From Publishers Weekly
Ayala, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and winner of the 2010 Templeton Prize, is well positioned to write another book (after Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion) about the relationship between religion and science and the importance of evolution. He's done just that, but in surprisingly abbreviated form. The title's six questions are: am I a monkey?; why is evolution a theory?; what is DNA?; do all scientists accept evolution?; how did life begin?; and can one believe in evolution and God? Another question is, who is this book written for? Presumably for religious believers who reject evolution and are perplexed by Ayala's six questions. But beginning an answer to the title question by saying humans are more closely related to apes than to monkeys won't gain that reader's trust. Ayala also assumes a basic familiarity with biological terms and processes. The large point Ayala makes, repeatedly and clearly, is that science and religion are not contradictory, but rather complementary, as different ways of knowing the world. Ayala's passion is obvious, but it's not clear that evolution heretics will become believers after reading this book. 3 halftones, 5 line drawings.
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Am I a Monkey? is a strongly recommended read for science collections with plenty of food for thought.
Ayala presents an accessible introduction to Darwin's theory.
(Book News, Inc.
Clear, concise, and written in an engaging style.
The book is well-written, accurate, and concise. It is accessible and easy to digest. I suspect that it will, in the long run, play a larger role in promoting the acceptance of evolution.
(Joel W. Martin Reports of the National Center for Science Education
This book will be widely welcomed and frequently recommended.
(Ian Lancaster Biology of Reproduction
This book is useful for anyone interested in evolution. It is a handy pocket-sized explanation of a theory, useful for evolutionary scholars to explain the fundamentals and not get lost in their particular areas of interest, useful for college (possibly even high school) teachers to provide a foundation of evolutionary theory, and is topical enough to pull in readers of all disciplines.
(Haley Moss Dillon Evolutionary Education Outreach
Professor Ayala has written an important book―a lucid account of evolutionary theory and related topics, which reviews the overwhelming evidence that establishes evolution as an incontrovertible fact, and which then goes on to offer some convincing reasons why people of faith need not regard the theory of evolution as an enemy or an obstacle to their religious beliefs.
(Harry Frankfurt, author of On Bullshit
and On Truth
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