Talk:The Ancestor's Tale

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I feel that this book differs from all other books by Dawkins in that he tried to present all aspects of evolution in a single volume, in effect creating an encyclopedia on modern biology as a collection of stories which are fascinating to read. See my addition to the lead section just now. I believe that the article can be expanded so that each rendezvous point is associated with a sentence or two describing the aspect of evolution and tools/methods of modern biology illustrated in the chapter. Fredhsu 01:34, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


Where is the ISBN for this book? I think I want to buy it, or see if my library has a copy, or whatever. Xaxafrad 05:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

The ISBN's are on the Richard Dawkins article. By the way, I would strongly recommend that you buy the hardback edition, not the paperback. Laurence Boyce 11:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Why do you recommend the hardback edition? Also, are you talking about the British edition or the US one? 23:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I was talking about the UK edition; I have not seen any US editions. I recommend the hardback edition because it is a beautiful coffee table book produced on high quality paper and containing numerous illustrations. By comparison, the paperback edition doesn't really come close. It's not simply the difference between a hard and a soft cover is what I mean. Laurence Boyce 08:49, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
See, Laurence, I told you we needed to have ISBN numbers on every individual article to make it easy for people to buy these books. I think it is OK to list one arbitrary version (hardback preferred), then another link to a list of editions. Fred Hsu 15:12, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Notwithstanding my advice regarding editions, I really don't feel that our purpose here is to sell books. And I don't know about you, but I find the process of looking up books on Amazon to be, well, rather easy! Laurence Boyce 17:12, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Why have people search for the book, when you have the ISBN at hand? Besides, the wiki ISBN page allows people to find books at all kinds of places, not just See the Editions section at I, Robot for a good example. Fred Hsu 00:14, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Sure, well please add them if you wish. I'm not against them as such; I just don't see the point. Laurence Boyce 12:46, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Why be coy?[edit]

"He too seems just as surprised as the reader when he reveals the closest relatives to the hippos." - What is the "too" from? Who is this "the reader", and how do we know what this hypothetical person thinks or doesn't think? What reliable source affirms that "the reader" feels this way? And what's with the coyness in refraining from mentioning the word "whale"? This is an important biological fact, not a plot spoiler! (And even if it was, this coyness is unencyclopedic.) -Silence 05:34, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I fixed the sentence. It now clearly indicates that whales are closest living relatives of hippos. I also added this piece of information to the whale article. Fred Hsu 19:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Anti-religious category[edit]

Dawkins is a bright guy who has researched his stuff. This is an excellent book with one exception - He is also a crackpot anti-religious nut. On many occasions he writes stuff like "they better not misinterpret this stuff" and goes on about it. He clearly has an axe to grind against religion. When I entered the category "Books critical of religion", however, an editor deleted it. The book is extremely critical of religion. It did not have to be. The author (and his editors) made a conscious decision to print the book in an uncessary polemical fashion. I think the categorization is accurate. Student7 (talk) 22:28, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Dawkins can be pretty unrelenting in his anti-religious ways, but simply stating "Don't misinterpret this" doesn't count as criticism. Considering the amount of misinterpretation Dawkins has received from religious groups, he can probably anticipate which of his propositions are liable to attract further criticism. And so in this book, he points these parts out, then explains the concept in greater depth so the idea won't be twisted by religious nuts (or, at least it will be more of a stretch for them to twist it...). Maybe there are other parts where he actually does criticize them (it's been a while since I've read this), but that example isn't criticism. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 03:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

How accurate is this book anyway? Were chimps actually the most recent to split? Of the possible origins of bipedalism, Darwin's drawing of the chimp becoming human isn't one of them. Orangutans can walk on two legs far better than chimps can. Does Dawkins include recent discoveries such as the ardi?

Also, I thought whales came from carnivorans, not artiodactyles. (talk) 12:06, 19 May 2011 (UTC)Collin237

Combined Party column[edit]

The chart that lists the various rendezvous is very helpful. I think it would be even better if—next to the Joining Party column—there could be a Combined Party column. For example, when the Strepsirrhini join at Rendezvous 8, the Combined Party would be "Primates". I don't have the necessary education to do this myself. Having the names of all these groups would give me the warm fuzzies. (talk) 19:06, 6 July 2010 (UTC)