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. “This book’s greatest strength is its first three chapters: a rapid and simple historical narrative recounting key events in the foundation of evolutionary theory from pre-Darwinian times through the modern synthesis of the 1940s.” Unfortunately, Fairbanks adds, “this book suffers from an excessive number of scientific errors, ranging from simple oversights to serious misstatements. These errors cluster in chapters 4 through 6, and most, but not all, are misconceptions about molecular evolution.” Genomics and bioinformatics are also neglected.