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Naming Nature: The Clash between Instinct and Science

by Carol Kaesuk Yoon
New York: WW Norton, 2009. 299 pages

Reviewer Andrew J. Petto writes, “the story of the history and diversity of life is a saga of descent from shared ancestral populations. Therefore, our way of naming organisms ought to reflect those biologic relationships. Yoon highlights the ways in which scientists have tried to apply this charge and how biology … brought to bear a deeper and better understanding of the processes of evolutionary change and of phylogenesis.” He concludes, “Yoon’s book is a great introduction to the changing umwelt of the life sciences, focusing on major shifts in thinking about how best to identify phylogenetic relationships and to apply them to the study of living things.”