theist, unoficial, More…war, wikipedia

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I'm about halfway through reading Ancestors' Tale and enjoying it quite a lot.

I see that one editor tried to place the book into an 'anti-religion books' list, probably because Dawkins does comment once or twice that creationists might try to distort or misrepresent what he is saying.

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