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Book and Media Reviews
July 1, 2009

Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

JAMA. 2009;302(1):96-97. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.963

What a strange book! To begin with, Evolution, The First Four Billion Years is half a compendium of essays and half encyclopedia. The first 400 pages consist of 17 essays presenting subjects ranging from the geochemical origins of life and paleontology to the social, philosophical, and religious implications of evolutionary theory. The subsequent 531 pages comprise an alphabetical guide of 1- or 2-page entries on evolutionary terms and concepts and major evolutionary scientists; these entries range from “Adaptation and Natural Selection by George C. Williams (1964)” to “Yablokov, Alexei V. (b. 1933).”