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Thread: Popular Biology Books

  1. #1 Popular Biology Books 
    Forum Freshman Lothar's Avatar
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    Just hoping to hear what people in the field have to say about some popular literature.

    I recently acquired Coyne's book, "Why Evolution is True," and Dawkin's book, "The Greatest Show on Earth." At the top of my wishlist are two older books, namely, "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," by Gould, and Ridley's, "The Red Queen."

    Is there anything of comparable scope to Gould's text that is more up-to-date? What about the "Red Queen hypothesis? Are there any more up-to-date books on the evolution of sex? To any biologists out there: what would be your top x list of biology books for the interested layman or, let's say, an undergraduate student?

    Just curious. Thanks people!


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  3. #2  
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    Campbell-Reece 'Biology'
    Wolpert 'Principles of Development'
    Martini 'Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology'
    Alberts et al 'Essential Cell Biology', and its big brother, 'Molecular Biology of the Cell'
    Stryer 'Biochemistry'
    Lewin B 'Genes' **this book is amazing**

    For starters

    And if you happen to become interested in cancer, Weinberg's 'Biology of Cancer' is a God-send, or scientist-send...




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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Lothar's Avatar
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    Thanks! I've looked up those titles and added a couple of them to my wish list. I appreciate the direction!
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  5. #4  
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    I dont work in the field but I have just read The Greatest Show on Earth, I didnt find it Dawkins best book, Like the Ancestors Tale its a sprint over a huge territory with so many new terms (to me) that I was thrown of the bicycle all over the place.

    I frequently found myself concluding, well this might be so, or it may not, the text is too sparse in detail. Its a coffee table book read really - perhaps he needed the cash.

    I love Dawkins though, he can be incisive, witty and very single minded when going in for the kill. His writing is crystal clear almost all of the time, his classic the Selfish Gene is almost as de rigour as the Origin, but both books are dated to a degree. The Blind Watchmaker is a favourite of mine, which answers the creationist argument from design.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Lothar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero
    I dont work in the field but I have just read The Greatest Show on Earth, I didnt find it Dawkins best book, Like the Ancestors Tale its a sprint over a huge territory with so many new terms (to me) that I was thrown of the bicycle all over the place.

    I frequently found myself concluding, well this might be so, or it may not, the text is too sparse in detail. Its a coffee table book read really - perhaps he needed the cash.

    I love Dawkins though, he can be incisive, witty and very single minded when going in for the kill. His writing is crystal clear almost all of the time, his classic the Selfish Gene is almost as de rigour as the Origin, but both books are dated to a degree. The Blind Watchmaker is a favourite of mine, which answers the creationist argument from design.
    I read The Greatest Show on Earth recently as well and am thinking I won't waste my time on his other books, e.g., Ancestor's Tale. Maybe that's harsh, but the fact is the biology textbooks I've recently acquired are many times more interesting and informative.

    The textbook Biology by Campbell-Reece recommended above is amazing. I also scooped up Life: The Science of Biology and have downloaded general biology course lectures from Berkeley, Yale and MIT.
    Keanu is sad.
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  7. #6  
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    CK-12 provides free access to downloadable and interactive Biology FlexBooks. Please visit CK12.ORG - FlexBooks
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  8. #7  
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    I'm not religious but Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God" is great, in my opinion much better than "The Greatest Show on Earth" and a good supplement to "Why Evolution is True" because it goes into more detail about biochemistry and geology. I haven't finished "Parasite Rex" by Carl Zimmer but so far it's very interesting. Also "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" for evo-devo, maybe a bit biased towards it, but still worth reading. "Ancestor's Tale" is in my opinion one of Dawkin's more interesting books, but long and kind of outdated (especially considering some of the whale fossils coming out of India). For paleontology "Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record and Our Place in Nature" is interesting.
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