Evolutionary biology is one of the most fascinating and controversial fields of science, and its principles are fundamental to science as a whole. Presented here are 48 classic papers, selected and introduced by two of the world's most distinguished evolutionary biologists, Francisco J. Ayala and John C. Avise. The volume reveals, in chronological order, 150 years of evolutionary biology, from the field's origins to recent discoveries and reinterpretations based on new theory and evidence.
A perfect book for seminar courses in biology, zoology, botany, ecology or evolution, this comprehensive tour of landmark publications traces scholarly thought from the foggy nineteenth-century birth of evolutionary biology to the mapping of the human genome. Each selection is preceded by a short essay that explains its significance.
The papers represent hallmark publications by seminal thinkers in the field such as Charlesworth, Dobzhansky, Ehrlich and Raven, Gould and Lewontin, Hamilton, Hardy, Hillis, Margulis, Maynard Smith, Mayr, MacArthur and Wilson, McClintock, Simpson, Trivers, Watson and Crick, West-Eberhard, and Wright. Subjects include natural selection, adaptation, and complex design, as well as mutation, chromosome speciation, and pseudogenes.
In short, Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology provides a captivating history of the foundation and growth of biology's central discipline.