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Discusses the scientific research which led to the theories of human origian, including the contributions of Charles Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Louis Leakey.
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Grade 7 Up–Anderson takes a strictly chronological approach to human evolution, centering on changes in European beliefs as paleontology developed over the last 200 years. When describing various discoveries and explanatory theories, he enlivens the text by giving a little background information on the scientists involved. His presentation of controversies is quite well balanced. A few boxed articles add interesting details, such as the rules of scientific courtesy that one researcher violated. However, the list for further reading is curiously narrow (three of the seven titles are by the same author) and the bibliography depends too much on articles in the popular press. The author mentions few of the scores of books on this topic by reliable, well-known authors. The black-and-white photographs and charts are well chosen and well keyed to the text. Genetics is similarly structured. Freedman provides an effective outline of Mendel's explanation of the mechanics of inheritance. Her further-reading list is more comprehensive, though her bibliography consists entirely of online sources retrieved in July 2003. Greenberger, too, takes the chronological approach, but his text is considerably less effective than the others with too many passive constructions and obscure terms. The boxed stories help somewhat, but not in every instance. His further-reading list and bibliography are very skimpy. His account essentially ends with Einstein's waning years (1955), though he does mention fusion power as a possible future development. Additional titles for active science collections.–Jonathan Betz-Zall, City University Library, Everett, WA
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