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The Future of Life

by E. O. Wilson
New York: Vintage, 2003. 256 pages.

“The central thesis of this elegant manifesto is not unfamiliar: the impact of human population growth and ‘wasteful consumption’ on the biological diversity of our planet has been nothing short of disastrous,” writes the reviewer for The New Yorker.

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

by E. O. Wilson
New York: W. W. Norton, 2007. 192 pages.

Composed as a series of letters to a Southern Baptist pastor, The Creation tries to rally the resources of both science and religion in the service of maintaining biodiversity. “I suggest that we set aside our differences in order to save the Creation,” Wilson pleads. “The defense of living Nature is a universal value. It doesn’t rise from, nor does it promote, any religious or ideological dogma.

Speciation in Birds

by Trevor Price
Greenwood Village (CO): Roberts and Company, 2007. 480 pages.

Peter R. Grant writes, "Trevor Price takes up the challenge to explain how birds speciate, and succeeds magnificently. It is a comprehensive review of all the major ideas, beautifully illustrated with pictures of birds. More than 1300 works are cited, but more impressive is the range of subjects, from genetics to biogeography, from the reconstruction of phylogeny to ecology and the causes of reproductive isolation, all discussed with admirable clarity.

The Speciation and Biogeography of Birds

by Ian Newton
London: Academic Press, 2003. 656 pages.

"This book is about the formation and diversity of bird species, their geographical distributions and their migration patterns," Ian Newton explains in his introduction.

Ornithology, third edition

by Frank B. Gill
San Francisco (CA): W. H. Freeman, 2005. 720 pages.

The leading textbook in its field, now in its third edition, Ornithology begins, appropriately, with a section on origins, discussing the diversity of birds, their evolutionary history, and their systematics. "The power of evolution by natural selection is the central theme of this book," Gill explains.

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith
New York: W. W. Norton, 2005. 352 pages.

The companion volume to the NOVA special, Origins astonishingly compresses the fourteen-billion-year history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, in 288 fascinating pages. Michio Kaku describes it as "a remarkable text which is bound to set the gold standard for cosmology book for years to come.

Physics, the Human Adventure

by Gerald Holton and Stephen G. Brush
New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University Press, 2001. 598 pages.

The third edition of a classic text, Physics, the Human Adventure presents the content and nature of physical science while emphasizing its history as well. As the authors explain, "Our purpose in this book is to tell the story of the major ideas that have led to our current understanding of how the physical universe functions. At the same time we also aim to show that the growth of science was part of the general development of our civilization, as it is to this day." NCSE Supporter Stephen G.

Present at the Flood

by Richard E. Dickerson
Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates, 2005. 307 pages.

Present at the Flood chronicles a scientific revolution — the rise of structural molecular biology — by providing forty-two key scientific papers together with informed commentary to place their accomplishments in context.

Essential Cell Biology, third edition

Bruce Alberts and others
New York: Routledge, 2008. 860 pages.

A brand-new and thoroughly up-to-date edition of a classic textbook widely used in introductory classes in cell and molecular biology, supplemented with a DVD-ROM including over 130 animations and videos, all of the figures from the book, and a self-testing feature for students. "This book fills a critical niche in the pedagogical process of introducing cell biology and does an excellent job in reaching its objective," wrote a reviewer of The Quarterly Review of Biology.

What is Life?

by Lynn Margulis & Dorian Sagan
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. 208 pages.

With eighty illustrations ranging from the smallest known organism to the biosphere itself, this exploration of the meaning of "life" has been praised by E. O. Wilson as a "new and spirited explanation ... likely to influence future introductions to biology." Introduction by Niles Eldredge.

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