Evolution: The triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer serves as a wonderful introduction to Darwins’s Theory of Evolution. It’s a well-written book that really shows the full impact of the idea.
What I liked:
- It’s very accessible: Carl Zimmer manages to explain complex scientific concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. His writing style is entertaining and never dry
- It contains a very readable biography of Darwin, how he came up with his theory of evolution and how the public reacted to his idea.
- The sheer amount of information and different topics is amazing: evolution, genes, mutations, how these things were discovered, Social Darwinism, and even geology
- I highly enjoyed the final chapters in Creationism and Intelligent Design, although Carl Zimmer wrote in a way that was maybe a bit too politically correct
What I didn’t like:
My only criticism is not even the author’s fault: In places it’s a bit outdated. This is not surprising as it was first published in 2001. I read Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin earlier this year and couldn’t stop thinking about Tiktaalik, which wasn’t mentioned in Carl Zimmer’s Evolution.
Overall I would highly recommend this book. It’s informative, accessible and a very enjoyable read. If you’re interested in the Theory of Evolution, Darwin and scientific progress after his death, Carl Zimmer’s Evolution might be the right book for you
This remarkable book presents a rich and up–to–date view of evolution that explores the far–reaching implications of Darwin’s theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today. After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges –– from lethal resurgence of antiobiotic–resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us –– with a sound understanding of the science.