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Evolution 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0865424951
ISBN-10: 0865424950
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Well-written. It’s the only comprehensive, up-to-date text around." (Dr. Laurie Tompkins)

"This is the most thorough and up-to-date textbook of evolutionary biology available for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Its conceptual emphasis is a valuable complement to the usual data-driven organization of biology texts." (Prof. Carey Krajewski)

"Very good, comprehensive text which can be used for a course covering the broad topics of evolution as well as in-depth topics for the higher level courses." (Doug Broadfield)

"Written according to a clear plan that emphasizes major concepts and approaches to solving problems, but also has numerous examples to illustrate these concepts." (Prof. David H. A. Fitch)

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 719 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd edition (August 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865424950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865424951
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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