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Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters Paperback – May 22, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1853838552 ISBN-10: 1853838551

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853838551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853838552
  • ASIN: 161614565X
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"With so many excellent books on evolution available, it’s hard to imagine another one with anything new in it. Fairbanks succeeds with a whole array of original examples that demonstrate not only the truth of evolution, but also its impact on human life and society."
-Victor J. Stenger New York Times bestselling author of God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion

"This book provides a compact overview of the results of many lines of research, especially in genetics, which continue to deepen our knowledge of evolution. Anyone who wonders about the practical value and importance of understanding the processes of evolution will benefit from reading it."
-Eric Meikle, National Center for Science Education

"This is an important book. Fairbanks presents an overwhelming case for the correctness of evolutionary theory. It is engagingly written, with many personal glimpses, and the technical material is clearly presented and understandable. Evolving should be essential reading for anyone who wishes to be an informed citizen."
-Allan Franklin, Professor of physics, University of Colorado, and coauthor of Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy

About the Author

Daniel J. Fairbanks is associate dean of the College of Science and Health at Utah Valley University and a distinguished university professor, research geneticist, artist, and author. He is the author of Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA and the coauthor of The Mendel-Fisher Controversy (with A. Franklin, A. W. F. Edwards, D. L. Hartl, and T. Seidenfeld) and Genetics: The Continuity of Life (with W. R. Andersen), in addition to numerous journal articles.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I recommend that anyone who has an interest in evolution to read this book.
Michael J. Sassin
I flew right through this book; not because it was dumbed down but because of the author's ability to explain complex ideas in a way that is very easy to understand.
Dave
It is a theory according to the various hypotheses, laws, and facts that are now documented that define the overall processes of evolution in action.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
There have been some amazing books on evolution that have been published in the past decade. Two of the very best are by Daniel Fairbanks. "Relics of Eden" demonstrates the overwhelming evidence of our evolution that is found in our DNA. Before reading Relics of Eden I had already read many books on evolution, but I was still blown away by the overwhelming evidence presented in the book.

"Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters" also presents a great amount of evidence of human evolution from our DNA; a lot of the DNA evidence presented in "Evolving" can be found in "Relics of Eden" but there is also a lot of new DNA evidence in the book. "Evolving" also demonstrates the clear evidence of our evolution from fossils, embryology, anatomy, etc. I flew right through this book; not because it was dumbed down but because of the author's ability to explain complex ideas in a way that is very easy to understand.

The first two-thirds of the book seemed to be aimed at demonstrating just how overwhelming the evidence of our evolution is, while the last third of the book showed why evolutionary biology matters. Sure, its really awesome to be able to know a lot about our origins and the history of life, but the chapters on our health and our food show why it is vital that evolutionary biology is taught in every school.

Buy this book! Every single chapter is filled with fascinating information that I had never come across before. I think that Daniel Fairbanks is the most underrated author of popular books on evolution. Dawkins, Fairbanks, and Shubin are the three best alive today, in my opinion (sure Shubin's only written one book, but "Your Inner Fish" is amazing!!!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book contains two main parts. The first part is the evidence for human evolution and the second part is the importance of evolution to current issues like health, food, and environment.

The first part on the evidence for human evolution is about 2/3 of the book and in my opinion was the strongest. The presentation on the shared structures, changes in hominid skulls and pelvises was excellent as was the genetic evidence. This part of the book makes a really strong case for the grand unifying nature of evolutionary theory.

The second part on the importance of evolution in things like health and food was interesting but to me was neither as compelling nor as convincing. I understand what he is saying here but I don't think it is controversial. I don't even think young earth creationists dispute the kind of bacterial/viral evolution or plant and animal domestication and selection discussed in this part.

In any case this book overall, and especially the first part, is a very good case for human evolution and is therefore recommended. I remember thinking about ordering his previous book "Relics of Eden" at one point and never did. Now that I have read this one I'm going to take a look at that one as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl Pietrowski on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a physics major, I am often inclined to feel the need to explore other scientific endeavors, and although I have taken many biology courses, the matter of evolution is, well, "Evolving"! and we are always in pursuit of a deeper meaning to quench our thirst for knowledge. I am very impressed and engaged by Fairbanks work here. He is undoubtedly one of the majorly underrated scientists in the "evolution discussion". This book gives you the answers in depth. Between this and Dawkins "Greatest Show on Earth", I am befuddled as to how anyone can deny evolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald R. Burleson on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Given that nearly half the adult population of the United States rejects the notion of biological evolution, believing instead that the world was created only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago with its life forms pretty much as they are now, and given that certain political forces work steadily to try to insinuate the preposterous pseudo-scientific "creation science" and "intelligent design" sorts of nonsense into our public schools, the reading public needs books like this one by Daniel Fairbanks more than it has ever needed them before. This is a splendid answer to those ignoramuses who argue that evolution has no basis in science. I know how prevalent this sort of thing is; I live in a place where the letters to the editor constantly claim that the fossil record does not support evolution and that the idea that we have common ancestors with other life forms is foolish if not downright wicked. Fairbanks lays all that to rest as competently as any writer I've ever seen. This wonderful book brims over with irrefutable evidence for Darwinian evolution and natural selection, from his discussions of comparative anatomy to the (pre)history of bipedalism to the high similarity between human and chimpanzee genomes, to the overwhelming evidence offered by retro-elements in our DNA. Any sound scientific theory should of course be predictive-- capable of predicting, from what is already known, what might be found when one ventures into realms one has not yet explored-- and Fairbanks does a splendid job of showing how evolutionary theory does precisely this, predicting for example that certain genetic code sequences ought to be parallel in varying degrees in various primate genomes, predictions that have turned out to be accurate.Read more ›
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More About the Author

Daniel Fairbanks is an accomplished scientist, artist, author, and teacher. He is a geneticist with a wide breadth of expertise in evolutionary genetics, international scientific development, science education, and the history of science. His most recent book is Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters, published in 2012 by Prometheus Books. Other books include Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA (Prometheus Books), Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy (with A. Franklin, A.W.F. Edwards, D.L. Hartl, and T. Seidenfeld), and Genetics: The Continuity of Life (with W.R. Andersen). He is a prolific research scientist whose articles are published in a wide range of prestigious scientific journals.

Having been raised in a family of four generations of artists, Daniel is also a professional artist with commissioned work in sculpture, painting, and drawing on permanent exhibit in museum, public, and private collections, and published book illustrations. His latest book, Evolving, is lavishly illustrated with his hand-drawn and computer-generated images. His diverse talents in art and science merge through artistic human anatomy, scientific illustration, and forensic sculpture. Daniel uses his skills as an artist to promote scientific awareness and education through live sculpture demonstrations.

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