Steve's Reviews > Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

Evolution for Everyone by David Sloan Wilson
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's review
Mar 25, 08

I am writing this review while I am approximately halfway through Evolution for Everyone.

Dr. Wilson has written an extremely compelling book about evolution. There are two aspects I find especially endearing:

1) Wilson does not use the standard, now-hackneyed strategy of writing a book on evolution that simply breaks up chapters into such topics as "why do we laugh?", "why do we blush?" "how is a bee colony an organism in its own right?" Instead, he begins with an overview of how evolutionary thinking can lead us to some startling (and startlingly accurate) predictions about the world. After a cogent overview of what he means by evolutionary thinking, he applies this unique brand of thinking to what we know about the world. [I have not yet reached the part of the book in which he discusses religion - which I look forward to.]
2) Wilson backs up his lofty evolutionary theory with hard data and does not shy away from the knowledge that some things we think we know today will turn out to be wrong in the future. He reminds the reader that science is not a collection of facts, while simultaneously progresses by collecting facts. He does a great job of making this quasi-paradox disappear by referring repeatedly to the process of science and what science can and can't currently tell us about evolution.

If you are the type of nonfiction reader who hates authors' interjecting their personal experiences and stories of their intellectual journeys into their nonfiction books, then you may be slightly put off by this book. I don't personally find the practice invasive. At times I wish nonfiction authors would actually inject more of themselves into their books; these are usually interesting people who have led a life of intellectual curiosity that would satisfy their readers' interest.

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