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21. Inferring Phylogenies
$225.00 $197.90
22. Handbook of Applied Optimization
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23. Genetics: Analysis and Principles
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24. The Third Chimpanzee : The Evolution
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25. Cell and Molecular Biology : Concepts
$119.95 $61.00
26. Principles of Genetics
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27. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the
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28. Unearthing the Dragon
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29. Human Heredity : Principles and
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30. Genetics:From Genes to Genomes
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31. Dinosaurs the Defiinitive Pop-up:
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32. Evolution of the Vertebrates:
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33. Microbiology for the Health Sciences
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34. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis
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35. Recombinant DNA
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36. How the Mind Works
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37. Evolutionary Psychology: The New
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38. The Ancestor's Tale : A Pilgrimage
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39. The Case of the Female Orgasm
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40. What's Wrong with My Mouse?: Behavioral

21. Inferring Phylogenies
by Joseph Felsenstein
list price: $61.95
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Asin: 0878931775
Catlog: Book (2003-09-04)
Publisher: Sinauer Associates
Sales Rank: 63088
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Phylogenies (evolutionary trees) are basic to thinking about and analyzing differences between species. Statistical, computational, and algorithmic work on them has been ongoing for four decades, with great advances in understanding. Yet no book has summarized this work until now. Inferring Phylogenies explains clearly the assumptions and logic of making inferences about phylogenies, and using them to make inferences about evolutionary processes. It is an essential text and reference for anyone who wants to understand how phylogenies are reconstructed and how they are used.

As phylogenies are inferred with various kinds of data, this book concentrates on some of the central ones: discretely coded characters, molecular sequences, gene frequencies, and quantitative traits. Also covered are restriction sites, RAPDs, and microsatellites.

Inferring Phylogenies is intended for graduate-level courses, assuming some knowledge of statistics, mathematics (calculus and fundamental matrix algebra), molecular sequences, and quantitative genetics. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars More than what the title implies
As one would expect, the majority of this book deals with the various algorithms for phylogenetic analysis (such as the various versions of parsimony, distance based methods, and likelihood methods), but the book covers more topics that this. In particular, the book covers methods of tree comparison such as the KHT and SH tests, which I found particularly welcome because the current literature covering these tests often are rather opaque to those who haven't followed it since their conception.

The only weak thing about about the book (besides the many typos, which should be fixed in the new printing anyway), is Felsenstein's rather acrimonious treatment of Bayesian methods, in which the Bayesian use of priors is criticized on philosophical grounds.

I was annoyed by this not because I'm a card-carrying Bayesian (which I'm certainly not), but rather because I would have thought that Felsenstein of all people, whose primary opponents in the 1980's were the members of the philosophically-minded Willi Hennig crowd (who always claimed that parsimony was "philosophically right" even when it gave the wrong answer), would realize the futility of arguing scientific issues on philosophical grounds. Bayesian methods, as all scientific methods, will win or lose based on how well they work in practice, despite turgid philosophizing on both sides of the issue.

4-0 out of 5 stars first print
The book I bought is first printing version. Lots of typo inside..... I should correct them myself.-:(

5-0 out of 5 stars The encyclopedia
It's fairly common to start with a few protein or DNA sequences from different species, and to try to figure out what the various lines of descent are that connect them. This book is about the computations that find the "family trees" based on molecular (or other) data.

The book is a goldmine. Among phylogeny programs, PHYLIP (supported since 1980) could well be the most popular - Felsenstein wrote it. In this, he covers an incredible number of techniques, drawn from dozens of fundamentally different insights into the problem of relatedness. Felsentein desribes many techniques, their variations, and their relationships to others. He describes every phase of the analysis, from interpreting raw data, through deducing trees and evaluating them statistically, to displaying them visually. Despite this book's thud factor - ove 600 pages - it can not cover every topic in full detail. That's when the book's references, about 50 pages of them, become valuable. Felsenstein welcomes the interested reader into every aspect of the field's literature.

Despite the huge body of theory and practice, there are still many disputes about the proper interpretations or approaches to some thorny issues. Felsenstein goes over the issues in some detail, and is not afraid to take sides when he sees reason to.

Felsenstein gives clear descriptions of many basic algorithms. There's no code here, but a diligent reader should be able to develop implementations of them. I could have hoped for better indexing of algorithms, but the chapter organization is clear enough to make any search brief. I could also have asked for more of the algorithms to be spelled out in implementable detail, but the book would have needed thousands of pages to include them all. He seems to have chosen a variety of well-known and important algorithms for full description, and left the minor or complex ones for the references.

If you just want to use one of the common phylogeny programs, you came to the wrong place. This is about fundamental techniques for creating programs - there's almost nothing here for the user who just wants the results. Such users won't even learn much more about the results they do get. Developers and statisticians who need detailed analyses will probably find what they they want, and lots more.

The only problem with the book is that it reads like an encyclopedia. Lots of developers can get lots of good work done without this level of knowledge. It will take a truly devoted reader to plow though it, as well as a good foundation in algorithm development and in probability and stats. If you are dedicated to becoming an expert in the practice and problems of phylogenetic analysis, though, I doubt that any other book will give you a third of the knowledge or a tenth of the breadth. ... Read more


22. Handbook of Applied Optimization
by P. M. Pardalos, Mauricio G. C. Resende, Panos M. Pardalos
list price: $225.00
our price: $225.00
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Asin: 0195125940
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 172234
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23. Genetics: Analysis and Principles
by Robert J. Brooker, Robert Brooker
list price: $115.00
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Asin: 0072965975
Catlog: Book (2004-01-09)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
Sales Rank: 284645
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Genetics: Analysis and Principles is a one-semester, introductory genetics textbook that takes an experimental approach to understanding genetics.By weaving one or two experiments into the narrative of each chapter, students can simultaneously explore the scientific method and understand the genetic principles that have been learned from these experiments. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent text for self-directed learning
I used this textbook in a distance learning course and have found it to be invaluable to my learnng experience.

For anyone who has taken Genetics, you'll account for the fact that it is not an easy course. Taking it without a professor present is even more challenging. Luckily this text is well written and easy to follow. The author uses a mix of theory and experiment examples to drive important concepts home. The language is not dry like in many Biology texts. Instead, it is easy to read, almost to the point of being enjoyable.

There are a few things I really liked:
1. The illustrations in this book are paramount to learning difficult concepts. When explaining experimental procedures, the text is accompanied by step-by-step instuctions and illustrations as to how the experiment was carried out. This proved helpful in visualizing the procedure.
2. Each chapter is well organized and easy to understand. The author speaks in easy to understand terms (that is if you have had previous Biology courses.) His writing style is dynamic and never boring.
3. Difficult concepts are often explained more than once. Sometimes the book gets a little ahead of itself, but page numbers and chapters are always given so you can read about things you don't understand.
4. The end of each chapter provides the reader with provocative critical thinking questions that solidify important points from the chapter. Best of all, even numbered answers are given in the back so you can check yourself without hunting through the book.

Overall I'd give this book an A and it will remain in my collection of Biology texts.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Undergraduate Textbook I've Seen for Genetics
I've just completed my first semester teaching Genetics at a small liberal arts college in Indiana. Because I was jumping into the position I was stuck using the text previously designed for the class. Almost a third of the book was classical genetics, which I enjoy, but was certainly overplayed. Molecular Biology areas were a jumble of terms to learn and lists to inscribe into their brains. The problems in the book did not reflect the material in the text, leaving the class pretty much upset with the book. By midterm it was time to find another sources for the class.

I found myself reaching for other texts, and "Genetics, Analysis and Principles" turned out to be the jewel. It is well balanced, very clearly written, and does not spend its time making students read long memory lists of genes or proteins that the class is going to forget less than two weeks after the term. I think this is largely reflected by the way he wrote the book; with input from students.

Reading the intro I was afraid that this text was going to be way over into the experimental design/ data side which I've seen in other texts mean "no content". Not so this text; experimental design has been written into the book to describe genetics and content, not replace it. I think what is truely unique about this book is the use of scientific process as a way to teach concepts. I wish I had more books like this one for other courses. I hope Dr. Brooker's format for Biology (and yes other science courses) is adopted for other courses.

If you are considering a text for your Genetics classes, I think you will be very pleased with this book. ... Read more


24. The Third Chimpanzee : The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
by Jared M. Diamond
list price: $15.00
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Asin: 0060984031
Catlog: Book (1992-12-02)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 2950
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Jared Diamond states the theme of his book up-front: "How the human species changed, within a short time, from just another species of big mammal to a world conqueror; and how we acquired the capacity to reverse all that progress overnight." The Third Chimpanzee is, in many ways, a prequel to Diamond's prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns examines "the fates of human societies," this work surveys the longer sweep of human evolution, from our origin as just another chimpanzee a few million years ago. Diamond writes:

It's obvious that humans are unlike all animals. It's also obvious that we're a species of big mammal down to the minutest details of our anatomy and our molecules. That contradiction is the most fascinating feature of the human species.

The chapters in The Third Chimpanzee on the oddities of human reproductive biology were later expanded in Why Is Sex Fun? Here, they're linked to Diamond's views of human psychology and history.

Diamond is officially a physiologist at UCLA medical school, but he's also one of the best birdwatchers in the world. The current scientific consensus that "primitive" humans created ecological catastrophes in the Pacific islands, Australia, and the New World owes a great deal to his fieldwork and insight. In Diamond's view, the current global ecological crisis isn't due to modern technology per se, but to basic weaknesses in human nature. But, he says, "I'm cautiously optimistic. If we will learn from our past that I have traced, our own future may yet prove brighter than that of the other two chimpanzees."--Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and important book...
After trying to read _Guns, Germs, and Steel_, I found this book, surprisingly, easier to get interested in and understand. Not that it's simpler or dumbed-down!

The book tries to answer the questions of what it means to be human, and how we are different from other life forms. This might sound like a cliché, but as Diamond delves into ethics, sex, history, evolution, and drug abuse, and comes out with his grim but guardedly optimistic conclusions, it seems apparent to me, at least, that what he is saying is of utmost importance to everyone in the world.

Having read the book _Ishmael_, by Daniel Quinn, a few years ago, I wonder if Diamond's thinking could actually be improved by being combined with Quinn's. Diamond suggests that, when prehistoric societies drove certain animals to extinction, they were acting out a human tendency to be destructive to our local environments that is simply horribly intensified today. Quinn suggests that some of those prehistoric societies were not particularly more destructive than other animals, and for the same reasons; while other, more civilized societies had the tendency to be destructive because of their cultures' inclinations, and passed this tendency on to us, their cultural descendants.

Of course, if Quinn is correct, our culture must be changed, a daunting task; while if Diamond is correct, the solution is unclear. He suggests that we may in fact be learning to change our behavior, in our own self-interest. I don't see much evidence of this offhand. (Although recent books by Paul Hawken and Ray C. Anderson suggest that business can be reformed in a way that's good both economically and ecologically; they're next on my reading list!) Quinn and Diamond alike offer a very cautious hope for our ecological future: that we may learn from the errors of the past and change our behavior accordingly.

But how easy it is to sit and type platitudes about the fate of all human life! Read the book; I'm going to reread it myself, in order to thoroughly take in its meaning. If anyone is interested in discussing these topics, please email me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Work
I read this book just after I finished GGS and at some aspects, I liked it even more than the much celebrated GGS.

At each chapter of the Third Chimpanzee we learn a totally new subject in the Jared Diamond style: a well-thought synthesis, a simple and organized presentation. Every other twenty pages was a new adventure for me.

Obviously, this might not be the case for other readers that are more acquainted with evolution readings, and obviously I need a lot to learn before I can decide their authenticity but I found his ideas on subjects like extraterrestrial life and evolution of drug abuse very original and provoking. I also found his narration of the issues of Indo-European Languages spreading, mate selection, animal art and genocide very moving and comprehensive.

A surprise for me was that this book tells the main concept of GGS thoroughly in just two chapters. Given the occasionally criticized redundancy and large volume of GGS, I might humbly suggest a prospective reader of Diamond who has limited time to read this book instead of GGS. For sure, GGS gives a much better and extensive treatise of the concept and it is also a must read book for anybody who wants to put a perspective to human history. Third Chimpanzee also gives a perspective to human psychology and I sincerely recommend it to anybody interested in these two subjects.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
This is a very worthwhile read for anyone interested in how man differs and does not differ from the rest of the animal kingdom (particularly the great apes). Since the book is already over ten years old, it is a bit weak on new advances in genetics and does not seem to be up-to-date on the Clovis debate about the peopling of the Americas (new genetic data showing that the entrance was probably earlier than the assumed 12,000 years ago). However, the bulk of the book is a very mind-broadening, timeless view of homo sapiens and this species conquest of the entire planet. The history that Diamond portrays does not augur well for mankind: habitual destruction of the environment; mass extinctions of other species; increasingly limited genetic diversity in the human species; the propensity for genocide. In short, Diamond shows that man has a history of selfishly expanding its population to the detriment of the very environment upon which he depends and that this proclivity could someday spell the end of the species as our numbers continue to rise. Some sobering facts are offered here; and open minds should recognize them and heed them.

I only give the book four stars for two reasons:
1) As mentioned, the part on genetics is partially out of date and should be made current in a further edition.
2) Diamond has a number of annoying tendencies that are sometimes frustrating: I grew weary of his "Outer Space" perspectives (i.e., the paleontologist from Outer Space, the archaeologist from Outer Space, the biologist from Outer Space), as if the reader were incapable of standing back and gaining perspective on his own species without this trick. Also, he piqued my curiosity on a number of subjects that he promised to cover in detail later. When thse subjects finally came, there were often more questions than answers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely FASCINATING!!!
Jared Diamond has to be one of my favorite authors. I could hardly put this book down! After reading "Guns, Germs and Steel," and "Why is Sex Fun?", "The Third Chimpanzee" has also proven to be yet another brilliant work by the author. He asks questions and looks at angles that are fascinating and provide almost endless food-for-thought. He approaches his subjects with open-mindedness and a true desire to uncover the truth.
Human evolution and early human history is a mysterious subject with much of the pieces missing, simply because of how long ago it happened and the lifestyle of those early humans. Yet it is such an important subject-- to understand WHAT homo sapiens really are, how we fit in with the other members of our family tree, how we got to be the way we are. Mr. Diamond applies his experience with hunter-gatherer New Guinian peoples to try to fill in these gaping holes. For thousands of years, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers, yet today it is a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly rare. He also provides insight into our physical evolution, sexual and reproductive evolution, the evolution of language and communication, and how our closest current relatives --the chimps and gorillas-- differ from and are similar to us. He also discusses what he terms "our Great Leap Forward"-- the point were we stopped being pre-human and started being (mentally and behaviorly) modern.
If you are at all interested in early human history and the "whys" and "hows" of many of our "human" characteristics, then this book is for you. You'll find Mr. Diamond's open, honest approach refreshing and easy to follow. Excellent book on understanding what it means to be human, and how we got that way.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing puzzle of a book
Challenges the intellect and provokes deep thought. ... Read more


