Cover image for Encyclopedia of evolution
Encyclopedia of evolution
Pagel, Mark D.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
2 volumes (xxi, E-92 pages, 1205 pages) : illustrations ; 29 cm
v. 1. Overview essays, ACAN-HYBR -- v. 2. IDEA-ZOOT, Index.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH360.2 .E54 2002 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
QH360.2 .E54 2002 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



From the classic work of Darwin to current developments in such fields as psychology and economics, evolutionary biology is an increasingly powerful tool for understanding the natural world. Here in two volumes is a comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative guide to what we know aboutevolutionary biology, from the origins of species to the selfish gene and beyond. The Encyclopedia of Evolution covers the essentials of evolutionary biology in 370 original articles written by leading experts. The articles cover basic concepts and theories; models, methods, and findings; schools of thought; current controversies; biographies; and more. The Encyclopedia covers evolutionary thought in genetics, animal behavior, and every area of the life sciences, as well as in anthropology, psychology, linguistics, sociology, economics, medicine, philosophy, and other fields. There are hundreds of tables, charts, grtaphs, maps and otherillustrations, bibliographies, cross-references and index. Designed for students and teachers in both high schools and colleges and universities, and scholars and scientists in the natural and social sciences, the Encyclopedia of Evolution will be the first point of access to this growing body of knowledge.

Author Notes

Mark Pagel is at University of Reading.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The study of evolutionary biology has become increasingly important as scientists try to better understand the natural world. Research in areas such as hominid evolution and hereditary disease frequently makes the headlines. This outstanding encyclopedia brings together 365 well-written, alphabetically arranged articles covering all aspects of evolution, from fundamental theory to popular topics such as cloning. Editor-in-chief Pagel is professor of evolutionary biology, University of Reading, U.K. The 330 contributors include anthropologists, biochemists, biologists, ecologists, geneticists, paleontologists, and zoologists, primarily from academic institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. A topical outline in the first volume organizes the articles into general categories such as concepts and definitions, molecular evolution, population genetics, developmental biology, biodiversity, social behavior, evolution of disease, human evolution, mathematical models, and history. Entries range from a half page to more than 15 pages in length. Examples of specific article titles include Antibiotic resistance; Cnidarians; Creationism; Franklin, Rosalind; Genetically modified organisms; Mutation; Natural selection; Phylogenetic inference; Plagues and epidemics; Plants; and Red queen hypothesis. Although many of the articles are on subjects that would be of interest mostly to specialists or students, some, such as Mate choice, would have broader appeal. A unique feature is the inclusion of an extraordinary collection of essays by nine eminent scientists and philosophers including Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, David L. Hull, and John Maynard Smith. These articles, totaling about 90 pages, provide an excellent overview of topics such as culture of chimpanzees, human genetic and linguistic diversity, motherhood, and Darwinian medicine. Written at a level accessible to the general reader, these thought-provoking essays demonstrate what insights are possible when a subject is approached from an evolutionary perspective. Entries are written for users with varying backgrounds. For example, overview articles and biographies would be useful to advanced high-school and general undergraduate students. More technical and specialized entries are directed at readers with further training. Bibliographies are included at the end of most articles. Black-and-white line drawings and photographs supplement the text, and a 35-page index facilitates access. No other recent encyclopedias provide comparable authoritative in-depth coverage of biological evolution. The Encyclopedia of Evolution is highly recommended for large public and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

Given the many recent advances in biology and genetics, a comprehensive new reference work on evolution has been greatly needed. Edited by Pagel (evolutionary biology, Univ. of Reading, U.K.), this impressive new work fills that gap nicely. Its coverage is much broader than that of previous references, which mainly focused on human evolution; it treats not only theory and the whole range of life forms but also a wide variety of other areas, including developmental biology, social behavior, consciousness, evolution of disease, systematics, population biology, complexity theory, and even art in prehistory. Some biographical articles are also included. The list of advisors and contributors reads like a who's who of biology, including, among others, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, and John Maynard Smith. Each article is signed and features a selected bibliography. Broad articles serve the novice as an introduction to their fields, but there are highly technical articles for experts as well; the high quality of writing overall makes difficult concepts easier to understand. This is an excellent resource that can also be browsed enjoyably by anyone interested in biology. It belongs in all academic and large public libraries. Marit MacArthur Taylor, Univ. of Colorado Lib., Denver (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Consisting of 365 articles on subjects or terms related to evolutionary biology, this encyclopedia is comprehensive in scope and authoritative in content. Every article (some a page in length, others four to six pages) was written by an expert and includes a bibliography. Some include illustrations and diagrams. A very helpful topical outline at the beginning of volume 1 groups articles by category to allow readers to find all articles on a topic. To introduce the encyclopedia, the editor commissioned nine recognized scholars in the field to write essays on such topics as the history of evolutionary thought (David L. Hull), macroevolution (Stephen Jay Gould), culture in chimpanzees (Jane Goodall), motherhood (Sarah Blaffer Hrdy), Darwinian medicine (Stephen C. Stearns), genomics and proteomics (M.J. Bishop), and the "new replicators" (Daniel Dennett). The essays not only provide excellent background, but look at how these theories of evolution might be applied to future research. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory, ed. by Eric Delson et al. (2nd ed., CH, Dec'00), complements this encyclopedia; both should be held by all college and university libraries as well as large public libraries. R. G. Sabin Rice University