Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

Front Cover
Michael Ruse, Joseph Travis
Harvard University Press, 2009 - Science - 979 pages
5 Reviews

Spanning evolutionary science from its inception to its latest findings, from discoveries and data to philosophy and history, this book is the most complete, authoritative, and inviting one-volume introduction to evolutionary biology available. Clear, informative, and comprehensive in scope, Evolution opens with a series of major essays dealing with the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology, with major empirical and theoretical questions in the science, from speciation to adaptation, from paleontology to evolutionary development (evo devo), and concluding with essays on the social and political significance of evolutionary biology today.

A second encyclopedic section travels the spectrum of topics in evolution with concise, informative, and accessible entries on individuals from ­Aristotle and Linneaus to Louis Leakey and Jean Lamarck; from T. H. Huxley and E. O. Wilson to Joseph Felsenstein and Motoo Kimura; and on subjects from altruism and amphibians to evolutionary psychology and Piltdown Man to the Scopes trial and social Darwinism. Readers will find the latest word on the history and philosophy of evolution, the nuances of the science itself, and the intricate interplay among evolutionary study, religion, philosophy, and ­society.

Appearing at the beginning of the Darwin Year of 2009‚e"the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species‚e"this volume is a fitting tribute to the science Darwin set in motion.

  

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Review: Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

User Review  - Kelly Gebauer - Goodreads

Just some light reading :) but so far I like how it is laying out the progression in thought behind the study and understanding of evolution. A great overview for anyone interested in the natural ... Read full review

Review: Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

User Review  - Annie - Goodreads

Half of this book was essays, half of it was a basically a dictionary of people and ideas associated with evolution. The first half was excellent, the second I merely skimmed. I found the essay ... Read full review

Contents

The History of Evolutionary Thought
1
The Origin of Life
49
Paleontology and the History of Life
80
Adaptation
105
Molecular Evolution
132
Evolution of the Genome
152
The Pattern and Process of Speciation
177
Evolution and Development
208
Understanding Biological Forms
299
Philosophy of Evolutionary Thought
313
Evolution and Society
330
Evolution and Religion
348
Retrospect and Prospect
370
Alphabetical Guide
401
Contributors
935
Illustration Credits
949

Social Behavior and Sociobiology
237
Human Evolution
256
Evolutionary Biology of Disease and Darwinian Medicine
281

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About the author (2009)

Edward O. Wilsonis Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, atHarvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert HŲlldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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