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Darwinian Detectives: Revealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes Hardcover – July 6, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0195306750 ISBN-10: 0195306759 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195306759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195306750
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"Just about every topic under the banner "why genetics is important to understand and still amazing to many professional biologists" is covered in this compact book. What a delight to read about some well-chosen examples, glittering in succinct detail and presented in a manner designed to intrigue and captivate a general audience."--Reports of the National Center for Science Education


"Along with addressing issues like ID and creation science, Johnson goes on to show how molecular biology confirms and extends the conclusions that scientists have used to support evolution. This is why this book is such a good read. Through his antidotal way of writing, Johnson is able to explain how researchers have discovered the ways natural selection work on gene, but he does it in a way that one just starting in their study of evolutionary biology can understand."--The American Biology Teacher


"This volume is a worthwhile update for anyone who wants to see where comparative genomics is taking us."--Quarterly Review of Biology


About the Author


Norman A. Johnson, an evolutionary geneticist, is the author of numerous research publications, mainly in the genetics and evolution of reproductive isolation between nascent species. Johnson has taught at the University of Chicago, University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Massachusetts, where he is currently an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean F. Werle on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Norm Johnson has done an excellent job with a complex topic, and this book is one that should be read by every student of evolution. With a crisp, engaging writing style, Johnson does a wonderful job illuminating evolutionary topics ranging from Kimura's neutral theory of molecular evolution to the evolutionary histories of both dogs and their owners. Complex topics such as the detection of positive selection and the mysteries of genome size variation are laid out in plain language that even the most "mathophobic" reader will find a pleasure to behold. Any graduate student in biology who is preparing for a preliminary oral examination would do well to add Darwinian Detectives to their reading list, because it is a great way to learn the answers to questions that many professors will ask in such an exam. The previous reviewer's comparison to Gould is not undeserved; Dr. Johnson has the potential to rank among the greats in the next generation of popularizers of science, a role that becomes more and more important as science marches to ever greater heights of complex discovery.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deborah on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is about how organisms, including humans, evolve. That in itself makes this an interesting book for most science enthusiasts. But what makes it especially fun to read is that the author talks about how scientists go about figuring out how things evolve. So the book reads like a story, and not like a drab report. And the narrative is peppered with interesting anecdotes and asides -- everything from Presidential politics to Greek mythology. The author also goes to considerable lengths to make the material understandable to the uninitiated. So I think this book will make an enjoyable and informative read for scientists and non-scientists alike.
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