Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $10.22   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   


“A beautiful and very important book.”—Lewis Wolpert, American Scientist
For over a century, opening the black box of embryonic development was the holy grail of biology. Evo Devo—Evolutionary Developmental Biology—is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll explains how we are discovering that complex life is ironically much simpler than anyone ever expected.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

US News & World Report
[Carroll] reveals a remarkable series of insights into how evolution has shaped—and continues to shape—the wondrous assortment of creatures that share this planet with us. He emerges as the new, user-friendly public face of evolutionary science.— Thomas Hayden
Thomas Hayden - US News & World Report
“[Carroll] reveals a remarkable series of insights into how evolution has shaped—and continues to shape—the wondrous assortment of creatures that share this planet with us. He emerges as the new, user-friendly public face of evolutionary science.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393327793
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/17/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 245,906
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean B. Carroll is professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His first book, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, was a finalist for the 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Carroll’s seminal scientific work has been featured in Time and The New Yorker. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good introduction, but flawed.

    This book certainly succeeds in educating the everyday man. It provides a solid ground for dispelling the notion that mutations are the heart of natural selection and devastates the creationist arguments based on it with effective, gene logic. Overall, to the non-scientific layman this can function is as a great introduction to evolutionary theory in general, especially since it focus on a field (evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo) that explains many of the questions laypeople have on natural selection.
    However, anyone seeking more detailed information should look elsewhere. DNA switches, as crucial as they are, are only given superficial coverage in the book. It is never quite explained why DNA switches work when they do to generate complexity. In not explaining this, the author fails to still to answer the fundamental question of how the organism knows how to develop in such a specific way. It is strongly advised that one become moderately fluent in basic genetics before attempting to read this book.
    While the book features great and interesting examples of the research in evo-devo, such as butterfly stripes, it does not dwell enough on the genetic foundations. Given only a superficial walkthrough in part one (less than half the size of part two), this foundation is necessary for actually understanding how evo-devo works as opposed to just knowing about "cool" and interesting facts. The author occasionally forgets this and goes out of his way to entertain with random references and little jokes as opposed to sticking to hard explanations. One may want to have Wikipedia on hand for better understanding the genetic and cell biological principles mentioned in this book.
    The author asks certain laws to be accepted almost axiomatically, such as the idea in chapter one that evolution in an organism reduces and specializes the number of parts. While this may seem intuitive to a person of science, it will leave many readers wondering how or why this should be accepted. Also, the author occasionally strays off topic to answer creationist critics. While his annoyance with them is probably understandable, the last chapter deviates a little from the topics discussed earlier in the book and could have conceivably been left out.
    All this shouldn't cause one to take it that the book as bad. The book certainly succeeds in describing an exciting, new theory that answers many previously unexplained questions, such as the mechanism of selection and the nature of our common ancestry with other species. The book reiterates the principles till they're ingrained in ones head. One comes away from the book definitely knowing the importance toolkit genes have one using a few basic genes to generate vast arrays of organisms. It provides interesting examples, such as fruit fly mutations and arthropod commonality. However, these examples occasionally dominate the text, taking up full chapters near the end. Just as one cannot explain math purely on examples, so must the author take care to make sure evo-devo theory is as properly explained as his examples.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Must be read in tandem with "The Making of the Fittest"

    See my review of both books under "The Making of the Fittest", by the same author. They are really one book in two volumes and should be read together.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)