When Charles Darwin unveiled his revolutionary idea that life had evolved by means of natural selection it made sense of the whole of biology, yet it was dogged by a major problem: the transitional fossils that would confirm Darwin’s predictions were seemingly nowhere to be found. The absence of these “missing links” became one of the most hotly debated issues in evolutionary science. Only now—through advances in paleontology, molecular biology, and genetics—can the comprehensive story be told. Written in Stone is the first popular account of the remarkable discovery of these fossils (from walking whales to feathered dinosaurs and hominins of all types), the debates they engender, and how today’s discoveries have changed our perspective of the tree of life. By combining the most up-to-date scientific research with the history of science, Written in Stone explores our changing ideas about our place in nature and celebrates the remarkable variety of life on Earth.
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Proposes that the strides made in paleontology have helped with understanding evolution, and discusses how fossils, prominent scientists, technology, and other factors have each influenced the theory's development.