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Major Transitions in Evolution

Narrated by: Anthony Martin, John Hawks
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Biology
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.69

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Publisher's Summary

Imagine a world without bees, butterflies, and flowering plants. That was Earth 125 million years ago. Turn back the clock 400 million years, and there were no trees. At 450 million years in the past, even the earliest insects had not yet developed. And looking back 500 million years, the land was devoid of life, which at that time flourished in a profusion of strange forms in the oceans. 

These and other major turning points are the amazing story of evolution. Given the broad scope of the subject, this course is taught by two professors: Anthony Martin, a paleontologist and geologist at Emory University, and John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each is an outstanding teacher in his field, adept at making the subject interesting and accessible no matter what your background in science. 

In 24 lavishly illustrated lectures, you will learn about Earth’s major transitions, each of which brought forth new possibilities for life. You will study the conditions that led to the first complex cells, flying insects, flowering plants, mammals, modern humans, and many other breakthroughs. And in the process of studying the past, you will gain a powerful understanding of the present world. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2010 The Great Courses (P)2010 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Fabulous

Great information by enthusiastic scientists and lecturers, loved the shared lecture at the end. This will certainly be listened to again.

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  • Yvonne K.
  • 20-04-2019

Engaging and wanting to know more about Deep Time!

A very informative and enjoyable audiobook. A good introduction on Biology and the beauty of evolution, however, one thing missing for me is the lack of picture samples on the PDF, which the narrator mentions on each lectures. If you're not familiar with the sample he mentioned, you literally need to search it just to have an idea of what the narrator is saying but overall it's a good listen and leaving you excited for the next lecture.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Trebla
  • 24-04-2019

Why People drop out of science

Dr. Martin is an obviously bright, knowledgeable guy with enthusiasm for his topic. But the constant stream of factoids without a consistent theme or organizing idea just makes this painful. Much like those history courses made of a recitation of dates & names- it just numbs any potential enjoyment of the insights.
I'm very much a science guy yet this is only the second book/course (out of ~200) I just could not finish.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Samuel Simons
  • 17-01-2020

A great course but with issues

The course is an interesting and detailed coverage of evolution but unfortunately the presentation is a major problem. It was quite annoying that professor Martin kept referring to figures and pictures. Not only is this not helpful when listening to the course while driving, but the figures aren't included in the PDF!
Professor Martin is clearly an expert and excited by his subject but his delivery left something to be desired. I often found myself drifting off and had to repeat sections. I'm sure this is a great course in a seminar setting but I can't recommend it for the car.

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  • B. Bartosh
  • 05-12-2019

Excellent Course!

I love the evolution courses, especially anything with John Hawks in it. If there were two recommendations I could make to the Great Courses, they would be 1) make more of these available through Amazon’s Signature Collection, so that more people can afford to stream the visuals, which is rather important when the professors are describing fossils. The other would be to add more period-specific courses, such as a course just on the Mesozoic or Cenozoic. I would love to get some Deep History Courses that are more in-depth!

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  • Jean
  • 23-10-2019

Brilliant!

Loved the lectures, so interesting and just at the right level for me (animal biology graduate) and I am away to listen to them again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful