What should the average person know about science? Because science is so central to life in the 21st century, science educators and other leaders of the scientific community believe that it is essential that everyone understand the basic concepts of the most vital and far-reaching disciplines. Evolution 101 does exactly that. This accessible volume provides readers - whether students new to the field or just interested members of the lay public - with the essential ideas of evolution using a minimum of jargon and mathematics. Concepts are introduced in a progressive order so that more complicated ideas build on simpler ones, and each is discussed in small, bite-sized segments so that they can be more easily understood.
Evolution 101 provides an introduction for non-scholars to this most powerful scientific theory, covering such issues as:
This essential resource will answer the questions students and lay people have regarding evolution, and will point them on the path to further understanding.
These two volumes follow the same template, but have very different styles. The author of Cosmology 101 interweaves details of the nature of the universe with interesting narratives including the women "computers" who measured spectral lines of stars, the Copernican revolution, the impact of space-time, and the current status of Pluto. Topics include the tools and techniques of study, theories past and present, and speculations about multiverses and extraterrestrial intelligence. The authors of Evolution 101 offer superb illustrations to clarify discussion of the dynamics of the evolutionary process, including the use of simple figures with wafflesmoozers (nonexistent whimsical animals). One chapter focuses on the evidence for evolution, and another applies evolution to daily life. Appendixes include a time clock showing humans appearing just before midnight, a time line of evolutionary thought, and the products of evolution. The nature of science and its impact on culture are addressed in both books. They have carefully selected bibliographies that include a brief statement qualifying each choice. These books are not for casual reading, but even younger, motivated students should be able to gain some understanding of these topics without assistance or prior knowledge. Teachers will appreciate the depth and clarity of these two valuable additions to the library. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien