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Evolution: A View from the 21st Century

by James A. Shapiro
Upper Saddle River (NJ): FT Press Science, 2011. 253 pages.

“The main theme,” writes reviewer Laurence A. Moran, “is that discoveries in molecular biology and genomics have caused us to rethink our understanding of evolution in the 21st century.” Moran faults Shapiro for failing to provide adequate historical context, for caricaturing the positions he attacks, and for misunderstanding the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.

The Evolutionary World: How Adaptation Explains Everything from Seashells to Civilization

by Geerat Vermeij
New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2010. 336 pages.

Reviewer Joseph S. Levine writes that The Evolutionary World is filled “with delights for the mind ranging from astute observations of morphological minutiae to intriguing hypotheses and syntheses—all selected to show how an evolutionary perspective can yield ‘an emotionally satisfying, aesthetically pleasing, and deeply meaningful worldview in which the human condition is bathed in a new light.’

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

by Martin A. Nowak with Roger Highfield
New York: Free Press, 2011. 330 pages.

Reviewer E. G. Leigh Jr. describes SuperCooperators as “a must for evolution teachers”: “It emphasizes human cooperation more than the wonders of nature, but in today’s world, that emphasis may make it a more effective teaching tool.

Evolution, Development, and the Predictable Genome

by David L. Stern
Greenwood Village [CO]: Roberts & Company, 2011. 288 pages.

“In Evolution, Development, and the Predictable Genome, David L. Stern highlights recent path-breaking work in evolutionary developmental biology and experimental evolution, and makes the case for integrating population genetics and developmental biology,” writes reviewer David Leaf.

Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating

by Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig
New Haven [CT]: Yale University Press, 2010. 248 pages.

Reviewer Joe Lapp writes, “Spider Silk is written for the layperson. It requires no advanced knowledge of spiders, biology, or evolution. It strives to provide all the background a reader might need.

Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

by Mark S. Blumberg
New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 352 pages.

The purpose of Freaks of Nature, writes reviewer Paul R. Gross, is “to present insights from evolutionary developmental biology …

Evolution: The Basics

by Sherrie Lyons
New York: Routledge, 2011. 200 pages.

“With only seven chapters and 177 pages of text, Evolution: The Basics is true to its title, offering an abbreviated and basic introduction to evolutionary thought,” writes reviewer Daniel J. Fairbanks.

The Evidence for Evolution

by Alan R. Rogers
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. 120 pages.

Describing it as a “fresh and splendid little book,” reviewer Warren D. Allmon praises The Evidence for Evolution for focusing on the evidence for evolution, explaining, “By far the best feature of this book … is its focus on precisely why such indirect evidence actually favors evolution over its alternatives.

In the Light of Evolution: Essays from the Laboratory and Field

edited by Jonathan Losos
Greenwood Village (CO): Roberts and Company, 2011. 330 pages.

Reviewer Marvalee H. Wake describes In the Light of Evolution as “a wonderfully rich and diverse collection of essays that illustrate the way evolutionary biologists think and work—how they develop questions and hypotheses about evolution and how it occurs, how they test their hypotheses, why both lab and field work are important to resolution of many questions, and why the answers usually open new questions—and why that is useful for the progress of science.

Evolution: The Extended Synthesis

by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Müller
Cambridge [MA]: MIT Press, 2010. 504 pages.

According to reviewer Anya Plutynski, “This engaging volume surveys novel empirical and theoretical advances in biology since the Modern Synthesis, some of which add to, and some challenge, its central tenets.” The project is to extend the synthesis to include patterns and processes often considered to be at the margins of the theory, such as epigenetic inheritance, niche inheritance, facilitated variations, plasticity, and evolvability; the review focuses on the last two of these. Plutyns

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