$28.00 ( ) USD
- Author: Kostas Kampourakis, Université de Genève
Adobe eBook Reader
Looking for an examination copy?
If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact email@example.com providing details of the course you are teaching.
Current books on evolutionary theory all seem to take for granted the fact that students find evolution easy to understand when actually, from a psychological perspective, it is a rather counterintuitive idea. Evolutionary theory, like all scientific theories, is a means to understanding the natural world. Understanding Evolution is intended for undergraduate students in the life sciences, biology teachers or anyone wanting a basic introduction to evolutionary theory. Covering core concepts and the structure of evolutionary explanations, it clarifies both what evolution is about and why so many people find it difficult to grasp. The book provides an introduction to the major concepts and conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution, including the development of Darwin's theory, and a detailed presentation of the most important evolutionary concepts. Bridging the gap between the concepts and conceptual obstacles, Understanding Evolution presents evolutionary theory with a clarity and vision students will quickly appreciate.Read more
- Presents the conceptual obstacles preventing the understanding of evolution, easing the reader into the analysis of these concepts
- Contains numerous illustrations to help the reader understand research conclusions, processes and concepts
- Combines conclusions and insights from research in history of science, philosophy of science and cognitive science
- A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015
Reviews & endorsements
"This is not just another book about why an evolutionary perspective on life is scientific whereas a Creationist perspective is not. In this well-articulated and thought-provoking book, Kostas Kampourakis asks why so many people reject evolution, despite the evidence for it and its enormous explanatory power. Kampourakis addresses the question of the acceptance of evolution from a psychological point of view, convincingly demonstrating that it is a rather counter-intuitive idea: conceptual obstacles to understanding, and thus accepting, evolution are rooted in widespread intuitions related to teleology and essentialism, which generate unwarranted preconceptions about the nature of world and life. Kampourakis' final suggestion is that one should try to understand evolutionary theory without worrying about its religious, metaphysical, or other implications."
Alessandro Minelli, University of PadovaSee more reviews
"It is terrific, well written, thoughtful, balanced, and very didactic."
Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine
"A tour-de-force, beautifully reasoned and written. This masterful tome will be essential reading for anyone interested in the genesis and broader relevance of evolutionary thought."
John C. Avise, University of California, Irvine, and author of Evolutionary Pathways in Nature
"Understanding Evolution by Kostas Kampourakis deserves a wide readership. It is a sensitive introduction to evolutionary thinking, showing the very great importance of the father of the subject, Charles Darwin, setting the disputes with religion in context, showing that the evidence is overwhelming but that no reader need feel threatened. It is fair and comprehensive, lively without being heavy-handed, and judicious in its judgments. Read it yourself and get a copy for your family, your friends, and your students!'
Michael Ruse, Florida State University, and editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought
"Understanding Evolution is a major accomplishment. It combines historical and philosophical perspectives with substantive biological examples to succinctly explain evolutionary concepts. Kampourakis provides us with a superb point of entry into the subject matter that is written with an eye to reader comprehension and effective pedagogy. This is especially on display in the illuminating discussions of conceptual change and different obstacles to understanding evolution. It should be required reading, and not only for students.'
Alan C. Love, University of Minnesota
"One might ask whether yet another book on evolution is needed. In the case of the present book, the answer is yes … [It] provides one of the clearest, most well-reasoned sets of arguments for why evolution is and must be approached from the evidence and not from any prior religious or other position … The writing is superb, with apparently simple examples that explain essential aspects of evolution."
B. K. Hall, Choice
"… an excellent introduction to the basic concepts of evolutionary theory, and one that also has an unusual (and welcome) philosophical angle. The clear and accessible discussions of biological examples, augmented by a large number of helpful diagrams and a well-constructed glossary of technical terms, would make this book a good choice for introductory courses on evolution … Understanding Evolution is both useful and innovative: an introductory volume that also explores what happens when science clashes with intuition."
