Favorite Book on Evolution?

The whole recent uproar about evolution has gotten me thinking about the subject once again as it has been a while since I’ve thought much about it.  It dawned on me that many Christians would like to learn more about evolutionary theory, even if they don’t accept it.  The only books they may be aware of are apologetic type texts on the topic.  So, I thought I’d give a recommendation and open up the comments section here for others to do so as well.

My favorite book on evolution has to be without question Jonathan Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch.  The reason that I like it so much is that it is in a narrative format (though I think it strays from this a little) and free from a lot of jargon.  So, it’s great for people who may not enjoy reading science texts.  It chronicles a team of scientists and their research in the Galapagos Islands.  It makes for interesting reading regardless of one’s predilections.

Do any of you have other recommendations?


  • You’ve already recommended the best choice, I love Beak of the Finch. The National Academy of Science has made available their short book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, which is very informative. Another good online book is Evolution and the Fossil Record by the American Geological Institute. And then there’s the ever usefull Talk Origin Archives.

    For printed books, I can heartily recommend Steve Jones’ very readable book Darwin’s Ghost/Almost Like a Whale. Science blogger Carl Zimmer has also written a great intro to evolution called Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. Ken Miller, biologist and co-author of the most used biology textbook in the US, has two books of particular interest: Only a Theory and Finding Darwin’s God. I haven’t read the former but the latter is a conclusive debunking of creationism and intelligent design while still affirming a theistic deity. I can’t recommend Richard Dawkins since his swipes at religion would just polarize people against him and evolution. Although, his book The Ancestor’s Tale, is superbly written and a joy to read (or even listened to in audiobook).

    • Q: Thanks for the recommendations. There are some good ones on the list. I also like Sean Carrol’s The Making of the Fittest as another book written for a general audience.