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Almost Like A Whale
About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2000
  • ISBN: 9780552999588
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99
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Almost Like A Whale

The Origin Of Species Updated


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The Language of the Genes and In the Blood revisits Darwin's The Origin of Species, and updates it for the twenty-first century.

In his new book, Steve Jones takes on the challenge of going back to the book of the millennium, Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. Before The Origin, biology was a set of unconnected facts. Darwin made it into a science, linked by the theory of evolution, the grammar of the living world.It reveals ties between cancer and the genetics of fish, between brewing and inherited disease, between the sex lives of crocodiles and the politics of Brazil. Darwin used the biology of the nineteenth century to prove his case. Now, that science has been revolutionized and his case can be reargued using the twentieth century's astonishing advances.

From AIDS to dinosaurs, from conservation to cloned sheep, bursting with anecdotes, jokes and irresistible facts, Almost Like a Whale is a popular account of the science that makes biology make sense. It will catch the millennial mood and tell all those for whom Darwin is merely a familiar name what he really meant. It exposes the Darwinian delusions which try (and fail) to explain human behaviour in evolutionary terms, and, while giving an up-to-date account of our own past, shows how humans are the first species to step beyond the constraints of biology.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2000
  • ISBN: 9780552999588
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Steve Jones

Steve Jones was born in West London in 1955. He founded the Sex Pistols in 1972 with Paul Cook and Wally Nightingale and was their guitarist until the band broke up in 1978. He is a musician, record producer and actor. He lives in Los Angeles, where he hosts Jonesy’s Jukebox on 95.5 KLOS FM and www.955KLOS.com every Monday to Friday between 12.00-2.00pm.

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Praise for Almost Like A Whale

“'A celebration of the unarguable rightness of Darwin's case, updated to take into account our century's advances, particularly in genetics...his writing is clear, precise, declamatory, often illuminating...he allies the macro and the micro, using tales of dogs and snails and polyps and islands, to create a work of persuasion rather than polemic' ”

Euan Ferguson, Observer

“'To rewrite Darwin requires considerable skill, bravado, and, possibly, a touch of madness. Jones clearly has more than his fair share of all three...a barnstorming tour of modern genetics and its implications for evolutionary theory'”

Kenan Malik, Independent on Sunday

“'The richness is almost overwhelming, and I am awed by Jones's reading...hugely enjoyable'”

Steven Rose, Independent

“'Explains the workings of evolution, as they are now understood, with beautiful clarity and, naturally, with a lot more fun and jokes than Darwin ever allowed himself. The book is a pleasure to read'”

Mary Midgley, New Statesman

“'A clever book about serious ideas that can happily be read on the beach'”

Colin Tudge, Sunday Telegraph

“'Exhilarating'”

Melvyn Bragg, Observer

“'As enthralling in its own way as was Darwin's original'”

Kenan Malik, Independent on Sunday

“ ”

“'Inspired by his modernising pen, the old bones throw off their dust and dance the boogie...a richly readable introduction to the science that The Origin of Species invented'”

Mark Ridley, The Sunday Times


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