The Rough Guide to Evolution by Mark Pallen

352 pages

Release date: January 1, 2009 – Rough Guides

ISBN: 978-1858289465

A 2007 Gallup poll indicated approximately one-half of all Americans and two-thirds of Republicans do not believe in the theory of evolution.  In a perfect world, Mark Pallen’s The Rough Guide to Evolution would change some minds.

The book is divided into three sections.  The first, “Ideas and evidence” discusses pre-Darwin theories of evolution, as well as Charles Darwin’s theory.  It also gives a brief biography of Darwin, and as the title implies evidence to support his theory.  The second section, “The greatest story ever told” presents the history of life on earth, including the most recent discoveries.  Mr. Pallen also discusses some of the current controversies between scientists.  The final section, “Impact” unsurprisingly explains the impact Darwin’s theory has had on an array of related and unrelated sciences.  The chapters on politics and religion discuss the recent court battles with proponents of Intelligent Design, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and evolution in pop culture, amongst other things.

This book is definitely not for anyone who majored in biology in college.  Mr. Pallen, a Professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of Birmingham, offers evolution for the non-specialist and manages to explain everything in a manner that is easy to understand.  If you have a hazy grasp on Mr. Darwin’s theory or if you have spent your life believing the world was created in seven days give this book a read.

I received this book from the Libray Thing Early Reviewer program.