Books on the Evolution of Humans

Cela-Conde, Camilo J., and Francisco J. Ayala. 2007. Human Evolution: Trails from the Past. New York: Oxford University Press.

A comprehensive overview of the evolution of humans that draws from fields ranging from genomics and paleoanthropology to ethics and religion.

Diamond, Jared. 1993, reissued in 2006. The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal. New York: Harper Perennial.

Discusses the similarities and differences between humans and chimpanzees.

Howells, William W. 1997. Getting Here: The Story of Human Evolution. Washington, DC: Compass Press.

A readable survey of human evolution by one of the fathers of physical anthropology.

Stringer, Chris, and Peter Andrews. 2005. The Complete World of Human Evolution. New York: Thames and Hudson.

A thorough, well-illustrated, and up-to-date guide to the evolution of human beings from our nonhuman ancestors.

Tattersall, Ian. 1998. Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness. New York: Harcourt Brace.

A description of the current state of understanding about the differences between Neanderthals and modern humans.

Zimmer, Carl. 2005. Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.

A succinct guide to the complex story of human evolution.

Books on Evolution for Children and Young Adults

Jenkins, Steve. 2002. Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

A remarkably broad and detailed introduction to evolutionary theory. Grades 2–6.

Lauber, Patricia. 1994. How Dinosaurs Came to Be. New York: Simon and Schuster.

A description of the dinosaurs and their ancestors. Grades 4–7.

Lawson, Kristan. 2003. Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities. Chicago: Chicago Review.

A life of Darwin combined with activities such as making a taxonomy and investigating geological strata. Grades 5–9.

Matsen, Bradford. 1994. Planet Ocean: A Story of Life, the Sea, and Dancing to the Fossil Record. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Whimsically illustrated tour of history for older kids and adults. Grades 6–10.

McNulty, Faith. 1999. How Whales Walked into the Sea. New York: Scholastic.

This wonderfully illustrated book describes the evolution of whales from land mammals. Grades K–5.

Peters, Lisa W. 2003. Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story. New York: Harcourt.

A beautifully illustrated picture book that emphasizes the relatedness of all living things. Grades K–5.

Troll, Ray, and Bradford Matsen. 1996. Raptors, Fossils, Fins & Fangs: A Prehistoric Creature Feature. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.

A light-hearted trip through time (“Good Gracious—Cretaceous!”). Grades 3–6.

Books on the Origin of the Universe and the Earth

Astronomy Education Board. 2004. An Ancient Universe: How Astronomers Know the Vast Scale of Cosmic Time. Washington, DC: American Astronomical Society and Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

A guide for teachers, students, and the public to the methods astronomers have used to date the cosmos.

Dalrymple, G. Brent. 2004. Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies: The Age of Earth and Its Cosmic Surroundings. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

A comprehensive discussion of the evidence for the ages of the Earth, Moon, meteorites, solar system, galaxy, and universe.

Longair, Malcolm S. 2006. The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology. New York: Cambridge.

A review of the historical development of astrophysics and cosmology, with an emphasis on the theoretical concepts that tie these fields to other areas of science.

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