If the biblical Adam named earth's creatures, modern-day scientists control the franchise. Yet the rest of us, too, have an urge to name and classify living things—we just do it differently, to feel at home in the world. In Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science, evolutionary biologist Carol Kaesuk Yoon makes the case for looking, touching, listening, making our own imperfect sense of the marvels that surround us. Like Darwin, Yoon can find the beauty in a barnacle, and her book—lush with biology, biography, and folklore—is a sensuous delight to read.
— Cathleen Medwick
Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, December 10, 2013