VOYA - Marilyn Brien
This superb reference will be the first one to pull from the shelf to answer a question about evolution. More than two hundred entries in A-to-Z order provide in-depth explanations in highly readable language. A selective list of the best current resources on that subject accompanies each entry. Topics include those of general interest such as the evolution of agriculture, AIDS, and resistance. Classical studies of Darwin's finches, peppered moths, and the Burgess shale are related by lively text, along with discussions of emergence, symbiogenesis, and punctuated equilibria. Profiles of leading evolutionary scientists of past and present are included. Anti-evolutionists will not be pleased with the position taken by the author in multi-page entries on creationism and intelligent design, but they will find supportive literature included in the listed thirty-two references on creationism and eighteen references on intelligent design. Five essays include questions such as whether humankind is alone in the universe, whether an evolutionary scientist can be religious, and how much genes control human behavior. These topics particularly lend themselves to interdisciplinary study. The appendix is a chapter-by-chapter summary of Origin of the Species. Reference librarians will not be disappointed in this resource, whether for the interested non-scientist or the budding young scientist. It is a significant contribution to provide youth with an understanding of evolution. This reviewer would like to see Rice's contribution in every high school library for student use and for the professional shelf in the middle school library.
Intended as a reference for high school and college students, this resource is made up of more than 200 entries addressing evolutionary science and its development; current resources for further reading are included in each entry. The biographical entries represent influential evolutionary scientists within the United States. Five feature essays explore thought-provoking, controversial topics, e.g., whether an evolutionary scientist can be religious and whether genes control human behavior. The appendix summarizes Charles Darwin's seminal work, The Origin of Species. This single volume differs in many ways from Oxford's two-volume Encyclopedia of Evolution(2002). The Oxford title, for one, can be more technical and detailed because its entries are written by a variety of experts. But Rice (biology, Southeastern Oklahoma State Univ., Durant) writes well and clearly, even on quite technical topics, and explains all the sides to controversial issues. He also covers some related areas—e.g., plate tectonics, global warming, and the Gaia hypothesis—that are not included in the larger work but that would be of interest to students.