Saturday, January 1, 2011

Poll: What's the Best Evolution Book?

Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

My preliminary comments: I understand that Neil Shubin's book Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (Vintage) has been wildly popular, and certainly, it is a great introduction to evolution. However, I think that most of the good and unique stuff in the book was expounded in this article. As great as it is, I wouldn't label it "my favorite".

The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution is a fine book, which gathers together many examples of evolution from genetics, and is overall highly convincing.

The 29 Evidences for Macroevolution is a fine document, although it could potentially be too hard to understand for those who don't know much about evolution. And it's not a book. But it does deserve an honorable mention.

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters is a colorful, well-illustrated, and informative guide to the massive fossil evidence for evolution.

Personally, I'm tempted to name Jerry Coyne's book Why Evolution Is True as the best evolution book. It is a beautiful, excellent explanation of several of the lines of evidence for evolution. Note the keyword there: tempted. My own personal favorite is Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

btw, Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

I'm torn between Making of the Fittest and the Greatest Show on Earth.

John Danaher said...

I have read (or listened to audio versions of) all of these with the exception of Neil Shubin's book.

As regards which is the best, I would be torn between Coyne and Dawkins. I enjoyed reading Dawkins more than Coyne, but I think Coyne wins since his is the more accessible, compact review of the evidence. It's certainly the one I refer back to more often. Dawkins tend to go off on unnecessary (albeit interesting) tangents.

Prothero would probably come in third. I think his book is essential because of the emphasis he places on fossil evidence. But I can't say that I enjoyed reading it.

Paul Pavao said...

I can't find my favorite book's title. It's not on evolution per se, but on Christian honesty and dishonesty concerning evolution by Christian scientists. It was published by InterVarsity Press, and it really helped me when I was a young earth creationist.

On a different subject, would you be interested in exchanging links with