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Evolution and Genetics (Britannica…
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Evolution and Genetics (Britannica Illustrated Science Library) (edition 2009)

by Michael Levy, John Rafferty (Editor), William L. Hosch (Editor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
111820,536 (5)None
katielder's review
To be fair, let me say that I am a sucker for this type of book, which is similar to the DK Eyewitness books. When I look at books with this level of art, and detailed information, and charts and graphs and timelines and descriptions of processes, it makes me wonder why science textbooks can't be this fascinating. Wouldn't it be great if kids' textbooks actually drew them into a difficult subject with such elegance and ease?

I know that textbooks are required to cover huge amounts of information, but I can honestly say that this book in particular, and each in this series, are overflowing with learning. Here are some of the things I learned from this book:

The meteorite (named Chicxulub) that might have been responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs released energy equivalent to 50 million atomic bombs.

Although competition is the favored theory of what drives evolution, many still believe cooperation can account for adaptation among and evolution of species, and that a form of cooperation is commensalism, a relationship between species in which one benefits but the other is neither harmed nor helped.

Scientists are working on breeding a hypoallergenic cat so that pet lovers with dander issues will be able to keep cats.

Using this book, I would be able to identify--if I had the chance to view an actual human genome--whether that person had the gene for diabetes or Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

But enough about me--I don't have an advanced degree in science, but I did graduate from high school, and I don't remember learning any of this, not that much of it was known way back then.

This 100-page, full-color book begins with both mythological and scientific evidence for the varying theories of evolution, and then begins an in-depth but very accessible discussion of where life came from, including the examination of fossil evidence and the work of Charles Darwin. In this section, the diagrams of early plant and animal cells are detailed, well-labeled, and just gorgeous. Art, really. Human evolution is next, and then very detailed and descriptive examinations of heredity and genetics. Finally, the books ends with an entire chapter devoted to current and future applications of the science: stem cells, cloning, biochip applications, gene therapy, modified foods, and the many uses of DNA footprints, including crime-solving.

Although I could open any new book on evolution and genetics and find most or even all of these topics, I just can't say enough about the engaging presentation of the material in this book. I'm going to grab the whole set off the shelf right now and put them out on the tables for kids to browse through at lunch. All learning should be this fun.

Although Follett, through Medialog Inc., classifies this book as appropriate for 4-8th grade, most non-scientific experts will be endlessly fascinated. ( )
  katielder | Apr 26, 2012 |
All member reviews
To be fair, let me say that I am a sucker for this type of book, which is similar to the DK Eyewitness books. When I look at books with this level of art, and detailed information, and charts and graphs and timelines and descriptions of processes, it makes me wonder why science textbooks can't be this fascinating. Wouldn't it be great if kids' textbooks actually drew them into a difficult subject with such elegance and ease?

I know that textbooks are required to cover huge amounts of information, but I can honestly say that this book in particular, and each in this series, are overflowing with learning. Here are some of the things I learned from this book:

The meteorite (named Chicxulub) that might have been responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs released energy equivalent to 50 million atomic bombs.

Although competition is the favored theory of what drives evolution, many still believe cooperation can account for adaptation among and evolution of species, and that a form of cooperation is commensalism, a relationship between species in which one benefits but the other is neither harmed nor helped.

Scientists are working on breeding a hypoallergenic cat so that pet lovers with dander issues will be able to keep cats.

Using this book, I would be able to identify--if I had the chance to view an actual human genome--whether that person had the gene for diabetes or Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

But enough about me--I don't have an advanced degree in science, but I did graduate from high school, and I don't remember learning any of this, not that much of it was known way back then.

This 100-page, full-color book begins with both mythological and scientific evidence for the varying theories of evolution, and then begins an in-depth but very accessible discussion of where life came from, including the examination of fossil evidence and the work of Charles Darwin. In this section, the diagrams of early plant and animal cells are detailed, well-labeled, and just gorgeous. Art, really. Human evolution is next, and then very detailed and descriptive examinations of heredity and genetics. Finally, the books ends with an entire chapter devoted to current and future applications of the science: stem cells, cloning, biochip applications, gene therapy, modified foods, and the many uses of DNA footprints, including crime-solving.

Although I could open any new book on evolution and genetics and find most or even all of these topics, I just can't say enough about the engaging presentation of the material in this book. I'm going to grab the whole set off the shelf right now and put them out on the tables for kids to browse through at lunch. All learning should be this fun.

Although Follett, through Medialog Inc., classifies this book as appropriate for 4-8th grade, most non-scientific experts will be endlessly fascinated. ( )
  katielder | Apr 26, 2012 |

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