What Evolution Is

What Evolution Is : From Theory to Fact

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What we do and do not know about evolution, by one of the field's pioneering thinkers.Evolution is the most important idea in biology, with implications that go far beyond science. But despite more than a century's progress in understanding, there is still widespread confusion about what evolution is, how it works and why it is the only plausible mechanism that can account for the remarkable diversity of life on Earth.Now, for the first time in a book aimed at a general audience, one of the founding fathers of modern biology tells us what we know - and what we do not know - about evolution. In showing how evolution has gone from theory to fact, he explores various controversial fads and fallacies such as punctuated equilibrium, the selfish-gene theory and evolutionary psychology. He ends by looking at what we know about human evolution and how, in turn, this knowledge has affected the way in which we view ourselves and the world.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 26mm | 299.38g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps, port.
  • 0753813688
  • 9780753813683
  • 188,844

About Ernst Mayr

Ernst Mayr was born in Kempten, Germany, in 1904. He was one of the main architects of the modern synthesis of genetic and evolutionary theory whose career has spanned fields as diverse as ornithology, systematics, zoo-geography, evolutionary theory, and the philosophy and history of science. He has written 13 books, and published more than 700 scientific papers. Since 1953 he has been on the faculty of Harvard University, and, at the age of 96, continues to make the trip into work several days a week.show more

Review quote

"Mayr is one of the influential scientists of the last century. This compact book delivers the wealth of his 70 year career in a single, well measured punch." GLASGOW HERALD "We are taken all the way from Darwin to the frontiers of biology, including ideas on the causes of altruism and the consequences for humans now that natural selection is no longer happening to us." OBSERVERshow more

Rating details

2,632 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 38% (1,000)
4 33% (871)
3 20% (533)
2 6% (168)
1 2% (60)
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