The fundamental atoms that make our hands, feet, and brains serve as the fuel for stars. It isn’t merely the atoms in our bodies that extend across the far reaches of the universe: molecules that make our bodies are found in space. The building blocks for the proteins and larger molecules that make us – amino acids and nitrates – rain down to Earth in meteorites and lie on the rocky crust of Mars or on the moons of Jupiter.
~ Neil Shubin (from the book “The Universe Within”)
In The Universe Within, Neil Shubin reveals the connection between the evolution of the cosmos and the evolution of the human body.
Just as the history of the earth is written in the rocks, so too is the universe’s 14-billion-year history written in the human body. Starting at the smallest level, with our very molecular composition, Shubin explores the question of why we are the way we are, tracing the formation of the planets, the moon, and the globe of Earth through the development of the organs, cells, and genes that make up human life.