Evolution rocks! A new must have book

I am stunned. The book Evoluton: The First Four Billion Years was just published by Harvard Press. It is an amazing achievement. I just cracked open my new copy and can’t believe it. Check out this table of contents:

Foreword, Edward O. Wilson
Introduction, Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis
The History of Evolutionary Thought, Michael Ruse
The Origin of Life, Jeffrey L. Bada and Antonio Lazcano
Paleontology and the History of Life, Michael Benton
Adaptation, Joseph Travis and David Reznick
Molecular Evolution, Francisco J. Ayala
Evolution of the Genome, Brian Charlesworth and Deborah Charlesworth
The Pattern and Process of Speciation, Margaret B. Ptacek and Shala J. Hankison
Evolution and Development, Gregory A. Wray
Social Behavior and Sociobiology, Daniel I. Rubenstein
Human Evolution, Henry M. McHenry
Evolutionary Biology of Disease, Michael F. Antolin and Darwinian Medicine
Beyond the Darwinian Paradigm: Understanding Biological Forms, Brian Goodwin
Philosophy of Evolutionary Thought, Kim Sterelny
Evolution and Society, Manfred D. Laubichler and Jane Maienschein
American Antievolutionism: Retrospect and Prospect, Eugenie C. Scott

Alphabetical Guide
Contributors
Index

That little Alphabetical Guide tagged on the end, is actually an over 400 page (out of 979) mini-encyclopedia with entries by a Who’s Who of evolutionary biologists and evolutionary philosophers. It also contains mini-biographies of the major evolutionary thinkers—I can’t see anyone missing. It includes things like (and this is just a small sampling):

Aristotle
Artificial Life programs
Burgess Shale
Cuvier
Evolution of Language
Form and Function
Group Selection
Huxley
Lucy (the 3.2 million year old hominid)
Mammals
Mass Extinctions
Neanderthals
Organismic Evolution and Radiation before the Cambrian
Pleistocene Extinctions
Scientific creationism
Sociobiology
Tempo and Mode in Evolution

This is going to be an invaluable reference guide and would make a wonderful Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas present.

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6 comments to Evolution rocks! A new must have book

  • It doesn’t appear to have much on brain evolution. Does it?

    I probably should just sink deep into my pockets and buy the thing.

  • Can lay people like me who have very little knowledge of biology and related disciplines understand the book without hours and hours of study? I think I’m asking if the book is written for lay people like me or for scientists like you? My background is EE and computer science, and except for some shallow reading, I’m illiterate in biology, genetics, and similar disciplines.

  • S.Faux, nothing specifically on the brain, except as part of general human evolution.

    Allen, this would be a great intro to evolution if you read the whole thing. It’s written at about Scientific American level. For a great introduction that assumes nothing and is shorter you might try, Coyne ‘s book, “Why Evolution is True.”

  • I saw it at the bookstore today and looked through it based on your recommendation. It looks pretty good, though more of a reference book. But I was actually there for Why Evolution is True. Since the latter was half the cost, I stuck to my plan. But maybe later.

  • David H Bailey

    I have a copy. I’ll start reading it tonight.

  • Alistair

    I bought it! But I will need a crane to hold it whilst I read it!!!

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