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In the heated landscape of public discourse about evolution, books are weapons, lobbed by each side at the other. While creationists tend to directly attack the credibility of evolution, scientists have generally been loath to engage in direct comparison of evolutionary and creationist theories, preferring instead to simply focus on laying out the facts of evolution. Evolutionary biologist Mindell's contribution to the fray breaks little new ground. Couched as a general and accessible overview of how evolutionary reasoning pervades our lives, from the selective breeding of animals to understanding disease-causing pathogens, this book does have a few daggers tucked into its belt; the book opens with an examination of three "unpopular discoveries" (heliocentrism, the germ theory of disease and evolution) and ends with a coda that cursorily nods toward tolerance of religious and moral qualms but has little patience for them. What lies between is a perfectly reasonable survey of the ways that evolution explains biology, medicine, culture and religion. Written for a general audience, the book is solid but unremarkable, another salvo in the roar of the larger cultural war. B&w illus. (May)
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This wonderful book should be put in the hands of every student, every teacher, every person in America today. David Mindell is passionate about the science of evolution and about the ways in which it impinges on our daily lives. It is the perfect antidote to all of those sterile alternatives forwarded by the Christian Right and their fellow travelers. The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life does more than show that science is important. It shows that it can be tremendous fun. (Michael Ruse, author of The Evolution-Creation Struggle)
Mindell has written a welcome...account of the ways in which concepts of evolutionary biology are used in ways that influence our daily lives. (Walter Cressler Library Journal 2006-05-15)
[The Evolving World> succeeds admirably in defining the numerous ways that "applied evolution" affects our everyday lives. (Greg Gibson Evolution 2006-11-01)