Presenting "Evolution: Making Sense of Life" (and a free app!)

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As I’ve mentioned a couple times, I’ve been working for a couple years with biologist Douglas Emlen on a new textbook about evolution, intended for biology majors. It’s scheduled to be published next month, and we’ve gathered some gratifying endorsements. Here are a selection:

Exciting is a word not often used to describe a new textbook. But, by using powerful examples, beautiful images, and finely wrought prose Zimmer and Emlen have produced a text that not only conveys the explanatory power of evolution, but one permeated with the joy of doing science. Their text can only be described as an exciting moment for our field: it is an important accomplishment for our students and for evolutionary biology at large.” –Neil Shubin, University of Chicago, author of Your Inner Fish.

“A richly illustrated and very clearly written text, Evolution: Making Sense of Life brings forth the excitement, power, and importance of modern evolutionary biology in an accessible, yet sophisticated overview of the field.” –Sean B. Carroll, University of Wisconsin, Madison, author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

“If there was ever a book that makes it obvious why evolution is a fascinating topic—and a topic that goes to the core of understanding what biology is about—this is it. It truly makes you better understand and appreciate the biological world around us.” –Svante Paabo, Director, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

“Two master craftsmen in the art of scientific communication have combined to produce an excellent basic text on evolution: it informs, explains, teaches and inspires. The illustrations are outstanding.” –Peter R. Grant, Princeton University

“Carl Zimmer and Douglas Emlen have captured in this stunning new book the excitement and richness of twenty-first century evolutionary biology. They describe clearly and elegantly not only what, but also how, we are learning about evolutionary processes and the patterns they produce. The writing is compelling, the illustrations beautiful and truly informative, and the balance between breadth and depth of discussion on each topic just right. This is a book that would make anyone think about becoming an evolutionary biologist today.” –John N. Thompson, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Beautifully written and lavishly illustrated, here’s a superb textbook that can do double duty gracing the coffee table. This book is bound to attract many more students into the field of evolutionary biology.” –Richard Lenski, Michigan State University

“This is not your grandmother’s evolution text. Breathtakingly illustrated, this book covers not only the usual topics in evolution – adaptation, drift, phylogenetic analysis – but also a host of new and exciting areas where groundbreaking research is occurring.” –Marlene Zuk, University of Minnesota

You can pre-order the book on Amazon here. And here is information at the web site at our publisher, Roberts & Company. Excitingly, they are also creating an iPad version of the book, with many interactive features. The app itself is free, and you can use it to download the first chapter (also free). The remaining chapters will be rolling out soon, with the price to be determined later. (No Android version, I’m afraid!)