[Download] The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution By Sean B. Carroll

The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution

By: Sean B. Carroll
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 8 hours
Release date: Jan 15, 2007
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (91 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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DNA evidence not only solves crimes-in Sean Carroll's hands it will now end the Evolution Wars.

DNA is the genetic material that defines us as individuals. Over the last two decades, it has emerged as a powerful tool for solving crimes and determining guilt and innocence. But, very recently, an important new aspect of DNA has been revealed-it contains a detailed record of evolution. That is, DNA is a living chronicle of how the marvelous creatures that inhabit our planet have adapted to its many environments, from the freezing waters of the Antarctic to the lush canopy of the rain forest.

In this highly accessible narrative, Sean Carroll guides the general listener on a tour of the massive DNA record of three billion years of evolution to see how the fittest are made. And what an eye-opening tour it is-one that features immortal genes, fossil genes, and genes that bear the scars of past battles with horrible diseases. This book clinches the case for evolution beyond any reasonable doubt.
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14 Responses to “[Download] The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution By Sean B. Carroll”

  1. Hans Keown

    This is a propaganda piece for evolution. Since his purpose is to sell evolution rather than fact and science I would have liked him to seriously examine the basis premises of evolution: 1.chance, 2. time, 3. selection, and 4. large numbers. These premises are questionable to say the last. There just has not been enough time for things to have occurred by chance. That is mathematic fact!!!!

    The author is a con man. If you believe the whoppers he tells you in the first couple of chapters, he will hook you with even bigger ones towards the end.

    Don’t be naive. Instead get a copy of THE PSYCHOPATH NEXT DOOR and see where this guy fits into society. As Jesus said of the psychopaths, “they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”

    Whether psychopath or sociopath, they harm the basic functioning of a society. He condemns religionists on the one hand and is as much an evangelical on the other. The only thing he really has going for him is that the new religion is science and the common man has as hard a time challenging the basic premises of this religion as our forefathers had of challenging the premise that the sun revolved around the earth.

  2. Otha S.

    This book is a magical story about biology. It is written in a style like some of the science shows like ‘Cosmos.’ It is filled with tons of facts and examples but it is such a fun story you don’t even realize how much you learned.

  3. Ruthann Gustus

    Must read for Evolutionary Genetics!
    The phrase “Use it or Lose it” takes on a much greater meaning in this highly detailed but extremely readable discussion of evolutionary genetics.
    Making of the Fittess compared the molecular structure of light sensitive proteins (opsins} in the retina of the eyes of animal that lived in different types of light conditions and then examine the differences in the genes that allow animals to detect a particular wave lenght or color of light illustrating how natural selection works. When there was no advantages for an animal to see a particular color, the gene responsible was not used and eventually became inactive and that type of opsin was not produced. These inactive genes bcome non-functional and Carroll term these genes “fossil genes” which remained in the geome until eventually being lost to the organism. So “used it or lose it” acutally applies to the inactive gene. The type of light environment the animal lives in determines the type of light sensitive proteins (opsins) it has illustrating how natural selection works. Knowing the type of “fossil genes” of opsin allow you determine evolutionary relationships. It been awhile since they discovered the change in the gene that lead to Sickle Cell Anemia but “Making of The Fittess” allows us to examine many new specific changes in genes and how these changes lead to making of the fittess.

  4. Lino K.

    Introductory Jr college class for non-biologists
    author is erudite. well written. but textbook-like. better read than heard probably as the illustrations are critical if you don’t already know how DNA and transcription work. and in a book it’s easier to skip the long introduction and stuff you already know.
    If you are bright and skeptical and relatively uneducated about biology, and especially if you have heard rhetoric from anti-evolutionists, you are the target audience.
    The text is missing a couple elements. 1. How the toolbox or immortal genes came into existence not mentioned; critics may have math on their side when you consider only the piecemeal construction methods of random mutation and selection. 2. Epi-genetics is not mentioned. this is very new and I was hoping to learn about it here.

  5. Carmella C.

    Fairly elementary
    I debated whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. I used to be a 7th grade science teacher, and I found it telling me a lot of things I already knew. A previous reviewer mentioned that s/he is currently a science teacher and that this book provides excellent material to be adapted to the course s/he teaches. I would agree.

    So if it’s been a few years since you last studied evolution or if you didn’t pay much attention in your high school biology class, this would probably be an excellent place for you to start. However, if you are an evolution enthusiast, maybe took some classes on it in college, have read other books on evolution, then this book may be too elementary for you. I also just finished reading “Before the Dawn” and I would recommend that to you as a great book with more in-depth information on human evolution.

  6. Isaiah Warens

    ERUDITE presentation.
    A nearly convincing case for Darwinistic evolution is well presented. The story of evolution thru DNA mutation is fascinating. I have never studied this directly but knew about 1/2 from medical school in the early 90’s; it seems the evidence/knowledge has at least doubled in a decade.
    Problems: 1. a century ago, a theory competed with DNA mutation which has been discredited but I think is making a partial comeback (mentioned briefly near the book end with the Russian scientist). It involves traits of parents that they acquired during their life getting passed to progeny. Since this can’t involve DNA changes as parent germ cell DNA is already cast, this doesn’t fit with “Darwinism”. EPIGENETICS is the latest concept. Vaguely, changing gene expression without changing DNA sequence can alter the phenotype of the individual and it seems that how an organism lives can change proteins in their sperm or egg and pass along “learned” traits.
    2. Behe has a similar book in the service library where he makes a case for Intelligent Design. Most (but not all) of that is controverted well here. Both authors agree that random point mutations are mostly entropic or destructive and short-sited. Behe can’t see how complex protein structures (“toolbox” genes) could possibly evolve with only this mechanism. There is not a good answer for this, Carroll implies that added opportunity for bigger changes occur with gene duplications and the complexities of promoters and complex switching. (And I would add that the 97% or so of our DNA that is non-coding for proteins or “junk” makes a great workshop for new genes to accidentally occur). But, science has not been able to work back to early evolution and describe in any way where the toolbox genes, with perhaps 5 to 15 major protein complexes interacting in a positive way, came about. Panspermia or Intelligent Design cannot yet be ruled out. Carroll’s proposition that simple random DNA mutations are fully adequate to support all evolutionary changes from the beginning is not completely proven in my mind and I fully expect other mechanisms to be elucidated in the next 1-2 decades.
    Evolution thru DNA mutation, “survival of the fittest”, and common ancestry are about as well proven as gravity and the roundness of the earth. It hardly seems necessary to write such an elaborate book to demonstrate this. But, just as Einstein’s relativistic physics updated Newtonian, I think there are important subtleties yet to be discovered.
    I would love it if Carroll updated his book. A lot has been learned already in the last 4-5 years which further illuminates the mechanisms of evolution.
    Another observation: If you are not familiar with genetics, the service version of this will be very hard to follow. Diagrams help tremendously (so get the book instead or get online).

  7. Jefferson Maragh

    An understandable story of genetics and evolution
    Where does The Making of the Fittest rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

  8. Eldon Cosio

    Pft. Seriously.
    I don’t know…

    Evolution isn’t really an argument anymore, we know how things evolve, but the missing link is still not really explained. There are a few things in our evolutionary transition from Neanderthal Man to Space Man, that don’t add up. I am not christian creationist “Let there be Light!!” believer and I would not care how humans have came to be. However I am interested and every time someone comes up with a book that says they absolutely have the answer I buy it hoping they do. Beyond a reasonable doubt…. Not yet. When you see how long it takes for things to evolve the smallest thing and we go from Zero to Hero in miniscule blink of an eye. The only people that can slam me are the people that are RELIGIOUSLY one sided. The extremes are on both sides of the fence. I have talked with Evolutionist that were more imposing than some of the hard-core southern bible thumpers, there is no debating with them, it’s an absolute.

    Second this guys tiptoes around all the subjects trying to build his case and then when he should be slamming his point home he give a general opinion that can be interpreted different ways…

    In general it was a good book, explained some confusing subjects in easy to understand details. It was obviously one sided.

  9. Dominique Swaggert

    Great book
    I really enjoyed the book. A little dry and technical, since I had to replay certain parts in order to understand or sync in. A very good book that explains how evolution works based on proven facts. Very enlightening.
    If you are a realist and enjoy science, then I highly recommend this book.

  10. Jonah Gamez

    Both of us tried to listen to it and it was soooooo slow that it put us to sleep. We did not even make it half way through before we gave up.

  11. Crysta Radej

    Not bad, but also not great.
    Eh. 2.5 stars, but I’ll round up to three because it was enjoyable enough that I made it through the whole thing without getting TOO bored or annoyed.

    But first of all, dangit! How did I get stuck with another audiobook narrated by Patrick Lawlor? I meant to avoid him from now on after his reading of Buddy Levy’s Conquistador; at least he didn’t have any Spanish to butcher this time. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, but I have a really hard time with his accent. I just do. However, I did actually manage to make it all the way through his reading of this book, so yay me!

    As to the book itself, I found it in turns pretty interesting and pretty frustrating. I really enjoyed the parts about the evolution of the eye, but most of the other examples Carroll uses I have seen documented much more thoroughly in other books, so those parts had less appeal for me. I imagine folks that haven’t read or heard about them before will enjoy them much more than I did. I also felt like at times Carroll got pretty repetetive, and his habit of ending every chapter with something like, “in the next chapter, I’ll talk about so-and-so…” really got on my nerves. I don’t really need you to tell me what you’re going to start talking about on the next page–just move along and talk about it already! It felt kind of…I don’t know. Amateurish? I didn’t like it, whatever it felt like. And then the chapter about intelligent design seemed really unnecessary to me. I get the idea that he’s trying to convert people from intelligent design to believing in evolution with the power of his arguments or whatever, but (a) how many people that believe in intelligent design are really reading this in the first place? And (b) it seemed kind of disrespectful, although I do at least appreciate his making the point that not ALL people who believe in God feel that the theory of evolution is antithetical to their faith. I just feel like it would have been a much better book without that entire section.

    I know I sound pretty crotchety about this one, but it’s not bad. I guess I do think there are better books on this topic out there though. On the other hand, plenty of folks seem to have really liked this one a lot, so maybe that’s just me.

  12. Jacinto Manrriquez

    Very good and also a disappointment
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  13. Traci

    Very interesting subject matter
    This book was very interesting without turning into a science text book. He used good examples to express his points and I walked away with great trivia on the subject matter. I also enjoyed his arguments for evolution vs. creationism. The narrator had voice that was kind of nasally but I was able to deal with it. I would preview it before buying just in case.

  14. Wayne Gaskins

    A different view of evolution
    I listened to this, The Greatest Show on Earth, and The Reluctant Mr. Darwin last year. They’re all good but I found this one most interesting from a science perspective. I have a degree in zoology and know a lot about evolution but looking at things at the level of DNA was novel to me and I really learned a lot. The author makes a convincing case in the book’s closing chapters that conserving the world’s wildlife, specifically ocean fisheries, depends upon a wide-spread acceptance of evolution as the fundamental concept in biology. I have recommended this to friends and I’ll recommend it to you, too, if the basic description of the book sounds interesting at all to you (I grant you it’s not for everyone).

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