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Thread: Book recommendation - Evolution

  1. #1 Book recommendation - Evolution 
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    Hello everyone. First post in this forum.

    I learned the basics of evolution in high school but physics and maths were my first love and so didn't take it any further. Recently I've read a lot of popular science books that have given me a real sense of the power and complexity of evolution (eg Pinker, Ian Stewart's The Mathematics of Life, some Stephen Jay Gould) and I'd like to learn more. I'm aware that I only learnt the basic ideas and that the theory has been refined since Darwin, so what I'm looking for is something that gives a good overview of the current view of evolutionary mechanisms, macro and micro. I don't mind more technical books, but I'm probably limited because my formal biology education stopped at 13.

    Also interested in recommendations for books on evolutionary psychology/cognitive neuroscience.

    Many thanks!

    HC


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    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Probably, although I haven't yet got round to reading my copy despite owning it for several months, a good start would be Almost Like a Whale, by Steve Jones. It's a modern-day "re-write" of Darwin's original book, review here.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Probably, although I haven't yet got round to reading my copy despite owning it for several months, a good start would be Almost Like a Whale, by Steve Jones. It's a modern-day "re-write" of Darwin's original book, review here.
    Never knew about this one, thanks for posting the link.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Here is an eclectic selection of some of the volumes in my own library that you might find of interest. I've picked out in blue the ones I especially like.

    Nick Lane 'Life Ascending' W.W.Norton and Company 2009 ISBN:978-0-393-33866-9
    Phillip Appleman 'Darwin' W.W.Norton and Company 1970 ISBN:978-0-393-95849-2
    Jerry A. Coyne 'Why Evolution is True' Oxford University Press 2009 ISBN:978-0199230846
    Steve Jones 'Darwin's Ghost' Random House 1999 ISBN:0-375-50103-7
    Roger Lewin 'Patterns In Evolution' Scientific American Library 1996 ISBN:0-7167-5069-4
    Carl Zimmer 'Evolution' William Heinemann 2001 ISBN:0-434-00909-1
    Charles Darwin 'The Origin of Species' Barnes & Noble 1859 ISBN:978-1-59308-346-5
    Richard Dawkins 'The Greatest Show on Earth' Simon & Schuster 2009 ISBN:978-1-4165-9478-9
    Horace Freeland Judson 'The Eighth Day of Creation' Simon & Schuster 1979 ISBN:0-671-22540-5
    Stuart Kauffman 'At Home in the Universe' Penguin Books Ltd 1995 ISBN:0-670-86997-X
    Daniel C. Dennett 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' Simon & Schuster 1995 ISBN:0-684-80290-2
    Stephen J. Gould 'The Structure of Evolutionary Theory' Belknap Press 2002 ISBN:0-674-00613-5
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Currently I only posses a revised "On the Origin of Species", I would thoroughly enjoy having a book concerning ambiogenesis.
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  7. #6  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Probably, although I haven't yet got round to reading my copy despite owning it for several months, a good start would be Almost Like a Whale, by Steve Jones. It's a modern-day "re-write" of Darwin's original book, review here.
    one of my favourite books on evolution, together with Dawkins' "The Ancestor's Tale"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  8. #7  
    SHF
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    I would second The Ancestor’s Tale (Richard Dawkins). 630 pages. Takes humans back through their common ancestors with modern organisms. Many (relevant) digressions throughout.

    ‘Dawkins vs Gould’ Kim Sterelny is an easy read and gives a nice overview of things. It is only 178 pages itself, then ends with 20 pages of book recommendations (not just a list, but touching on the virtues / context of the books)

    Would also recommend:
    ‘what evolution is’ Ernst Mayr
    And some John Maynard Smith (e.g. The Theory of Evolution)
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    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    dont get me wrong i am a BIG fan of Darwin, but i dont understand why people still read the origin of species , when we have modern books filled with evidence and stories that were not even imagined in the time when that book was witten,

    if you are looking for a great explanation of the evidence for evolution then "The greatest show on earth" is a great book
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    we actually had a recent thread on the topic, for some reason posted in the General Discussion part of the forum
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    They all seem interesting. It seems Richard Dawkins is the official poster child of Post Modern Darwinism. Which of his books are recommended and in what order (#1 as being your first choice and #2 being your second choice). If you prefer to make other recommendations that may or may not include Richard Dawkins then please still number your choices. If you could also give a brief reason why you listed that book where you did in your list. Being that I have limited funds I want to make the most out of each investment.


    Thanks again,

    S Donovan
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  12. #11  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i wouldn't go as far as calling him a poster boy

    there's many others, such as the late Stephen J Gould (numerous publications), Matt Ridley (amongst others the Red Queen) or Bryan Sykes (The Seven Daughters of Eve, Blood of the Isles) - and there's probably many i've forgotten
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    SHF
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Donovan View Post
    Being that I have limited funds I want to make the most out of each investment.
    ....lending library. (and if going to buy, then second hand, most of mine are)

    Also, plenty of free resources on the web, especially lots of talk/lectures etc on You Tube. Someone has put a colletion of 32 evolution-related videos here:
    Evolution for Everyone - YouTube
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  14. #13  
    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Donovan View Post
    They all seem interesting. It seems Richard Dawkins is the official poster child of Post Modern Darwinism. Which of his books are recommended and in what order (#1 as being your first choice and #2 being your second choice). If you prefer to make other recommendations that may or may not include Richard Dawkins then please still number your choices. If you could also give a brief reason why you listed that book where you did in your list. Being that I have limited funds I want to make the most out of each investment.


    Thanks again,

    S Donovan
    1. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2.The Ancestor's Tale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    the first one is all about the evidence for evolution

    the second is going back in time meeting our cousins as we go back to the common ancestor
    "There is grandeur in this view of life,from so simple beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
    Charles Darwin
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