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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
by Mary Roach

The best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex.

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc. Pub. Date: April 2009 ISBN-13: 9780393334791 336pp Edition Description: Reprint

039333479
Price: $15.95
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Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction
by Eugenie C. Scott

An advocate for the teaching of evolution in US schools surveys the scientific, religious, educational, and legal implications of a debate that continues almost 80 years after the Scopes trial pitted science against faith in the American classroom. Scott (National Center for Science Education) writes primarily for advanced high school students and undergraduates. She provides information on basic science and the philosophy of science to help students understand why creationist critiques of evolution are resisted by scientists. She looks as well at the theological issues involved that explain why creationists' claims are not uniformly accepted by all religious people. A section on the history of the controversy puts current headlines about the teaching of creationism into perspective. Annotation © 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Publisher: University of California Press Pub. Date: August 2009 ISBN-13: 9780520261877 378pp Edition Number: 2

052026187
Price: $22.95
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Forms of Becoming: The Evolutionary Biology of Development
by Alessandro Minelli

What comes first, form or function? Trumpeted as the future of biological science, evolutionary developmental biology (or "evo-devo") answers this fundamental question by showing how evolution controls the development of organisms. In Forms of Becoming, Alessandro Minelli, a leading international figure in the field, takes an in-depth and comprehensive look at the history and key issues of evo-devo. Spirited and insightful, this book focuses on the innovative ways animal organisms evolve through competition and cooperation. Minelli provides a complete overview of conceptual developments--from the fierce nineteenth-century debates between the French biologists Geoffroy and Cuvier, who fought over questions of form versus function--to modern theories of how genes dictate body formation. The book's wide-ranging topics include expression patterns of genes, developmental bias, the role of developmental genes, and genetic determinism. Drawing from diverse examples, such as the anatomy of butterflies, giraffes, Siamese twins, and corals, Minelli extends and reformulates important concepts from development, evolution, and the interplay between the two. Presenting the accessible and cutting-edge ideas of evolutionary developmental biology, Forms of Becoming is fascinating reading for anyone interested in genetics and the animal form.

Publisher: Princeton University Press Pub. Date: April 2009 ISBN-13: 9780691135687 242pp
069113568

Price: $27.95
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The Blind Watchmaker
by Richard Dawkins

Publishers Weekly

Oxford zoologist Dawkins (The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype trumpets his thesis in his subtitlealmost guarantee enough that his book will stir controversy. Simply put, he has responded head-on to the argument-by-design most notably made by the 18th century theologian William Paley that the universe, like a watch in its complexity, needed, in effect, a watchmaker to design it. Hewing to Darwin's fundamental (his opponents might say fundamentalist) message, Dawkins sums up: ``The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the evolution of organized complexity.'' Avoiding an arrogant tone despite his up-front convictions, he takes pains to explain carefully, from various sides, why even such esteemed scientists as Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, with their ``punctuated equilibrium'' thesis, are actually gradualists like Darwin himself in their evolutionary views. Dawkins is difficult reading as he describes his computer models of evolutionary possibilities. But, as he draws on his zoological background, emphasizing recent genetic techniques, he can be as engrossing as he is cogent and convincing. His concept of ``taming chance'' by breaking down the ``very improbable into less improbable small components'' is daring neo-Darwinism. Line drawings. (November 24)

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc. Pub. Date: December 2004 ISBN-13: 9780393315707 400pp Edition Description: Subsequent Edition Number: 1
039331570

Price: $16.95
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The Origin of Species (Modern Library Series)
by Charles Darwin, Edward J. Larson (Foreword by)

Perhaps the most readable and accessible of the great works of scientific imagination, The Origin of Species sold out on the day it was published in 1859. Theologians quickly labeled Charles Darwin the most dangerous man in England, and, as the Saturday Review noted, the uproar over the book quickly "passed beyond the bounds of the study and lecture-room into the drawing-room and the public street." Yet, after reading it, Darwin's friend and colleague T. H. Huxley had a different reaction: "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that." Based largely on Darwin's experience as a naturalist while on a five-year voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle, The Origin of Species set forth a theory of evolution and natural selection that challenged contemporary beliefs about divine providence and the immutability of species. A landmark contribution to philosophical and scientific thought, this edition also includes an introductory historical sketch and a glossary Darwin later added to the original text.

Charles Darwin grew up considered, by his own account, "a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect." A quirk of fate kept him from the career his father had deemed appropriate—that of a country parson—when a botanist recommended Darwin for an appointment as a naturalist aboard H.M.S. Beagle from 1831 to 1836. Darwin is also the author of the five-volume work Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle (1839) and The Descent of Man (1871).

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group Pub. Date: August 1998 ISBN-13: 9780375751462 720pp Series: Modern Library Paperbacks Edition Description: Reprint
037575146

Price: $12.00
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