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Book and Media Reviews
July 7, 2010

Quirks of Human Anatomy: An Evo-Devo Look at the Human Body

JAMA. 2010;304(1):101. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.914

When asked to review Quirks of Human Anatomy, I anticipated a new book on anatomical variations, a book that might help explain those changes from the norm physicians are taught in graduate training. I was unpleasantly surprised, therefore, when at first glance it appeared to be simply yet another book on evolution. However, I was then pleasantly surprised to find that it is an interesting and thoughtful book that comes to the reading public in honor of the 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species and Darwin's 200th birthday. After a century and a half, the arguments still fly when the topic of the evolution or creation of humankind arises. This book by Lewis I. Held Jr will become a helpful part of addressing the debate. It opens by stating the arguments of evolution and offers a plethora of interesting case studies and examples. Its value is enhanced by its presentation of unique schematic diagrams, its Socratic question-and-answer format, and its extensive review of the pertinent literature.

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