25. Cell and Molecular Biology : Concepts and Experiments
by GeraldKarp
list price: $116.95
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Asin: 0471465801
Catlog: Book (2004-09-03)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 87264
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now fully updated and revised, the new Fourth Edition of Cell and Molecular Biology not only offers you and your students all of the latest research, it also gives students the tools they need to understand the science behind cell biology and ultimately succeed in your course. This text is ideal for sophomore/junior-level courses in cell biology offered out of biology or molecular and cell biology departments.
Cell and Molecular Biology provides an alternative for faculty looking for a text that concentrates on core concepts without sacrificing coverage of experimental evidence. Karp explores core concepts in considerable depth, and presents experimental detail when it helps to explain and reinforce the concept being explained. This edition also continues to offer an exceedingly clear presentation and excellent art program, both of which have received high praise in prior editions.
... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Concise story of cell biology
Another introductory book in the biology of the cell. I would say that the book is divided into mainly two sections, Cell structure and DANA, DANA replications etc. Second part takes almost two thirds of the book. I would prefer to read other Gene books when it comes to that point but for the cell structure, it is not bad. Some colored pictures, computer animations makes it easy to visualize things. Sections called "experimental pathways" scattered throughout the text takes you into current issues related to the subject. They are also quite sophisticated issues rather than practical problems. I think this book requires considerable guidance when read alone. I could not call this book as self sufficient or easy to read one compared to books by Alberts or Baltimore.

5-0 out of 5 stars He's got it all here in a nutshell
All biology, biochemistry, and premed students will find this text an indispensible source of information for anything there is to know about cells. This is one text that can't possibly be read and fully understood overnight; just take a little bit at a time at any convenient moment and it will all come together in your mind before you know it!

4-0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS GREAT BUT NEEDS SOME IMPROVEMENT
I think that this book is simply great ,but it needs some improvement such as mentioning more about the diseases in the((HUMAN PERSPECTIVE))part.In addition,it should have more of the realastic figures about diseases.

Basil Numan((MEDICINE STUDENT 1ST YEAR)).

4-0 out of 5 stars Biología molecular y celular de Geral Karp
I want to know about this book in spanish, it is posible, price and cost of send me.

Thanks you very much ... Read more


26. Principles of Genetics
by D. PeterSnustad, Michael J.Simmons
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
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Asin: 0471441805
Catlog: Book (2002-07-12)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 233682
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

High-quality illustrations with stepped-out art to help readers visualize complex processes.
* Human genetics and the role of the geneticist highlighted throughout.
* Two new features in each chapter: introductory "Key Questions" and closing "Basic Exercises."
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best introductory text broadly covering the field
I would rate this as one of the best (if not the best) introductory texts in genetics. Comparing this to various other material that I've come across, Snustad and Simmons definitely exhibit superior aptitude in educational skills in this work. They have a firm grasp of what their target readers can understand and know how build up the readers' progressive comprehension while keeping the interest level high. This is the true mark of a well-constructed textbook. We all know how boring some texts can be, but I found myself always itching to read on and even go backward to review some of the concepts. The authors' use of simple language (unlike some other "introductory" texts) makes reading somewhat "light and fun" in contrast to some others who seem to not be as adept in communicating to "pre-PhD" students.

Another characteristic that makes this work stand out is it's sheer beauty. The illustrations, photographs, charts, and even the layout are absolutely gorgeous! Hey, I'm not one who judges a book by the cover, but even the cover is beautiful! The artwork is well thought out and easy to understand. Many parts of the text can be reviewed plainly by looking at the pictorial descriptions without necessitating too much re-reading of the sections.

The authors also include well-placed "sidelights" throughout the book to help the reader get a "real-life" connection to subject. And the sidelights are mostly about what we care about most...ourselves. Thus, in addition to constant reference to medical applications here and there, the sidelights help the reader appreciate what genetics is all about.

Another important aspect of this text is that it is up to date. The authors have taken into consideration the exponential advances in the field and documented it here. That is just one more plus to this already fantastic piece of work!

5-0 out of 5 stars i want to review this book again
i have read this book once but i am very keen to read again this book so i want to read this book and for that i want to see the review of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars good introductory genetics textbook
It is a good written book. It explains things very well in general. It is not as complicated as other genetic textbooks

5-0 out of 5 stars A very up-to-date genetics text
If you are looking for a book that describes classical genetics in great details, this book is not for you. To me, the main effort of the authors is to focus on the modern idea of how geneticists think and work. The organization of the text is nicely arranged so that readers can understand the concepts in one chapter that lead to the more advanced one in the next chapter. The materials presented are not too "introductory", and it is not too difficult for a typical undergraduate student to understand either. Also, It can properly serve as a good reference for a graduate student, like myself, when a time of need in some genetic concepts!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to modern genetics
As the authors indicate, this book is meant to be an introduction to genetics. It should, therefore, be judged as such. My academic background is physics, not biology, and I can testify that this book presents a comprehensive overview of basic principles, historic info about classical experiments and important persons, and intros to modern topics. The pictures in the book illustrate the various processes and schemes quite well. In short, the book provides what it is meant to provide. More detail would blow up the size of the book, only to discourage readers new to genetics. ... Read more


27. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
by Richard Dawkins
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
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Asin: 0393315703
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 1474
Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Richard Dawkins is not a shy man. Edward Larson's research shows that most scientists today are not formally religious, but Dawkins is an in-your-face atheist in the witty British style:

I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence.

The title of this 1986 work, Dawkins's second book, refers to the Rev.William Paley's 1802 work, Natural Theology, which argued that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists. Not so, says Dawkins: "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way... it is the blind watchmaker."

Dawkins is a hard-core scientist: he doesn't just tell you what is so, he shows you how to find out for yourself. For this book, he wrote Biomorph, one of the first artificial life programs. You can check Dawkins's results on your own Mac or PC. ... Read more

Reviews (234)

4-0 out of 5 stars very good book (with patience)
I've wanted to read this book for years because I find the intricacies and nuances of evolution fascinating, and I've always admired Richard Dawkins as well.

A few chapters were captivating, including discussions about how bats use sonar to "see", and the amazing complexity of the eye. Dawkins makes excellent arguments about how and why mechanisms so amazingly improbable could evolve over millions of years. I admire the incedible depth of his intellect and lets face it, to truly understand evolution one must really think deeply about it. It's not all black and white and I admit that sometimes evolution itself is not something that is always easy to accept. But I believe it. It's makes so much sense to me when I learn about it. Yes, there are unanswered questions that can't be easily answered in a high school biology lab, but that doesn't mean the whole thing should be abandoned.

Dawkins does tend to ramble and go off on tangents in too many places to the point where I lost what he was trying to get at. Although I lean heavily on the side of not believing in intelligent design, after finishing the book I didn't feel as a whole he made a clear and concise argument that the watchmaker is indeed blind because of the somewhat disorganized writing. But I still recommend this book for people interested in the subject because there are enough gems in here to make it worth the effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Universe Without Design
The debate as to whether or not the world as we know it has some omnipresent, omniscient creator, unfortunately, continues to this day. There are still those who refuse to yield to science, logic, and observable fact, and feel as though science and religion must be mutually exclusive. Richard Dawkins points out that this is not the case. Whether or not there is an ultimate creator is left up to the reader, yet at the same time it should be noted that evolution has occurred, is occurring, and will continue to occur. Furthermore, it occurs without a predestined design. Evolution by natural selection is no longer regarded as theory by most in the field. It has been observed both in the laboratory and in nature.

The "Blind Watchmaker" of this book refers to Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. For, the watch is an intricate piece of machinery that surely requires a watchmaker to piece together all it's inner workings. The analogy has been made (specifically in Rev. William Paley's "Natural Theology") that the universe as we know it can be seen as an intricate working similar to that of a watch, and thus the universe must also have a maker of it's own. Dawkins points out that if one chooses to go along with this analogy, then evolution by natural selection would be the watchmaker, and this maker is indeed blind. Blind in the sense that evolution has no direction, no goals, and no predetermined stopping point.

Dawkins uses extremely convincing analogies such as the intricacies of the eye, the sonar used by bats, and even several computer simulations, using programs he wrote, to support his arguments. Small changes, mutations, give rise to phenotypic traits that are advantageous to a particular species, or a subset of a species, and thus this mutation persists. Over geologic time, then, a few small photoreceptor cells may eventually become the eyes we know of today.

As a biology major, this book was a must-read. However, one thing I really loved about this book is that you don't have to be a biology major to understand and appreciate the points Dawkins makes. He draws the reader through his analogies and explanations using simple layman's terms, and everyday examples that are easily understood. My only complaint is that some of his examples can be rather long-winded, redundant, and circuitous. Indeed, Dawkins can be rather verbose at times. Nonetheless, I feel that this is a must-read book for anyone who is either still on the fence with regards to creationist theory, or anyone who wants to open their eyes to some easily digestible science. Overall this was a very well written argument for a universe without design, and this theory, if not this book, should not be overlooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars A non-teleological evolution classic
This is one of the books I have enjoy the most. I won't say it blows down all and everyone of the arguments creationists had ever construct, but it gives you the logical background to judge between sides (evolutionists vs. creationists). I just love to read a coherent, clear and remarkably well written book about evolution and its historic differences with religion. I really don't recommend this book to anyone intending to approach it with prejudices. It is always deeply disturbing to read reviews attacking a book like this with arguments so inconsistent with the ones found in the book. This means that the reader didn't understand the text, or maybe he read it with the only intention of criticize it later, or worst of all, did not read it, but anyway criticize it.
So this book is a great read anytime and anywhere, besides, you don't need much background in evolution to understand it and enjoy it.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Random Bookwriter:
I have heard that educated people believe that a monkey typing randomly could write the Encyclopedia Brittanica, given enough time.

I want to briefly comment on Dawkins' reliance on genetic algorithms' ability to randomly generate intelligent results that only *appear* to have design -- given enough iterations -- as evidence that random processes created the first living cell.

What is missing in his reasoning is the crucial part of the algorithm's loop: the feedback test. That is, the determination at each iteration as to whether a current mutation is closer or farther, from the desired optimal result. This, of course requires a comparison with the desired (fully developed) output.

The Programer designs the genetic algorithm, and of course, the Programmer designs the goal of that algorithm. The fact that the designer does not care how the result is attained does not remove the fact that he defines what the result should do.

"The fountain does not rise above its source"

I recommend this book because it is an excellent example of how a researcher often can only assemble evidence, filtered by his preconcieved notions, in accordance with his desired result.

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful
Good for refuting creationist (including "intelligent design") nonsense. Over the years, though, I've become convinced that Dawkins' worldview is in many ways a mirror image of the fundamentalism he so rightly detests. The "selfish gene" ideology amounts to little more than theology for atheists. ... Read more


28. Unearthing the Dragon
by Mark A. Norell, Mick Ellison
list price: $30.00
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Asin: 0131862669
Catlog: Book (2005-06-03)
Publisher: Pi Press
Sales Rank: 26402
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29. Human Heredity : Principles and Issues (with InfoTrac)
by Michael Cummings
list price: $107.95
our price: $107.95
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Asin: 0534394744
Catlog: Book (2002-08-12)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 235433
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The clear, readable, concise, highly polished and refined writing is a traditional strength of HUMAN HEREDITY: PRINCIPLES AND ISSUES. Complex topics and important concepts are presented with great clarity and precise logic, without oversimplifying the topic. In this beautifully illustrated and thoroughly revised new edition, Michael Cummings guides students toward understanding the hows and whys of genetic topics and new discoveries. Using an accessible writing style to explain complex concepts, Cummings includes the right balance of detail at the right level for nonscience students. In addition, he helps student see the social, cultural, and ethical implications associated with the use of genetic technology.In light of the recent developments in these fields (completion of the human genome), Cummings has incorporated such newly acquired "knowledge" and the resulting modern methods and& technology not only in Chapter 13, but also throughout the book, wherever applicable, as a kind of "thematic update." (Before, genetics was research/experiment-driven. Now, it has become data-driven, hence the term "data mining."This edition will also feature a significantly stronger Web integration, mostly built around providing students with the appropriate tools to master the thinking skills needed to learn human genetics. The earlier chapters will feature a web-based "toolbox" which will walk students through the process of understanding, analyzing, and working out problems, and which will in turn enable them to understand the various difficult genetics concepts in the later chapters. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book on genetics
This book effectively conveys interesting, detailed material without confusing the reader. It is not the typical staugy textbook that we college students are so use to as this book made me want to read it, it was so enjoyable. I recommend it to all college students or anyone interested in genetics that would like to understand our genetic principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars An accurate and concice look into Human Genetics.
This is a wonderful book for a college level exploration of Human Genetics. The chapters introduce every topic well, and in such a way that science majors will remain interested while non science majors aren't left behind. It is a great book to begin to explore the wonders of Human Genetics. ... Read more


30. Genetics:From Genes to Genomes
by LelandHartwell, LeroyHood, Michael L. Goldberg, Lee M. Silver, Ruth C. Veres, AnnReynolds
list price: $123.12
our price: $123.12
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Asin: 0072462485
Catlog: Book (2003-03-04)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
Sales Rank: 147937
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Genetics: From Genes to Genomes is a cutting-edge,introductory genetics text authored by an unparalleled author team, including Nobel Prize winner, Leland Hartwell.The Second Edition continues to build upon the integration of Mendelian and molecular principles, providing students with the links between early genetics understanding and the new molecular discoveries that have changed the way the field of genetics is viewed. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Glad to have it!
This is a very well-written book, providing a modern coverage of an important area in biology, namely genetics. The novel aspect of the book is its new and molecular biology approach. Thus, modern genomic advances can be brought into bear on genetics. Yes, of course, the system biology approach has been exposed in this very cutting edge book. You should love to have a copy of it and learn the wisdom from some of the most well-known experts in Seattle.

