702 pages, 71 line figures, 26 tables
Richard Lewontin is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished evolutionary biologists of our time. He has contributed to science not only by his own work on evolutionary theory and molecular variation and by his influence on the many young scientists who have worked with him but also by asking us to think about the relationships between the science we do and that world we do it in. Sciences in general, and the life sciences in particular, need their own critic, and Lewontin has been an untiring critic of science and its relevance to society. This collection of essays first published in 2000 was produced in honour of Lewontin's 65th birthday.
The volume has a comprehensive coverage of modern evolutionary genetics from molecules to morphology by a group of star authors, including his students and colleagues. The areas covered are: the mathematical and molecular foundations of population genetics, molecular variation and evolution, selection and genetic polymorphisms, linkage and breeding system evolution, quantitative genetics and phenotypic evolution, gene flow and population structure, speciation, behaviour, and ecology. The volume brings out the central role of evolutionary genetics in all aspects of its connection to evolutionary biology and is a must for all graduate students and researchers in evolutionary biology.
Indeed, the 32 articles that constitute this volume cover just about everything within the field of microevolution and, at least in this sense, the volume lives up to the high expectations. It can be recommended both to professional microevolutionists and to biologists who know little about microevolution, but want a serious introduction to this field. The Chetverikov-Dobzhansky paradigm has been and still is extremely successful and certainly will be a part of the foundation of new evolutionary biology, whatever shape it takes. Evolutionary Genetics does justice to this paradigm and should be recommended to anyone who wants to understand it. "As his former students and colleagues are proud to point out, Lewontin's mind has touched, imformed and in many cases, formed the way we teach, explain and do research in areas encompassing phenomena as varied as the reaction...His astounding breadth as an evolutionary biologist (and as a person) comes through loud and clear as one reads the 32 contributions in this collection." American Jrnl of Human Biology
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