In the Light of Evolution


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of In the Light of Evolution: Essays from the Laboratory and Field (Roberts & Company 2010). The excerpt is Carl Zimmer's "Darwin Under the Microscope: Witnessing Evolution in Microbes." "Darwin had seen evidence for evolution in all of the animals and plants he studied, but he never believed that anyone could see natural selection take place in his own lifetime," Zimmer writes. "Biologists now know that this is not always true. ... In fact, biologists can now carry out experiments in evolution, testing out different hypotheses about how natural selection works, over the course of a few months. And some of the most compelling results come from research on a kind of life that Darwin did not study: microbes."

Edited by Jonathan B. Losos, In the Light of Evolution includes a foreword by David Quammen and articles by Janet Browne, James Curtsinger, Carl Zimmer, Daniel Lieberman, Jonathan B. Losos, Edmund D. Brodie III, Naomi E. Pierce and Andrew Berry, Luke Harmon, Douglas Emlen, Marlene Zuk and Teri Orr, Michael J. Ryan, David Reznick, David Queller, Axel Meyer, Hopi E. Hoekstra, Ted Daeschler and Neil Shubin, and Harry W. Greene. Edward O. Wilson describes it as "exactly what both other scientists and the public need in the quest for understanding of this vitally important subject: a dispatch from the front, by scientists directly engaged in research on evolution, accompanied by a leading historian and the most knowledgeable journalists."