Some additional book selections on Darwin and evolutionary science
This is a small list of books that did not make it into the display case for this year's Darwin Day book display. The books are shelved in the General Collection (third floor) unless otherwise noted.
- Berra, Tim M., Charles Darwin: the Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man. QH31 .D2 B47 2009. If you want a short and easy to read biography of Charles Darwin, this book is it. In addition, this book includes a series of illustrations and some photos by the author of Darwin's home. "This succinct biography spans Darwin's life in 15 brief chapters and reads like a museum guide, hitting the high points in an easily assimilated style. The copious illustrations, though, including reproductions of period paintings, title page facsimiles, and many of the author's own photographs, are worth poring over and may hold readers' attention longer than it takes to peruse the text. Patrons who want a quick, no-frills but still authoritative read on Darwin's life couldn't find a better source" (from Library Journal review).
- Bowler, Peter J.. Monkey Trials & Gorilla Sermons. BS651 .B755 2007. "In the latest of his works on Darwinian evolution, Bowler (history of science, Queen's Univ. Belfast) presents the fascinating history of the attempts of Christian thinkers to come to terms with the fact of human evolution, revealing the rich diversity of the historical debates. He is not concerned with the arguments of those who deny evolution altogether, but rather with attempts to accommodate human evolution with a religious sense of design in human destiny" (from CHOICE Reviews).
- Cochran, Gregory and Henry Harpending, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. GN281.4 .C632 2009. "Cochran and Harpending dispute the late Stephen Jay Gould’s assertion that civilization was “built with the same body and brain” Homo sapiens has had for 40,000 years. Humanity has been evolving very dramatically for the last 10,000 years, they say, spurred by the very civilizational forces launched by that evolution" (from Booklist review).
- Dennett, Daniel Clement, Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. QH375 .D45 1996. This book was a finalist for the National Book Award. Read the book that John Gribbin of the Sunday Times (London) calls "the best single-author overview of all the implications of evolution by natural selection available....Lucid and entertaining" while The Wall Street Journal calls Dennett "a philosopher of rare originality, rigor, and wit."
- Jastrow, Robert, ed., The Essential Darwin. QH365.D25 A25 1984. This is another edited selection of writings by Charles Darwin. A good way to get exposure to Darwin's key ideas.
- Low, Bobbi S., Why Sex Matters: a Darwinian Look at Human Behavior. GN281.4 .L68 2000. "Sex differences, Low says, are central to our lives. Are they genetically programmed or the result of social traditions? 'New research ... supports the perhaps unsettling view that men and women have indeed evolved to behave differently.' The differences arise from 'the fundamental principle of evolutionary biology, that all living organisms have evolved to seek and use resources to enhance their reproductive success'" (from Scientific American review).
- Neese, Randolph M. and George C. Williams, Why We Get Sick: the New Science of Darwinian Medicine. R723 .N387 1996. "Nesse and Williams have written a lively discourse on the application of the principles of evolutionary biology to the dilemmas of modern medicine. Nesse, a physician and an associate professor of psychiatry, and Williams, a professor of ecology and evolution, provide a primer on Darwin's theory of natural selection. They explain that the functional design of organisms-e.g., our bodies-may suggest new ways of addressing illness. The book begins with a look at the causes of disease and their evolutionary influences. But the book mainly assesses the concept of adaptation by natural selection, and illustrates the ways Darwinian thinking can be applied to medical problems" (from Publishers Weekly review).