Explores the "big bang" of evolution, in which about 550 million years ago there was an explosion of life forms and the sudden appearance of all the major animal groups. Andrew Parker's "Light Switch" theory holds that it was the development of vision in primitive animals that caused the explosion. Precambrian creatures were unable to see, but with the development of sight, all animals had to either adapt or die, and in a geological instant, the world was transformed.
"In the Blink of an Eye is one of those rare books that are both a contribution to science and a popularization of science. I enjoyed both the amazing new theory about the biggest event in history, and the colourful account of the creatures themselves."
– Mark Ridley
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Andrew Parker was born in 1967. After completing his Ph.D. in Marine Biology he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Australia, Poland and the United States. He is currently a Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. This is his first book.