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Evolution, 3rd Edition Paperback – November 7, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1405103459 ISBN-10: 1405103450 Edition: 3rd
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Editorial Reviews


This is one of the best and certainly the most complete and up-to-date evolutionary textbooks in the market. This book has undergone extensive and welcome upgrading in the successive editions, since I have seen the earlier editions. Though it is comprehensive, it is easily followable by the students. The author is well known in the field and that is a big plus point.

The pedagogical aids are very good, with chapter opening outlines, summaries and questions, etc. The colour plates are very good, and the associated website is also quite useful. Hence, we are taking this valuable book as additional required reading.-V. Lakshminarayanan

"...this book certainly provides a good solid and up-to-date foundation to the subject of Evolution and one that I think students will find easy to use." Nick Colegrave, University of Edinburgh, in Genetic Research, May 2004

Book Description

Mark Ridleys Evolution has become the premier undergraduate text in the study of evolution. Readable and stimulating, yet well balanced and in-depth, this text tells the story of evolution, from the history of the study to the most recent developments in evolutionary theory.The third edition of this successful textbook features updates and extensive new coverage. The sections on adaptation and diversity have been reorganized for improved clarity and flow, and a completely updated section on the evolution of sex and the inclusion of more plant examples have all helped to shape this new edition. Evolution also features strong, balanced coverage of population genetics, and scores of new applied plant and animal examples make this edition even more accessible and engaging.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Blackwell; 3rd edition (November 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405103450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405103459
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By nigel@santafe.edu on August 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Most of us who have a professional or casual interest in evolution and the natural world gain our knowledge from popular articles, books and perhaps the dim recesses of our undergraduate textbook memory. While Dawkins' _The Selfish Gene_ or _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_ by Dennet may lay out the bones and flesh of our modern view of the natural world with wonderous analogies and often beautiful prose it's not until opening this volume that what's missing will be noticed: a sense of history, of excitement, of challenging thought.
Evolution (and its sub-branches) have been controversial, not just on religious terms (the less said about that the better) but in the normal manner of grand scientific theories attempting to explain the world in which we live. The importance of claims, counter-claims and paradigm shifts are hard to grasp without having been present, if not in person then intellecutally. _This_, with joy and a very sensitive editor's pen, is what Mark Ridly (author of the popular undergraduate text _Evolution_) has managed to give us with his selection of seminal papers in the history of evolutionary thought.
The articles, ranging from Darwin through to the present day) are superbly chosen and in many cases hard for students or professionals (let along lay readers) to obtain. An absence of maths from even the most statistical of papers (which still remain cogent) will be welcomed by those not up for weeks of scribbling.
The papers themselves are clear and thoughtful, their importance is always obvious and, through their arrangement, lead the reader on a merry intellectual dance of claim, counter-claim and converging streams of thought.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I saw the 2 star review and decided I could not let it sit without challenge. I have just received my Phd in psychology and masters in statistics, and have decided to attempt to make a career out of behavioral genetics and evolutionary genetics. Mark Ridley's book was an absolute inspiration to me when I first read it, and it continues to be a must-have reference. The book is noteworthy because it explains the major debates in evolutionary thought in a balanced yet readable way. For example, Ridley gives an excellent introduction into the fundamental question about what maintains genetic variation in the face of selection, an issue that is given only cursory attention in other books of this kind.
I first read this as an undergraduate, yet it continues to serve as my fundamental reference to evolutionary biology. This is truly a wonderful introduction to evolution.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jon Richfield(jonr@iafrica.com) on June 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have the 1994 edition. It is a textbook, but it was no act of masochism to read it through. This is a compliment to any sizeable textbook, but do not think it reads like a novel. If you skim it, you will be missing a great deal.
I liked the writing, which is clear, pleasant and efficient; no waffle. The book is carefully structured and the aim throughout is to convey the successive themes; there is not much stopping to sniff the flowers. Examples and illustrations are effectively chosen to illuminate specific points. The history of the subject and of views on the subject matter is carefully interwoven with the development of the themes, to give a powerful insight into the respective status of major current schools of thought. The book is exceptional in its dispassionate discussion of rival opinions.
I should have liked a more comprehensive index. Several times when wanting to refer back to points, I was reduced to paging and searching. The CD version must be a real luxury.
Strongly recommended to students, professionals and serious evolutionary dilletants. Creation scientists have no one but themselves to blame if they burn their fingers on it.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven M. Vamosi on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ridley does a great job of summarizing the evidence for evolution, highlighting key concepts, and discussing recent research findings. The references cited throughout the book (and nicely listed all together at the end) are a great starting point for a beginning student of evolution. I'm impressed with how many of the cited works were published in 2000 or later. Although written primarily as a textbook for undergraduates in the biological sciences, his clear writing style and insistence on defining all key terms should make it accessible to a much broader audience. For those lecturing on evolution, the Web resources that accompany the text are quite handy, too. If I had one knock against the book (it's the reason for 4, rather than 5, stars), it would be the price: ~ $140 CDN seems a bit steep, and will likely deter many prospective readers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was the main text we used in my evolution course at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. It is a collection of influential papers, each representative of an important discovery or contribution to the development of modern evolutionary thought. As you should expect from any collection of academic papers, some parts are very interesting and exciting while others are painfully boring. A couple personal favorites in this book are the papers "evolutionary explosions and the phylogenetic fuse" and "the spandrels of san marco and the panglossian paradigm." Though, it should be noted that the latter was significantly shortened for this edition. Overall, a great and fascinating collection.
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