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Best Books on Evolution

Uncover the story of life on Earth with these pivotal books on evolution. These works have been repeatedly recognized by scientists and educators for their groundbreaking explanations and evidence of biological evolution and natural history.

Recommendations from 15 articles, Bill Gates, Hrithik Roshan, Ashton Kutcher and 75 others.
20 books on the list
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On the Origin of Species book cover
On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin - 2004-01-01 (first published in 1859)
Goodreads Rating
A groundbreaking exploration of natural selection, this book challenges orthodox beliefs by asserting that no species or being has been specifically created. While exploring the harsh competition for survival, it showcases the interrelatedness between animal and plant life, and the environment, offering an inspirational and human perspective. Written with a combination of scientific rigor and literary style, this remains one of the most important works of modern times.
Why Evolution Is True book cover
Why Evolution Is True
Jerry A. Coyne - 2009-02-01 (first published in 2008)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the indisputable truth of evolution by natural selection with Why Evolution Is True. This book explores the empirical evidence supporting this process through various scientific fields such as genetics, paleontology, and anatomy. Explore the many examples of species evolving and capture change throughout history with stunning fossils. Read this accessible and thought-provoking book to dispel common misconceptions and fears surrounding evolution.
Grandmother Fish book cover
Grandmother Fish
A Child's First Book of Evolution
Jonathan Tweet - 2015-08-01
Goodreads Rating
"Grandmother Fish" explores the origins of life on Earth through engaging call-and-response text and illustrations that come to life. It explains Charles Darwin's theory of common descent in a way that is accessible to children, helping them understand their connection to all living things on the planet. The book also includes helpful backmatter for parents, such as an evolutionary tree of life and tips on explaining natural selection to children.
Recommended by
Daniel Dennett
The Blind Watchmaker book cover
The Blind Watchmaker
Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design
Richard Dawkins - 2006-04-06 (first published in 1986)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the theory of natural selection and evolution in The Blind Watchmaker. Richard Dawkins offers an elegant rebuttal to creationism by illustrating how Darwinian natural selection is an unconscious, automatic process. Using simple organisms to show how complexity, diversity, and beauty developed over time, he asserts that nature's "watchmaker" is blind, operating without foresight or purpose. This seminal text is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand evolution today.
Who We Are and How We Got Here book cover
Who We Are and How We Got Here
Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
David Reich - 2018-03-27
Goodreads Rating
"Unravel the mysteries of human prehistory through groundbreaking technological innovations in genomics and ancient DNA extraction. Discover how genomics, alongside archeology, linguistics, and the written word, have revolutionized our understanding of our own species. In this must-read book, the author showcases the importance of the Genomic Revolution, along with ancient DNA studies, in deconstructing racial hierarchies and revealing the deep history of human inequality."
Signature in the Cell book cover
Signature in the Cell
DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
Stephen C. Meyer - 2009-06-23
Goodreads Rating
"Signature in the Cell" debates whether life is a product of unthinking matter or of an intelligent mind. Stephen C. Meyer presents a convincing case for intelligent design based on revolutionary findings in DNA and science. He argues that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution did not refute ID. This book is an eye-opening and often eye-popping read, named one of the top books of 2009 by the Times Literary Supplement. If you're interested in evolution, DNA, and intelligent design, you'll find much to ponder in "Signature in the Cell".
Darwin's Doubt book cover
Darwin's Doubt
The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
Stephen C. Meyer - 2013-06-18
Goodreads Rating
Explore the central mystery of the “Cambrian explosion” in Darwin’s Doubt. Meyer delves into the sudden appearance of animal life in the fossil record without ancestors, and how biologists have come to appreciate the importance of biological information to create animal forms. Meyer presents a compelling argument for intelligent design as the best explanation for the mysterious features of this event. Discover the fascinating story behind this crucial moment in the history of life.
Lucy book cover
The Beginnings of Humankind
Donald C. Johanson - 1981-09-15
Goodreads Rating
Uncover the secrets of human origins in this thrilling book, chronicling the fascinating discovery of a 3.5 million year old skeleton named "Lucy." Follow the controversy and uncover the characters behind paleoanthropology in this vivid and compelling account. A must-read for anyone interested in the mystery of our origins.
Evolution book cover
The Human Story, 2nd Edition
Alice Roberts - 2011-09-01 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the journey of human evolution in this comprehensive and visually stunning guide. Fully updated with the latest research, detailed maps, and incredible illustrations, this book travels back almost eight million years, charting the development of our species from primate to modern human. Key fossil discoveries are highlighted in double-page features, and each ancestor is examined in detail, from their bones to their environment. Authenticated by experts and illustrated by the renowned Kennis brothers, Evolution presents an authoritative and captivating account of our ancient origins.
Amazing Evolution by Anna Claybourne
Our Family Tree by Lisa Westberg Peters
Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
When We Became Humans by Michael Bright
The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould
When the Whales Walked by Dougal Dixon
A Pocket History of Human Evolution by Silvana Condemi, François Savatier
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky