Reviews

  • [A] fascinating and beautifully written book

    Tom Whipple, The Times
  • Deep, broad, brilliant, and thought-provoking ... [Losos[ is one of the premier writers in biology today

    Kevin Padian, Nature
  • Improbable Destinies is one of the best books on evolutionary biology for a broad readership ever written. Its subjects - the unfolding of Earth's biological history, the precarious nature of human existence, and the likelihood of life on exoplanets - are presented in a detailed, exciting style expected from an authentic scientist and naturalist

    Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
  • A rich, provocative, and very accessible book, Improbable Destinies is an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the ecological theater and evolutionary play of life, expertly guided one of its most insightful observers. Jonathan Losos has shone a light on a largely unheralded cast of fascinating creatures and ingenious scientists who are reshaping our view of why life is the way it is

    Sean B. Carroll, author of 'The Serengeti Rules' and 'Brave Genius'
  • This is a wonderfully serious book with a light-hearted voice. Is evolution predictable or contingent? Big question. Why do adaptations converge? Big question. Why is the platypus unique? Smaller question, but fun! Read, enjoy, think

    David Quammen, author of 'The Song of the Dodo' and 'Spillover'
  • Is evolution a story foretold? Or is it little more than the rolls of DNA's dice? In Improbable Destinies, Jonathan Losos tackles these fascinating questions not with empty philosophizing, but with juicy tales from the front lines of scientific research. Drunk flies, fast-evolving lizards, mutating microbes, and hypothetical humanoid dinosaurs all grace the pages of this wonderfully thought-provoking book

    Carl Zimmer, author of 'A Planet of Viruses' and 'The Tangled Bank'