4-0 out of 5 stars Genetics concepts well understood
Excellent book that goes in depth to the science of genetics. ... Read more


31. Dinosaurs the Defiinitive Pop-up: Dinosaurs the Defiinitive Pop-up
by Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart
list price: $26.99
our price: $17.81
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Asin: 0763622281
Catlog: Book (2005-08-31)
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Sales Rank: 23043
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32. Evolution of the Vertebrates: A History of the Backboned Animals Through Time
by Edwin Harris Colbert, Michael Morales
list price: $270.00
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Asin: 0471850748
Catlog: Book (1991-03)
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
Sales Rank: 578737
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Book Description

An investigation of the evolution of backboned animals (vertebrates), now appearing in its Fourth Edition. Traces the history of each major vertebrate group from its origin to its extinction or the emergence of the next, more advanced group. Contains drawings and illustrations depicting lifelike renderings of these creatures of the past. ... Read more


33. Microbiology for the Health Sciences (4th Edition)
by Marcus M. Jensen, Donald N. Wright, Richard A. Robison
list price: $130.00
our price: $130.00
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Asin: 0132514648
Catlog: Book (1996-08-30)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 227952
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Book Description

A complete, clinically oriented overview of basic medical microbiology, this book provides a taxonomic approach to organism presentation, using a pathogen-oriented sequence that provides an understanding of the microbe in its setting regardless of the site of infection.Its comprehensive coverage is specifically designed to be accessible to students with limited backgrounds in science. ... Read more


34. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis & CD-Rom
by David T. Suzuki, Richard C. Lewontin, William M. Gelbart, Jeffrey H. Miller, Anthony J.F. Griffiths
list price: $114.95
our price: $114.95
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Asin: 071673771X
Catlog: Book (2000-02-04)
Publisher: W. H. Freeman
Sales Rank: 130642
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not all good...
I agree with some of the comments of the other reviewers: the book seems comprehensive and is very attractively laid out. However I am attempting to read the book on my own, not as the textbook to a course, and I am finding that it is quite badly organized. For instance, the first chapter rushes through a whole lot of stuff which is presumably covered in more detail later in the book, but they don't really tell you that, nor do they simplify it as they should if it's just an overview. In later chapters, several terms are used without being defined, and often it's impossible to tell what's going on in the figures from the captions and the text. I can imagine the book being good if you're taking a genetics course, but if you're just trying to read it and teach yourself, be prepared to be often confused...

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent genetics textbook and reference
I've used this book quite extensively in my introductory Genetics class, and I'm sure I'll be using it often as a reference in the future. It is superbly written, with clear explanations of the material.

There are many, many diagrams and photographs which help to solidify understanding, and they are all in full color. It is organized very well, although this organization has changed from edition to edition and any teacher or student using it in their courses should be aware that chapters and problems in this newer version do not always coincide with those in previous editions. The questions are excellent as well, although purchasing the solutions manual is a wise idea (it is also very well done, with long, detailed explanations of the answers to the problems).

Overall, of the 3 or 4 genetics textbooks I've looked at, this is by far the best one. In fact, it's one of the best textbooks I've ever used for any class. This one's a keeper.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
I work in a Mammalian Genetics lab, I have referenced this book numerous times and I have only had it a little over a month. It is those little things we forget, but now that information is at my fingertips. Excellent, would recommend it to anyone in the field.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook of genetics
I used this Genetics textbook of Griffiths et.al when I was an undergraduate student at University of Michigan. The best part that I got from this book was its excellent problem sets given at the end of each chapter. Having taken several courses of Genetics, I believe that the best way to master this class is to practice as many problems as we can. This book is therefore a good start of a long road. Another strong part of this text is its clear and beautiful pictures. The authors may not use many words to explain the concepts but the pictures they show is spectacular. The organization is up-dated to balance between classical and molecular genetics. This book might be a bit expensive. yet it is worth having it if you plan to work in this field.

5-0 out of 5 stars I don't know HOW they keep DOING it!
I have kept up with all of the editions of 'An Introduction to Genetic Analysis' since the first (a thin, red textbook that covered the bare basics of gene mutations and chromosome mechanics), and found every single one of them to be absolutely outstanding! I would recommend this as an introductory genetics textbook for every university that teaches basic genetics. There is enough material in this book to allow individual instructors to pick and choose which chapters and which subjects they would like to cover, without having to sacrafice anything. If you buy this book you have it all. It has chapters on basic genetics, chromosome mechanics, human genetic diseases, population genetics, genetic engineering, forensics, molecular biology, and biotechnology. No subject is neglected. It is well written, highly lucid, and VERY pleasing to the eye (with beautiful photographs and illustrations). Every chapter includes a problem solving section with solved problems. Therefore the instructor has the option of teaching either a conceptual course or a more problem oriented course. Problems range in difficulty from the trivial to the impossible. (Well, at least to the 'full pot of coffee and a bottle of asparin' level of difficulty.) These problems also represent a valuable resource from which examiners could potentially derive exam questions.) One can't say too many good things about these books. If the more recent editions are not available, but you have access to the earlier editions, I would still recommend using them. The basic material is so well dealt with that the older editions are still useful. Greg Doheny (Vancouver B.C.) ... Read more


35. Recombinant DNA
by Mark Zoller, James Watson, Michael Gilman, Jan Witkowski
list price: $90.95
our price: $90.95
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Asin: 0716722828
Catlog: Book (1992-02-15)
Publisher: W. H. Freeman
Sales Rank: 205060
Average Customer Review: 3.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Outdated, but good introduction
It helped me as a lay person to get some insight into genetics and genetic technology. I knew nothing about it before that book and was quite surprised how far they already are. It shows genetic principles and many methods to operate on genes to learn more or to make them do what we want. But remember: It's totally outdated. Missing are a presentation how far genetic engeneering did already change the world. It's not just a few plants in a test lab, but tens of thousands of changed plants and microbes. DNA research is no more isolated from it's application. Whatever they discover is soon built into nature.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good book for students
This book shows the basic concepts in the DNA study. It's good to have as a reference book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Now hopelessly outdated
Still a decent, but hardly exceptional, introduction to Recombinant DNA. The writing is often hazy, especially if you are not familiar with DNA-speak. I find it a frustrating and unsatisfying read and scientific experience.

Update in 2003: they want $100 for this?!?

GMZ, PhD

1-0 out of 5 stars Lacking the sauce....
For those who are just entering the world of genetics, this would be a good overview to basic principles and an easy read. For those who are in search of a guidebook to identify details about genetic recombination procedures, you are wasting your money. The text goes into no in-depth analysis of PCR techniques to Human Genetic experiments. Very disappointed, yet what would you expect from a non-traditional scientists such as James Watson.

