The Nature of Science and the Study of Biological Evolution belongs in the libraries of all biology teachers, secondary schools, and universities; it deserves serious consideration as a supplementary or core volume for high school biology courses. Explanations of the nature of science and how science is different from other ways of knowing are emphasized and integrated throughout the text. These explanations have the potential to lessen the misconceptions of students and the general public in regard to the nature of theories and scientific explanations.
An interesting summary of Darwin’s early life, how the experiences on the 5-year voyage on the Beagle influenced his thinking, and how the concept of natural selection emerged from his experiences, observations, and questions are presented. The evidence for evolution, the genetic basis of evolution, natural selection, evolution of populations, definitions of species, speciation, the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution, and the power of evolution in explaining the nature and history of the natural world are emphasized. Human evolution, humans as an evolutionary force, and misconceptions about evolution are emphasized in the final chapter.
The power of evolution in explaining the nature and history of life is emphasized. The book is written for high school students and has a high density of informative illustrations, photos, and graphs, which interact with the text. Relevant questions are embedded in the text, whereas key ideas, quotes of scientists, referrals to information and activities on an accompanying CD-Rom teacher guide, and prompts for student actions are placed in the margins. An accompanying CD was not reviewed.
Anyone searching for a book that depicts evolution and the nature of science in an understandable and informed should access this book.