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Evolution Hardcover – January, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0878931873 ISBN-10: 0878931872 Edition: Edition Unstated

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 543 pages
  • Publisher: Sinauer Associates Inc; Edition Unstated edition (January 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878931872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878931873
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DOUGLAS FUTUYMA Ph.D. 1969, University of Michigan , Douglas Futuyma's research interests in evolution focus primarily on speciation and the evolution of ecological interactions among species. He has been a Guggenheim and a Fulbright Fellow, the President of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the American Society of Naturalists, and the editor of Evolution

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Customer Reviews

I didn't even know that was possible.
Ned
I must say that this is one of the best evolutionary biology textbooks available for an undergraduate student.
Andre Kaur
What should be presented as a debate is sometimes presented as a fact.
Upper-level Science Student

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By DR P. Dash on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This looks to be the major text on evolution for undergrads, and it's a good one. However, it is essentially a text on evolutionary science and principles, and so if your interest is in a more detailed account of the specifics of organismal evolution at the level of the family or order you will find only spotty examples. There's quite a bit of population biology and quantitative genetics. Only in the final chapters is there a discussion of evo-devo and the importance in evolution of mechanisms such as mutations in regulatory regions of proteins, gene duplication and divergence, and the modularity of protein structure and how exon shuffling can instantly produce new proteins with new functions. These genetic mechanisms are much more important in evolution than mutations in the structural regions of proteins, which tend to be highly conserved even at the phylogenetic level. The book has plenty of color illustrations and is well written. It's a sad commentary on our times that the final chapter had to be written on refuting creationist nonsense, but DJF does a particularly excellent job here, and for those interested it can be read without having to read the rest of the text. In fact I think this chapter should be published as a small monograph and made required reading for all high school students so as to inoculate them against the pernicious lies creationists try to propogate. An understanding of evolution is critical for everybody, and yet only a tiny perentage of US citizens have a grasp of even the most basic evolutionary facts and principles.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Zimmerman on July 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the up-to-date edition of a standard in the field, recommended reading for the serious biologist. An understanding of biology hinges on an understanding of evolution. The book reads very easily, but is not "dumbed down" in any way. It covers the subject widely. It is well illustrated.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Ned on April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the fourth or fifth book I've used as a teaching assistant for a senior level course in evolutionary biology. And to be honest, I was very, very, disappointed with this book from a teaching perspective. I have two main issues with this book, organization of topics and depth of discussion.

There's not a lot to say about the organization that can't be gleaned from the TOC. How do you discuss the geography of evolution and patterns of biodiversity prior to discussing mechanisms of speciation (let alone what a species is)? How do you effectively discuss phylogenetic trees without first discussing speciation and species concepts? Worse, how can you discuss molecular clocks prior to ANYTHING about molecular evolution?

You can't.

Futuyma's previous book was often criticized for being too in depth for undergraduates. I never understood that criticism since you can always tell your students what parts of which chapters to read. Regardless, this book goes drastically in the opposite direction. When a student wants to discuss limits to the molecular clock, don't expect the text to discuss mutational saturation (the term isn't in the index and I didn't find it anywhere in the text). This sort of omission is all too common and the discussion of most topics is overly superficial.

I would recommend the newest Freeman and Herron Evolutionary Analysis over this text. F&H had some problems in earlier versions but many have been fixed. F&H also have the best figures around, for example they manage to present multivariate selection gradients in an approachable way! I didn't even know that was possible. They also provide really useful boxes for a wide variety of topics (e.g. algebraic treatments of mutation-selection balance or stable equilibria).
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Andre Kaur on April 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I must say that this is one of the best evolutionary biology textbooks available for an undergraduate student. I personally used the previous edition before graduation thus this one was not available yet but the new edition seems to be even more elegant and informatic. And the most imortant thing of all - it is quite easy to understand as other Futuyma's textbooks as well.

Of course, it is a kind of thin and most ceartinly it is not enough for a person willing to get e.g. a PhD on evoltonary biology or ecology. It still remains a good companion for those whose field is not specifically evobio and of course, as I mentioned before, it is brilliant for undergraduates. If anyone asked me what should be the student's first gate to evolution I would surely recommend this texbook.
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19 of 36 people found the following review helpful By NQ on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I am not a Geneticist or any kind of Biologist, I strongly contend that this book is poorly organized, grammatically incomprehensible, unclear at points, and extremely dense for a "basics" book on Biological Evolution. My area is, however, in social science, therefore my understanding of the material is not formed on the base of biology.
What I would change about this book:
1) Chapter 8 appears to be one of the key chapters to understanding terminology, why isn't it in the front of the book? He uses the terms repeatedly in the first seven chapters, but never bothers to elaborate, leaving the lay-reader searching Wikipedia for clarification (typically this makes the material even more confusing).
2) Chapter 2 really should be where Chapter 8 is located. The early placement in the book leaves the student who is not a biology major staring sadly into space, wishing for a way to understand this foreign language, and, more importantly, for a textbook that was written with the concern that the student will gradually learn the material rather than have it thrown in their face.
3) It is quite clear that the questions at the end of each chapter are meant for the student to synthesize the material they were supposed to digest from the chapter. Don't get me wrong, they are understandably difficult, but before asking a student to convert DNA into RNA a little information is needed: such as, what are the complementary nucleotides?
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