1-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre attempt for a difficult subject.
This book leaves readers with tons of questions. In some instances, information vital to understanding of the material is left out. The diagrams, however, are very helpful. Authors use confusing lingo which make a visual picture very unclear. Overall, the book lacks the technicality required for a good textbook. In-depth knowledge of the topics presented in this text requires the use of other resources. ... Read more


36. How the Mind Works
by Steven Pinker
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0393045358
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Sales Rank: 190794
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Why do fools fall in love? Why does a man's annual salary, on average, increase $600 with eachinch of his height? When a crack dealer guns down a rival, how is he just like Alexander Hamilton, whoseface is on the ten-dollar bill? How do optical illusions function as windows on the human soul? Cheerful,cheeky, occasionally outrageous MIT psychologist Steven Pinker answers all of the above and more in hismarvelously fun, awesomely informative survey of modern brain science. Pinker argues that Darwin pluscanny computer programs are the key to understanding ourselves--but he also throws in apt references toStar Trek, Star Wars, The Far Side, history, literature, W. C. Fields, Mozart,Marilyn Monroe, surrealism, experimental psychology, and Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty and his 888children. If How the Mind Works were a rock show, tickets would be scalped for $100. This bookdeserved its spot as Number One on bestseller lists. It belongs on a short shelf alongside such classics asDarwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and theMeanings of Life, by Daniel C. Dennett, and The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are:The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, by Robert Wright. Pinker's startling ideas pop outas dramatically as those hidden pictures in a Magic Eye 3D stereogram poster, which healso explains in brilliantly lucid prose. ... Read more

Reviews (139)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steven Pinker's 'How the Mind Works' Précis
Steven Pinker begins his explanation of "How the Mind Works" arguing that the mind is best understood in terms of a computational model and that, in part, by reverse engineering the mind one can understand many aspects of cognition. He also examines why aspects of cognition, such as consciousness, knowledge, meaning, free will, self, morality, etc. still remain beyond the purview of cognitive science. Pinker identifies natural selection as the process which shaped the mind; subsequently, history, cognitive and social psychology, and human ecology are the most important factors which for him continue to shape the mind. The significance of the book lies, in part, in Pinker's differentiation of what reverse engineering can show from what is still beyond the tools of cognitive science. Pinker suggests that the reason biologically unnecessary aspects of human behavior such as language, art, wit, music, literature, etc. are so significant to people and remain problematic may be because scientists don't yet have the cognitive equipment to solve them and suggests that consciousness and free will, for example, may ultimately remain elusive aspects of the mind.

By arguing that "the mind is a system of organs of computation, designed by natural selection to solve the kinds of problems our ancestors faced in their foraging way of life, in particular, understanding and outmaneuvering objects, animals, plants, and other people," (21) Pinker rejects most other views of the mind that have held sway in the last century. By insisting on the complexity of the mind, Pinker claims that a) thinking is a kind of computation used to work with configurations of symbols, b) that the mind is organized into specialized modules or mental organs, c) that the basic logic of the modules is contained in our genetic program, and d) that natural selection shaped these operations to facilitate replication of genes into the next generation (21, 25). Pinker thus shows that the computational model of mind is highly significant because it has solved not only philosophical problems, but also started the computer revolution, posed important neuroscience questions, and provided psychology with a very valuable research agenda (77).

By examining mental processes which are reverse-engineerable, Pinker lays the groundwork for examining which cognitive processes aren't yet understandable. For example, chapter 4, "The Mind's Eye," describes how the mind's vision process turns retinal images into mental representations, how the mind moves "splashes of light to concepts of objects, and beyond them to a kind of interaction between seeing and thinking known as mental imagery" (214). By describing a specific modular process, Pinker shows how this modular process fits together like a puzzle, as well as with other parts of the mind. Taken together the chapters thus also show what processes, such as sentience and especially consciousness, are still not readily explained.

Pinker asks not only how scientists might understand "the psychology of the arts, humor, religion, and philosophy within the theme of this book, that the mind is a naturally selected neural computer" but also why they are so resistantly inscrutable (521). He suggests that the arts "engage not only the psychology of aesthetics but the psychology of status," thus making the arts more readily understood by economics and social psychology (521).

According to Pinker, consciousness, too, resists understanding. He asks: "How could an event of neural information-processing cause the feel of a toothache or the taste of lemon or the color purple?" (558) thus highlighting the important 'Gordian-knot' question of causality in consciousness. In suggesting that such questions are difficult because Homo Sapiens' minds don't have the cognitive equipment to solve them, "because our minds are organs, not pipelines to truth" (561), he emphasizes the significance of natural selection in shaping the mind to solve matters of life and death for our ancestors (356) and leaves open the possibility of explaining consciousness at a later date. Pinker's book is significant, therefore, because it explains both how many aspects of the mind work, as well as what we don't yet know about how the mind works. In his conclusion, Pinker offers only tentative answers about why scientists don't understand consciousness, for example, and leaves open the possibility that we may never understand it.

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant
with simple, familiar language MIT professor Pinker delves into how the mind evolved and how it works. Of special interest to me were the parallells he drew between computer code (logic) and brain tasks. Easy to read (considering the material) and right on as far as factual material goes, 5 stars for me. He could have cut the book down to ~500 pages or so (i struggled through most of the chapter on perception and finally just skipped on) but overall a great book.

3-0 out of 5 stars In and Out of his element
Steven Pinker certainly knows his stuff when it comes to how our brain works. If you have the endurance and are a scientist already, you may get through this incredibly monotonous book. He is able to comprehend the mechanics of how the human mind works, but flops when it comes to drawing any meaningful implications. His views about religion and philosophy are stale and hackneyed. While his discussions about the biology of the brain and its varied mechanisms are within his expertise, his discussions of religion and philosophy are shallow and un-thoughtful-bordering upon arrogance. I would still recommend the book; it is better than counting sheep!

5-0 out of 5 stars Three pounds of hamburger
Great book about how the Brain works but should be titled, "How the Brain Works". Without the Soul, there is no mind. The Soul IS the mind operating within the brain. Three pounds of hamburger with ten trillion neurons flashing is still not MIND!.

3-0 out of 5 stars Families not Species?
I enjoy Mr Pinker's books - this is not the first one I have read.A nd yet I find myself balking at some of it. Indeed I have a personal characteristic, not unique of course, that separates me from a lot of what is said here. A physical characteristic, not an emotional one. Consequently I keep finding myself challenging, defending, objecting .....

Previously I had read 'Why Sex is Fun?' by Jared Diamond and during this book I realised that the title is totally misleading. It suggests that sex was developed by a conscious entity who thought - 'How can I make this work? I know, I'll make it fun.' For me this is back to front. We are here - our species - because sex just happens to be fun. If it were unpleasant or a chore we probably wouldn't be here.

So here we are again looking at evolution and trying to justify human behaviour as somehow driven by genetic imperatives - as if the genes are trying to meet objectives. For me, this is crazy. The genes are the accidental vehicles that keep the species going, but they don't do it by design.

And midway through the chapter on families in Mr Pinker's book I realised something new. All we can tell about our existence from evolution is that the species is still here, and something about the way we do things has contributed to that. But Bonobos are here too and they behave in an entirely different way - despite that, they are successful in terms of evolution. But as soon as Mr Pinker talks of the individual male wanting to promote his genes in advance of another man's I know the argument has gone off the rails. We are now talking about - not persistence of the species (which is demonstrable), but persistence of the particular family (which I suspect is not demonstrable). As far as the species is concerned what difference does it make whose genes are being contributed as long as there is variety.

OK, men do not like to be cuckolded but I don't think that that is an evolutionary matter. The psychological studies need to look elsewhere.

I recommend this book because it will get you thinking, not that I agree with it necessarily.

Recommended other reading:
'Why is Sex Fun?' by Jared Diamond

One that you might like to consider, but I hated:
'The Red Queen' by Matt Ridley ... Read more


37. Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, Second Edition
by David Buss
list price: $76.80
our price: $76.80
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Asin: 0205370713
Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Sales Rank: 228452
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Composed of cutting-edge reasearch and featuring an engaging writing style, the author offers compelling scientific answers to the profound human questions regarding love and work. Beginning with a historial introduction, the text logically progresses by discussing adaptive problems humans face and ends with a chapter showing how the new field of evolutionary psychology encompasses all branches of psychology.Each chapter is alive with the subjects that most occupy our minds:sex, mating, getting along, getting ahead, friends, enemies, and social hierarchies.Why is child abuse 40 times more prevalent among step-families than biologically intact families?Why, according to one study, did 75% of men but 0% of women consent to have sex with a complete stranger?Buss explores these intriguing quandaries with his vision of psychology in the new millenium as a new science of the mind. Anyone with an interest in the biological facets of human psychology will find this a fascinating read. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A triumphantly successful milestone for modern psychology.
Professor Buss has taken upon himself the formidable challenge of producing the first evolutionary psychology textbook, a milestone that is long overdue. In his endeavor he has succeeded magnificently. In 411 pages he manages a sterling job of covering the most important topics in evolutionary psychology, bringing to bear the most up to date literature in a simple to read yet academically compelling format. He begins with a complete and intelligent introduction to both evolutionary theory and the events leading to the development of an evolutionary psychology. Thereafter, he covers broad branches of human behavior - kin relations, cooperative relationships, warfare, aggression, status-seeking, parenting and, of course, human mating strategies. This last topic is covered in several different chapters and highlights the author¹s own valuable, ground-breaking work done in the area. His book provides a miraculous combination of both utterly fascinating and effortless reading, rare qualities in textbooks. No review can be complete without mention of a few blemishes, however minor and in this case it is particularly tempting to simply omit them entirely. However, Dr. Buss occasionally relies heavily, too heavily perhaps, on secondary or general sources of information (i.e., Dawkins, de Waal, Pinker) when more research oriented sources are available. No doubt this stems, at least in part, from the fact that there is simply not as much primary literature on the subject as one could hope for (at least where humans are concerned). This will undoubtedly be improved by the time the next edition rolls off the press. Too, one would greatly hope that future editions of this text might include a section on foraging/hunting and food adaptations since they are so fundamental to survival and because so many other primate species display overt and well-studied feeding adaptations. However, such minor details are utterly dwarfed by the magnitude, importance and quality of this work. The breadth, depth and timeliness of this textbook cannot be overstated. If you are planning on teaching an undergraduate course on evolutionary psychology or are simply interested in learning more about the subject, this is, without question, the most authoritative and comprehensive vehicle available, eclipsing even the extraordinary Adapted Mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent textbook for undergraduate students.
By working from the premises of Tooby & Cosmides' Integrated Causal Model, David Buss has done an outstanding job of making accessible not only the complex historical development of evolutionary psychology, but also inclusive fitness theory, specific evolutionary hypotheses and specific predictions derived from these hypotheses. Furthermore, Buss is comprehensive, balanced and precise when asserting theories and empirical substantiation from other major thinkers, viz., Trivers, Pinker, Bloom, Ridley, Symons, Williams, Mayr, Plomin, DeFries, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars HUMAN CIVILIZATION FROM THE PRESENT: WHY WE ACT THIS WAY
Each day for twenty-something years I woke up to see reality as it was presented to me. I noticed many patterns in life that are hard not to notice -- such as the difference between men and women in how they approach sexual opportunities. Men will readily say yes, women firmly no. Why?

Evolution is such an intriguing and elegant theory on its approach to our current behavior. Boss's contention is that the present behaviors we see today in our modern era -- fear of snakes, high male sexual drive -- arose from our ancestors. Those who did not have such characteristics did not become our ancestors. Thus, over time, certain characteristics were more likely to be successful in the mating process, and those are the same characteristics we see today. Boss's insight required a lot of keen intellectual insight into many different hypothesis.

Some of these hypothesis seemed far-fetched at first. Who would think that there would be statistical differences in how maternal grandparents v. paternal grandparents relate to their grandchildren. There are, however. Maternal grandmothers have less risk in investing in a grandchild who is not biologically related since she is confident that her daughter is biologically hers, and she can be certain that her daughter's child is biologically related, too. The hypothesis that paternal grandfathers would be most distant -- since they have the most to lose -- turned out to be true. (Paternal grandfathers cannot be 100% certain that they fathered their son or daughter, and thus, they cannot be sure that that child's son or daughter is biologically related).

This is perhaps one of the most important contributions in scientific literature since Watson and Clark's published report on their findings of DNA.

Michael Gordon

5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough, rigorous, and illuminating book.
David Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire and The Dangerous Passion, brings his formidable intellect, research experience, knowledge, and writing talent to bear in this impressive introduction to the field of Evolutionary Psychology. It is obvious from reading the book that it was painstakingly researched. An impressive breadth of research studies in evolutionary psychology and relevant work from other disciplines, including anthropology, biology, and sociology are clearly explained and their implications discussed. Alternative hypotheses and interpretations of research, where alternatives have been explicitly proposed, are even-handedly explored. The chapters of the book are organized by the kinds of problems of survival and reproduction faced by our ancestors. This organization makes the broad range of specific research covered in the book easy to understand and integrate into a coherent understanding of the evolutionary origins of human cognition and behavior. Thought-provoking, absorbing, and exceptionally well written: Dr. Buss's Evolutionary Psychology text is an absolute joy to read. It is a must-have for psychologists, biologists, and any student of human nature.

3-0 out of 5 stars Procede with Caution
I have not read the text book. I am a former student of Dr. Buss' and suspect that it will be as vacant in theory as his previous literary attempts. Evolutionary Psychology is an extremely interesting field, but as with any field must be considered in an interdisciplanary manner. The reviewers that make blanket statements about Evolutionary Psychology being the only world view might benefit from reading some philosophy without prejudging it as merely a coping mechanism. For those of you who considering purchasing this book, the last time I spoke with Dr. Buss, he had only very superficial knowledge of the more detailed and sophisticated theories in this field of study and this will probably be reflected in the text book. To be fair, his writing is often enjoyable and as others have said, does read like a novel, but do not mistake this for depth of knowledge. ... Read more


38. The Ancestor's Tale : A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
list price: $28.00
our price: $16.80
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Asin: 0618005838
Catlog: Book (2004-10-27)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 98
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From Amazon.co.uk

Just as we trace our personal family trees from parents to grandparents and so on back in time, so in The Ancestor's Tale Richard Dawkins traces the ancestry of life. As he is at pains to point out, this is very much our human tale, our ancestry. Surprisingly, it is one that many otherwise literate people are largely unaware of. Hopefully Dawkins's name and well deserved reputation as a best selling writer will introduce them to this wonderful saga.

The Ancestor's Tale takes us from our immediate human ancestors back through what he calls ‘concestors,’ those shared with the apes, monkeys and other mammals and other vertebrates and beyond to the dim and distant microbial beginnings of life some 4 billion years ago. It is a remarkable story which is still very much in the process of being uncovered. And, of course from a scientist of Dawkins stature and reputation we get an insider's knowledge of the most up-to-date science and many of those involved in the research. And, as we have come to expect of Dawkins, it is told with a passionate commitment to scientific veracity and a nose for a good story. Dawkins's knowledge of the vast and wonderful sweep of life's diversity is admirable. Not only does it encompass the most interesting living representatives of so many groups of organisms but also the important and informative fossil ones, many of which have only been found in recent years.

