Saturday, November 25, 2006

Evolution Books for Christmas (UK) [1]

Five Books from the 'Evolution Research - Amazon Book Shop' (Astore):
Climbing Mount Improbable* by Richard Dawkins

How could such an intricate object as the human eye - so complex and so precise - have come about by chance? In this masterful piece of popular science, Richard Dawkins builds a powerful and carefully reasoned argument for evolutionary adaptation as the force behind all life on earth. The metaphor of 'Mount Improbable' represents the combination of perfection and improbability that we find in the seemingly 'designed' complexity of living things. And through it all runs the thread of DNA, the molecule of life, responsible for its own destiny on an unending pilgrimage through time. Evocative illustrations accompany Dawkins' eloquent descriptions of astonishing adaptations in the living world.

*Currently appearing on page 2 of 'Featured Evolution Books' (see sidebar links or bottom of post)


The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life by Richard Dawkins

Just as we trace our personal family trees from parents to grandparents and so on back in time, so in The Ancestor's Tale Richard Dawkins traces the ancestry of life. As he is at pains to point out, this is very much our human tale, our ancestry. Surprisingly, it is one that many otherwise literate people are largely unaware of. Hopefully Dawkins's name and well deserved reputation as a best selling writer will introduce them to this wonderful saga.

The Ancestor's Tale takes us from our immediate human ancestors back through what he calls `concestors,' those shared with the apes, monkeys and other mammals and other vertebrates and beyond to the dim and distant microbial beginnings of life some 4 billion years ago.


The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (P.S. (Paperback)) by Jared Diamond

"[Was] originally published in English in 1992, is the first book-length work of non-fiction from Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist, physiologist and award-winning author. Diamond addresses two issues: how and why human beings transformed, in a short period, from "just another species of big mammal" into a world-dominating force and the degree to which our immense progress has been coupled with the seeds of self-destruction, particularly through genocide and environmental degradation.

While accessible to non-scientific readers The Third Chimpanzee is also erudite, drawing on history, evolutionary theory and genetics, biology and ecology, linguistics and sociology in order to compile a portrait of humanity's success and also its potential for disaster." [Wiki]


The Voyage of the "Beagle" (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) by Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin's travels around the world as an independent naturalist on HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836 impressed upon him a sense of the natural world's beauty, sublimity and otherness which language could barely capture. This journal takes the reader from the coasts and interiors of South America to the South Sea Islands. It displays Darwin's speculative mind at work, posing searching questions about the complex relations between the Earth's structure, animal forms, anthropology and the origins of life itself.


Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (Penguin Science) by Daniel C. Dennett

This work assesses Darwin's theory of evolution and looks at why it arises such heated debate among scientists, philosophers and sociologists. The book aims to show that Darwinism does not devalue the miracles of life.


Books on Evolution from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US