Derek D. Turner, The Quarterly Review of Biology
"… well written, as well as scientifically accurate … The breadth of the author's knowledge, and the examples used in his book, are impressive … as a reviewer it is hard to find fault with the book. I have never been even slightly tempted to write a book about evolution, general of otherwise, but if I ever did then I would be happy if it turned out as well as this one."
David A. Morrison, Systematic Biology
"… a wonderful resource for students of all kinds … This is an excellent, and long-needed book. The education of evolution in schools is now so poor in many countries, that this can act as both a primer and as an invitation to think further, and I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone who wants to know what evolution really is and means … Buy a copy."
John Wilkins, The Panda's Thumb Blog
"… [does] an excellent job presenting evolutionary theory and summarizing the evidence for it … [Kampourakis] argues that in spite of powerful emotional and instinctual forces arrayed against it, we have much to gain by allowing the evolutionary picture to enrich our understanding of the world … a balanced, readable, and accessible introduction … Kampourakis deserves praise for pulling together numerous, and sometimes difficult, lines of research and inquiry into a decisive contribution to our understanding of the historical, psychological, and social dimensions of evolution … an indispensable reference for those working in science, and even social scientists … provides us with lasting insights of great importance."
August W. M. Martin, Acta Biotheoretica
"Even if one is not convinced that evolutionary biology presents uniquely difficult conceptual difficulties, Kampourakis's work, revealing those difficulties that it does in fact present and showing how to ameliorate them, is of real value."
Jonathan Kaplan, Metascience
"Scientific theories are dynamic, ever changing, perpetually incomplete and open to revision … The more the public at large understands this, the better off we will be, and books like Kampourakis' certainly make a valuable contribution to nudging us into that desirable direction."
Massimo Pigliucci, Science and Education
"… a timely and thoughtful introduction to evolutionary biology … Understanding Evolution does an excellent job at enumerating the conceptual problems evolution poses for students … filled with clear examples and well-presented illustrations supporting them … a strong contribution to our repertoire for improving evolution education."
David E. Long, Science Education
"… informed by up-to-date biology as well as by state-of-the-art historical, philosophical, and psychological scholarship relevant to the teaching of evolution, which Kampourakis masterfully summarizes … Ambitiously planned and carefully argued, Understanding Evolution is a tour de force … a thorough and thoughtful treatment of its topics … It deserves to become a standard text in biology educators' education."
Glenn Branch, The American Biology Teacher
"The book is written in a very accessible style and manages in a very short space to not only give a basic sketch of current evolutionary theory but also to provide interesting insights into the cognitive barriers that make evolutionary explanations so difficult to accept. Simple graphics and examples illustrate many of the important points … an overall very rewarding and thought-provoking book which will be an asset to everyone teaching evolution."
Gerhard Schlosser, Evolution and Development
"Understanding Evolution is well written and reasoned, scientifically accurate, and very didactic. It situates original and contemporary biological research in historical and philosophical contexts in a balanced, engaging, and accessible manner. … Kampourakis' book is a highly important contribution to contemporary education of evolution. Hopefully it will be used as a springboard by various students to approach epistemological, conceptual and historical dimensions of evolution at the border between knowledge and belief."
Jan Baedke, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: April 2014
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781139898843
- contains: 59 b/w illus. 11 tables
- availability: This item is not supplied by Cambridge University Press in your region. Please contact eBooks.com for availability.
Table of Contents
1. An evolving world
2. Religious resistance to accepting evolution
3. Conceptual obstacles to understanding evolution
4. Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species: a historical case study of conceptual change
5. Common ancestry
6. Evolutionary change
Welcome to the resources site
Here you will find free-of-charge online materials to accompany this book. The range of materials we provide across our academic and higher education titles are an integral part of the book package whether you are a student, instructor, researcher or professional.
Find resources associated with this titleYour search for '' returned .
Type Name Unlocked * Format Size
*This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to instructors adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.
These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.
If you are having problems accessing these resources please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, this resource is locked
Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email email@example.comRegister Sign in
You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.Continue ×