Evolution For Dummies Paperback – 28 Mar 2008
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From the Back Cover
Fascinating case studies highlight evolutionary research in the lab and in the wild From Darwin to DNA — your objective guide to the key concepts of evolution Want to get a clear understanding of evolution? This plain–English guide explains what evolution is, how it works, and the ways it affects your life. You′ll see how evolution impacts everything from body shape to behavior to choosing a mate, ways we can trace the past evolutionary history of species, and how humans continue to evolve. Discover: What natural selection is and how it works The evolutionary history of modern humans The evolution of viruses and scientists′ fight against them The role of genetics in the evolution of species
About the Author
Dr. Greg Krukonis: Greg Kukonis has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He has been a postdoctoral researcher at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and Stanford University. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor of biology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Tracy Barr: Tracy Barr is a professional writer and editor who has authored or co–authored several other books for Wiley, including Adoption For Dummies, Cast–Iron Cooking For Dummies, Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies, and Latin For Dummies. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and four children.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book covers everything from the basics to the relatively more advanced in a simplistic form. This includes not only human evolution, but of all organisms on our planet. Bacteria and viruses to the great land stomping dinosaurs.
A great read, I really enjoyed it... it definitely sparked my interest in evolution!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Anyhow, the content in this book is very informative and easy to comprehend. Each chapter and each paragraph is extremely concise. The author gets right to the point and doesn't use any unnecessary wordiness or bore you to death with overuse of scientific jargon. It is the perfect introductory book for learning about evolutionary biology.
The author discusses the many evolutionary topics in a completely objective manner. He doesn't try to sway the reader toward atheism or faith in a higher power. He states in the beginning of the book that evolutionary biology is the theory of how organisms change over time, and makes no assumptions of the origin of life.
When I began reading this book I had only a very limited understanding of evolutionary biology. I now have a very solid grasp of the basics. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a basic understanding of evolutionary theories and evolutionary biology.
"Evolution for Dummies" is the surprisingly very thorough and accessible book about evolution. This 362-page book is broken out in four major parts: Part I: What Evolution Is; Part II. How Evolution Works, Part III. What Evolution Does, and Part IV. The Part of Tens.
1. A well written, accessible yet thorough account of what evolution is and how it works.
2. A very informative, educational book that concentrates on the science and not on the "so-called" controversy and even with a touch of humor.
3. An ambitious book that covers so much territory and does so very well.
4. Having read a number of books on evolution (see my reviews) I was pleasantly surprised to learn so much from this one.
5. The Dummies series is known for its great and familiar format. A number of very good illustrations and comprehensive charts that add value.
6. Does an excellent job of explaining basic terms of evolution and by doing so really helped me digest better what I've learned from other better known books.
7. Genetics for the rest of us.
8. The difference between micro and macro evolution.
9. Natural selection in all its splendor.
10. What survival of the fittest truly is.
11. The impact of chance.
12. So much wisdom throughout this book, who knew? "Many people think that the key to protecting endangered species is to conserve the maximum number of individuals possible. But understanding evolutionary biology and the patterns of variation present in natural populations helps us recognize that the real key is conserving genetic variability".
13. Evolution and the medical profession.
14. What science is and isn't.
15. Mutations, how they occur and their significance.
16. The impact of fossils to the theory of evolution.
17. Great examples of transitional life forms.
18. So what is the key to differentiating species? Find out...
19. How we can determine the historical relationships among species...interesting stuff.
20. Two kinds of variation: phenotypes and genotypes. "Natural selection acts only on phenotypes".
21. The impact of "genetic drift".
22. What Darwin knew versus what he didn't know and why.
23. The fascinating topic of speciation.
24. Life histories.
25. Many great examples of scientific work that have contributed to understanding evolution.
26. Group selection and how it works.
27. One of the most curious examples of reciprocal altruism.
28. Sexual selection and its two components. A number of great examples.
29. What science doesn't know about evolution.
30. Find out the most important addition to the theory of evolution since Darwin.
31. The fascinating topic of human evolution and how we know the things we know.
32. The fascinating world of viruses and bacteria.
33. I finally understand HIV.
34. A very interesting look at influenzas and how we use evolution to keep our vaccines safe.
36. Some interesting look at animals that evolved from land animals.
37. A great closing chapter titled "Ten Arguments against Evolution and Why They're Wrong".
1. The wonderful format of the book does not translate as well on the Kindle.
2. No links or references.
3. No bibliography. Further reading section is really more pub for other books in the now apparent excellent Dummies series.
4. Requires an investment of time but so well worth it!
In summary, I will never underestimate a book from the Dummies series ever again. This book is a pleasant surprise and does a wonderful job of educating the reader on the topic of evolution. I'm most impressed at how thorough this book is with regards to the number of topics of evolution it covers. Furthermore, the book's format is conducive for future reference. Finally, it handles evolution in its proper perspective that is with regards to science. I highly recommend this book for all evolution lovers and seekers of knowledge of all levels.
Recommendations (all books reviewed on Amazon): "Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body" by Neil Shubin, "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll, "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" by Ernst Mayr, "Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution" by Nick Lane, "Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature" by Brian Switek, "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea" by Carl Zimmer, "Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails)" by Matt Young, "Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design" by Michael Shermer, "Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul" by Kenneth R. Miller, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution" by Richard Dawkins and my favorite book for the masses, "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry A. Coyne.