âEnigmaâ is the riddle Oedipus had to solve in order to free Thebes from the sphinx that daily devoured its citizens. Arsuaga uses this title as a metaphor for evolution. The mechanisms of the evolution of species are an enigma, and the scientist who best solved this puzzle was Darwin. But did he solve it completely? Although much research has confirmed Darwinâs findings, many doubts still remain. Is there intention in the evolution of species? Or is it all a game of chance and inevitability?
From his vantage point as a paleontologist, the author explains step by step the history of evolution as a compelling tale, without ever sacrificing scientific rigor. Only a person with immense narrative skill could create a book so fascinating, which manages to illuminate the lay audience without ever underestimating it.