44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2007
I have used all three earlier editions of this text for my undergraduate 'Evolution' course (I am a college Professor of Biology) and have witnessed the various changes made over the years. The new version has updated much of the information on molecular evolution; the authors should be commended for their very thorough literature review. With the veritable explosion of research into evolutionary phenomena, this must be difficult indeed! The initial chapter on HIV still remains a wonderful introduction to your typically "human oriented" undergraduate and serves to generate interest in the topic early on. The phlogeny/evolutionary tree chapter was moved earlier to the "Introduction" part of the text; not sure why this was done. It was also nice to finally see mention made of reaction norms in the 'Adaptation' chapter (at last!), but there are still no examples of phenotypic plasticity from the vast botanical literature. The 'Evolution and Human Health' chapter is excellent for the medical student. Rather oddly, the important topic of speciation is near the book's end (Chapter 16) and glosses over the many fine examples from the plant evolution literature (polyploid speciation is virtually ignored, except for two paragraphs on p.159). My students are fascinated by the 'evolution of wheat' story, but don't look for that example of speciation here.
My primary complaint with this, and the preceding editions, is still the overwhelming amount of extraneous detail. How I wish I could use my editorial hand on this one! Does an undergraduate student really need over 20 pages on linkage disequilibrium? Are the final details of QTL mapping really necessary at this level of student education? Do we really need 4 pages on the 'fallacy' of the bell-curve (interesting advanced topic, but...) Also, there is an over abundance on phylogeny and systematics (useful for the future molecular systematist, but probably just confusing to the general biology major).
In any event, a great book, a little overwhelming, but well written and free of errors...I'll probably order the lastest (4th) edition anyway for the next 'Evolution' class...
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2001
EVOLUTIONARY ANALYSIS (2nd ed) by Freeman and Herron hits the mark for an evolution text for the undergarduate student. It's not so thick that it's intimidating, but the contents cover the basics of evolutionary biology without being watered down.
The authors address topics of current interest (e.g., the evolution of HIV in Chapter 1) in drawing the student into the conversation about what evolution is, how it happens, and how you can demonstrate that it is happening.
Major sections of the book include the following:
1) An introduction to evolution: the HIV story, evidence for evolution, natural selection...
2) Mechanisms of evolutionary change: mutation, genetic drift, genetics, etc...
3) Adaptation: sexual selection, kin selection, social behavior, life history factors...
4) The History of Life: mechanisms of speciation, reconstructing evolutionary trees, origins and evolution of life through human evolution...
5) Current Research in Evolutionary Biology: development and evolution (a field that's really gaining momentum these days), molecular evolution, evolution and human health...
The authors touch all the important bases in this introductory text on evolution. The organization of material is logical, the tone is professional without being overbearing, there are many understandable examples, and the illustrations are excellent. Because of those factors, this new book appears to be a great text to teach from. There are wonderful reference texts out there about evolution, but most of them are not easy to teach or learn from. This book, however, helps students to learn, and provides ample material for instructors to use.
This is now my top choice for a textbook in evolution. This book is definitely worth 5 stars!
I hope this review was helpful to you.
Alan Holyoak, Dept of Biology, Manchester College, IN
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2001
Looking at the price of this book you might precieve it as a bit expensive but don't be decieved. If you are taking an evolution course or just want to know about evolution, this is the easiest and most comprehensive read you can get. It has comprehensive chapters with page and chapter summeries and loads of examples. It made my course more enjoyable having it. If you're taking a course with this book, buy it. If you're taking another evolution course that deals with many concepts of evolution and even touches on the mathematics of genetics.....buy the book and read it.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2003
I found this book to have quite a few flaws. I felt that it spent too long on some points and not enough on others. It beat cladograms to death... And didn't ever focus on Paedomorphosis. It had hte most dissapointing index and glossary i have yet had in my biology career. It was however, quite good in the origins of life and other areas - a brief overview of HOX/HOM genes. I also felt too much time was spent on Punnet squares and Mendel; these being more of a facet of genetics.
Overall it was ok, but not as good as i would have liked.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2011
This was the text chosen for my 300-level biology/evolution course, and I found it to be easy to read and comprehend. The material is well laid out and concepts are explained with a variety of charts/graphs as well as descriptions of real-life experiments conducted by researchers. There were a couple of sections that our professor chose to omit because they were a bit too detailed for the scope of the book and difficult to understand for a student encountering it at such a low level (specifically the area on human evolution found from 745-755). All in all it was a great resource for the class, and helped solidify what was discussed in the lecture. I have owned two texts by Scott Freeman and have been impressed twice so far! I don't think you can go wrong with Evolutionary Analysis.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2000
I bought this book because I am taking a biology class at the University I attend currently. This book is our textbook.
The first two chapters are about Darwinism and Evolution. I also read the Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner who is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His points about Darwinism and Evolution are all in this textbook with many of graphs and pictures. Although it is a textbook, it's easy to comprehend even if you are not a pre-med student. Topics such as natural selection, microevolution, and irony and controversy of the validity of evolution by natural selection are covered.
Part II of the book is about Mutation and Mendelian Genetics. The author covers gene duplication and Yule's Numerical examples, analyzing the point of the natural selection being a potent force of evolution. And sexual selection and adaptations are other important topics that are discussed in the part II.
Part III of the book is about current research (1998). Various theories in relationships among humans and the extant apes, and sexual selection are covered in great depth. Again, it all comes down to microevolution and macroevolution and their patterns after examing adaptive radiations, punctuated equilibrium, and fossiles.
Lastly, the author talks about social behavior of various species. The author concludes that when individuals interact, four outcomes are possible with respect to fitness: cooperation, altruism, selfishness, and spite. Robert Trivers' theory of altrusim is tested and other "outcomes" about animal behavior are studied. From these studies, the author concludes that genetic variance exists for behavioral traits. "Thh field of behavior genetics is devoted to exploring the extent and nature of this variation. Behavioral geneticists use selection and heritability studies to identify traits with significant genetic variance... and can uncover the specific function of loci influencing social behavior."
I think this book covers many important topics and is easily comprehensible even for non-biology majors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2011
This is a well written book that clearly explains the basics of evolution by using clear examples and studies. I particularly like how the book peaks your interest by starting with HIV in chapter one. My only complaint would be the cursory treatment of the arguments against evolution. Intelligent Design and Creationism only got a few pages each. This doesn't really give you a strong foot hold when you are trying to have a discussion with someone who stands against evolution, because in order to have that argument, you really need to understand the basis of their argument. Also, I bought this book as an alternative to buying the newer, higher priced version for class, and I have noticed no point where I am missing relevant information.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2014
The book is filed with great descriptions of what evolution consist of ,it renders great examples of modern animals in attempt to aid you in understanding each concept.The book is consise ,yet very detailed than what you would find in other books . It's a beautiful book,well written.This is a complimentary to one's book shelve ,and is more enlightening than you think a book can be.
It elucidates on: How we know evolution is true,It addresses evidence (pictures of reserved animals in fossilized state) , mutation,allele,and everything related too biology and evolution.My favorite part of this book is,it gives great,well,detailed explanation.you will understand every concept because it gives evidence ,evidence bolster every statement. I love this book . Buy it ,don't hesitate!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
Great book, easy to read, content is straight to the point and interesting. I think most biology majors understand a huge downfall of science texts is the rambling authors get caught up in when talking about their field, not this one. Or maybe I really enjoyed it I didn't notice. This text was paired with Darwin's On The Origins of Species for my class, which was quite complimentary to each other. I would have kept it if I didn't need the money!
PS: Read about the Masked Boobies- so evil!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2014
Very biased towards human/mammalian evolution. There is not adequate mention of plants in my opinion. If you have to have it for a class it is decent enough. If you are interested in self-learning I would move on. Too wordy and unclear in most of the book and lackin in scope.