Dawkins sees his journey with its reverse chronology as ‘cast in the form of an epic pilgrimage from the present to the past [and] all roads lead to the origin of life.’ It is, to my mind, a sensible and perfectly acceptable approach although some might complain about going against the grain of evolution. The great benefit for the general reader is that it begins with the more familiar present and the animals nearest and dearest to us—ourimmediate human ancestors. And then it delves back into the more remote and less familiar past with its droves of lesser known and extinct fossil forms. The whole pilgrimage is divided into 40 tales, each based around a group of organisms and discusses their role in the overall story. Genetic, morphological and fossil evidence is all taken into account and illustrated with a wealth of photos and drawings of living and fossils forms, evolutionary and distributional charts and maps through time, providing a visual compliment and complement to the text. The design also allows Dawkins to make numerous running comments and characteristic asides. There are also numerous references and a good index.-- Douglas Palmer ... Read more


39. The Case of the Female Orgasm : Bias in the Science of Evolution,
by Elisabeth A. Lloyd
list price: $27.95
our price: $19.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674017064
Catlog: Book (2005-04-22)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 4182
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why women evolved to have orgasms--when most of their primate relatives don't--is a persistent mystery among evolutionary biologists. In pursuing this mystery, Elisabeth Lloyd arrives at another: How could anything as inadequate as the evolutionary explanations of the female orgasm have passed muster as science? A judicious and revealing look at all twenty evolutionary accounts of the trait of human female orgasm, Lloyd's book is at the same time a case study of how certain biases steer science astray.

Over the past fifteen years, the effect of sexist or male-centered approaches to science has been hotly debated. Drawing especially on data from nonhuman primates and human sexology over eighty years, Lloyd shows what damage such bias does in the study of female orgasm. She also exposes a second pernicious form of bias that permeates the literature on female orgasms: a bias toward adaptationism. Here Lloyd's critique comes alive, demonstrating how most of the evolutionary accounts either are in conflict with, or lack, certain types of evidence necessary to make their cases--how they simply assume that female orgasm must exist because it helped females in the past reproduce. As she weighs the evidence, Lloyd takes on nearly everyone who has written on the subject: evolutionists, animal behaviorists, and feminists alike. Her clearly and cogently written book is at once a convincing case study of bias in science and a sweeping summary and analysis of what is known about the evolution of the intriguing trait of female orgasm.

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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but obtuse.
Lloyd's argument is persuasive as far as it goes -- she argues very convincingly that female orgasm is not adaptive towards the same purpose as male orgasm.She fails, however, to demonstrate conclusively that there are NO adaptational values for the big O, or that even if it did develop as an epiphenomenon, it persisted because it provided benefit -- at the very least, there's extensive psychological research behind the idea that "happy" people (and if you don't think sexual satisfaction contributes to overall happiness and ability to cope with stress, you need to get laid) tend to become more successful over time in various regards (collecting wealth, receiving social approval, etc) which can play into reproductive success.

She seems to willfully ignore the social bonding role of sexuality both in human societies with looser taboos than our own, and in our near-relatives, the bonobos.She bases part of her argument for orgasm-as-epiphenomenon on the fact that pure-vaginal orgasm (i.e. without clitoral stimulation) is rare, ignoring the fact that only in the most prudish societies does one find sexuality restricted entirely to vaginal intercourse, with no "foreplay" or non-reproductive "recreational" sexual behavior.(And again, observation of related primates suggests that recreational sex is far from aberrational.)

Worst of all, even though she plainly supports the basics of evolutionary theory, she seems utterly unaware that her attacks on adaptationists -- who DO overstate their case, and spin just-so stories, and SHOULD be criticized at times -- will inevitably be yanked out of context by obscurantists.

The book does a grave disservice to Lloyd's field of study.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and astute
Elisabeth's A. Lloyd's book is a comprehensive survey of the theories and conjectures that try to explain the evolutional basis for the female orgasm. It is extremely well argued, and convincely rips into the biases of those who have proposed various adaptational (versus exaptational) accounts. Lloyd shows how theorists have misconstrued and ignored research into human female orgasm and primate female orgasm when drawing their conclusions,and makes a convincing case that many theorists started out with an a-priori notion that human female orgasm has to be adaptive. This book is great documentation in one area on how biased scientists can be, how undisciplined their reasoning can be, and how much this invalidates their conclusions. And the upshot is,if scientists are biased on this subject, how many more areas of research are they biased about? ... Read more


40. What's Wrong with My Mouse?: Behavioral Phenotyping of Transgenic and Knockout Mice
by Jacqueline N.Crawley
list price: $88.50
our price: $77.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471316393
Catlog: Book (2000-03-10)
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
Sales Rank: 145139
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Transgenic and knockout mutations provide an important means for understanding gene function, as well as for developing therapies for genetic diseases. This engaging and informative book discusses the many advances in the field of transgenic technology that have enabled researchers to bring about various changes in the mouse genome. Equal emphasis is given to both the principles of transgenic and knockout methods and their applications. A clear and concise format provides researchers with a comprehensive review of the behavioral paradigms appropriate for analyzing mouse phenotypes.

What's Wrong with My Mouse? explains the differences between transgenic knockout mice and their wild-type controls, while providing critical information about gene function and expression. This volume recognizes that newly identified genes can provide useful insights into brain functioning, including brain malfunctioning in disease states. Written by a world-renowned expert in the field, the material also covers:
* How to generate a transgenic or knockout mouse
* functions (open field, holeboard, rotarod, balance, grip, circadian activity, etc.)
* Sensory abilities (olfaction, vision, hearing, taste, touch, nociception)
* Reproductive behavior, social behavior, and emotional behavior

Researchers in neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, developmental biology, and cell biology will all find this book essential reading.
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable Book
"...this valuable book is currently the most complete overview of behavioral procedures available...it is a must have and a must read book..." (Genes, Brain, and Behavior, 2002)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Book
"I would recommend that every behavioral scientist has at least two copies, one for their own use and one that will be on permanent loan to their students, post-doctoral students and colleagues in molecular biology." -- TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences (Gerard R. Dawson, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories)

5-0 out of 5 stars Expert Review
"[T]his volume succeeds as a useful introduction to the realm of behavioral phenotyping for those interested in creating or using the large and increasing number of promising targeted mutant mice." -- TRENDS in Neurosciences (John K. Belknap, Oregon Health Sciences University)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review
It is a much prized addition... and fulfills a heretofore unmet need for a comprehensive sourcebook of mutant mouse literature and procedures. In addition to its reference utility, Dr. Crawley's text can exert a valuable influence on the future of transgenic and knockout mouse research by standardizing behavioral phenotyping methods according to the present state-of-the-art. --Stephen C. Heinrichs, Ph.D., Boston College

5-0 out of 5 stars an excellent resource
Very timely given the increasingly recognized importance of providing behavioral phenotypes of mutant mice. I would recommend the book with enthusiasm. --Eric Nestler, Yale University School of Medicine ... Read more


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