Biological adaptations have made it possible for animals, like humans, to live and even thrive in certain places. But these changes in biology happen at random, and some are so bad that they can lead to the death of species.
This is what Charles Darwin wrote in his book The Origin of Species in 1859. He was the first person to write about evolution. Since then, scientists have made progress in their understanding of how life began on Earth, which led to the plants and animals we see around us in the present.
Adam Hart is a professor at the University of Gloucestershire who teaches about how to talk about science.
Biolgist: Adam is also a TV host, author, and biologist, and his work has to do with insects like wasps and ants. Adam also talks about African ecology and how to keep them safe. He is a frequent TV and radio host, presenting documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service about a wide range of subjects. These include tree diseases, chance discoveries, and living with predators.
Adam started writing his new book on evolution, Unfit For Purpose, after he thought about whether our “modern day woes” might be partly caused by the fact that we have changed our environment so much in the last few decades. You can read more about this idea in the book Unfit for Purpose, which looks at how evolution has had an impact on everything from stress and addiction to obesity and dietary intolerances to violence and fake news.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve already read The Origin of Species or not. You’ll find something new in these science books about the survival of the fittest.
The Blind Watchmaker
Richard Dawkins has written a lot of books about evolution, so it would be hard to make a list of books about evolution without including one from him. His book, The Selfish Gene, might be a good choice for some people. For me, The Blind Watchmaker is a better title, and it was a big part of my path to becoming a biologist.
In 1986, Dawkins wrote a book called “The Blind Watchmaker” to dispel the idea that the natural world needs a “designer.” Complex structures, like eyes, can evolve through natural selection, which is called the “blind watchmaker.” A lot of ground is covered in the book by Dawkins, and he shows his ideas with a wide range of examples.
Using computer modeling and theoretical approaches, he looks at the limits and scope of evolution driven by selection. He also shows how these techniques can be used by a wider audience and show the power of theory. I read the book for the first time in 1993, when I was about to start college. It gave me a real sense of excitement for what was to come.
Why Evolution is True
Jerry Coyne’s book Why Evolution Is True is based on Richard Dawkins’ spirited public defense of evolution, and it does exactly what it says on the cover!
As someone who doesn’t believe in evolution, I think this book is for you. It will help you get ready to fight someone who doesn’t believe in evolution. Ten years ago, the book was written in a way that was clear, interesting, and comprehensive. It still makes a strong case for evolution. Coyne also runs a blog with the same name. If you want to keep up with important evolutionary science, you should check it out.
Darwin Comes to Town
How does life change to fit us? This is the big question that this fascinating look at how humans have changed the world around us tries to answer.
To show his ideas, Schilthuizen looks at everything from city pigeons to urban weeds in a wide range of studies. “Unnatural selection” has been looked at by other people, but Schilthuizen’s account is the most interesting one I have read. I made a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the subject years ago.
If you want to spend some time with a great scientific storyteller and learn a lot in the process, then this book is for you.
Look at this part of the book Darwin Comes to Town.
The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
Alice Roberts is, of course, a well-known broadcaster, but she is also an academic who studies the human body and how it changed over time. Academic rigor and clear communication to a wider audience can be very powerful when they work together well. In The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, that combination makes one of the best books on human evolution there is.
In his book, “Why We Are What We Are,” Roberts looks at genetics, anatomy, evolution, human ecology, and more to figure out why we are the way we are. How would you describe this?
Charles Darwin: Voyaging
You should read Janet Browne’s Charles Darwin: Voyaging if you want to learn about evolution as an idea, how it came to be, and the man who put together one of the most important scientific ideas of all time. It’s the first in a two-volume series about Darwin’s life.
In the beginning, I was gripped by this book. My copy is in my carry-on luggage, and I’m waiting for the next long flight and a long-overdue second reading. After that is done, I’ll start Browne’s second book, The Power of Place.
Voyaging is a very detailed and interesting biography of Darwin’s life up until the age of 49, which includes his voyage on the Beagle, which is the title of the book. If I had to save one book from a fire, this would be it. It’s a great example of how to tell a true story.
The Descent Of Man
By Charles Darwin
This is the most important book about how humans evolved, and it was written by Charles Darwin 12 years after On the Origin of Species. Don’t be afraid of its length. If you don’t want to read about sexual selection, you can skip a lot of it. There are a lot of good reasons to think that humans, or Homo sapiens, are the result of an evolutionary process that was fueled by natural selection, just like all other organisms. From monkeys, we have come to be. Darwin says that Social Darwinism, which says that life is a brutal fight for survival, so “might is right,” is wrong. We are social beings, and the best way to do good is to help other people.