This is simply the best book i've found on human evolution. The subtitle is "The Molecular Evidence for Human Descent", don't be put off if you don't have a degree in biochemistry. Unlike most other technical and scientifically sophisticated books, in this one, the author holds your hand. He does it very well, introducing binominal and poisson distribution analysis both in the text and in appendices, for example. You are aware of his careful setting up the pieces that you need in order to understand the take home message of each chapter, and you are grateful, even if you already know the material, for the 'nice' way he does it. I finished the book wishing he would rewrite many biology and engineering textbooks i have been subjected to over the years by authors who assumed if you didn't know exactly what you were reading, then you shouldn't have bought and tried to read his book in the first place. For this characteristic alone the book is deeply and joyfully to be praised.
I am aware of the divisive character of the debate on human origins, this book will not settle it. But it will be a book that can be recommended to bring your reasonable intelligent but somewhat scientifically ignorant friend up to speed on the issues from a unabashed secular scientific viewpoint. It will, i would hope, set a standard for introductory books in the field. For if it can get a hearing, and even become popular then other authors will be forced to help people understand their arguments by giving them the tools to analyze and understand their positions, not just assume them. Now this doesn't negate the need to do your homework in order to be a serious student in any field, many things will take lots of reading to get the basis for advanced arguments. Something that will never be done in one, or even a set of books. But as the authors prove a reasonable grasp of human evolutionary arguments from a biochemical/genetic point of view is not that sophisticated of a field to require volumes, just this one.
Lest i miss an important issue, i would like to state that the author, like most secular scientific people makes the mistake of drawing metaphysical conclusions from scientific data. This i belief to be the problem of scientism, the unjustified extension of method-science into metaphysics or religion. The authors would certainly disagree with me. In any case, their philosophic position is clearly stated, open and presented in a manner that is not belittling of a religious prespective. So even if you are a theist i believe that there is much to be gained from reading this book, don't let the scientism put you off.
thanks for reading this review, and please get the book, it is certainly a most important topic, whether you agree with evolutionary analysis or not, you must be informed.