How Science Works: Evolution

The Nature of Science & The Science of Nature

  • John Ellis

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. John Ellis
    Pages 1-13
  3. The Nature of Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. John Ellis
      Pages 17-22
    3. John Ellis
      Pages 23-42
  4. The Science of Nature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. John Ellis
      Pages 45-66
    3. John Ellis
      Pages 67-103
    4. John Ellis
      Pages 105-123
    5. John Ellis
      Pages 125-139
    6. John Ellis
      Pages 141-153
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 155-160

About this book


Evolution is just a theory, isn’t it? What is a scientific theory anyway? Don’t scientists prove things? What is the difference between a fact, a hypothesis and a theory in science? How does scientific thinking differ from religious thinking? Why are most leading scientists atheists? Are science and religion compatible? Why are there so many different religious beliefs but only one science? What is the evidence for evolution? Why does evolution occur? If you are interested in any of these questions and have some knowledge of biology, this book is for you.

There are many books that explain evolution and how science works, but few can claim the erudition and clarity of this one. Professor Ellis shows elegantly how the philosophical advances of the Enlightenment paved the way for the modern construction of science, and how evolutionary theory follows its best practices. It is a pity that most undergraduates never get a real course in scientific thinking, but you can rectify that by giving them a copy of this book”.

Kevian Padian, Professor and Curator, University of California, Berkeley.

“In this highly readable book John Ellis masterfully describes Darwin`s theory of evolution and the evidence for it. He shows how even the most intricate of biological systems could have arisen by random mutation and survival of the fittest. But for me the most precious aspect of the book is its uncompromising distinction between the natural (scientific) explanation of the universe and all the mutually contradictory supernatural (religious) explanations. Especially in these days when religion is constantly in the news, this book should be a must-read for students, commentators and the thinking public”.

Professor Sir David Hopwood F.R.S., John Innes Centre, Norwich.

John Ellis has extensively revised his excellent book `How Science Works`, which uses evolution as an example of the scientific method. As well as describing the basic principles of evolution by natural selection, he makes use of the latest findings in palaeontology, molecular biology and organismal biology to show how the theory stands up to empirical tests. The book is written in a clear and simple style, which makes it accessible to the general reader, as well as being suitable for an introductory undergraduate course on evolution. Only the most hardened creationist would fail to be convinced by it”.

Professor Brian Charlesworth F.R.S., Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh.


Evolution How Science Works Darwin's Theory of Evolution Human Evolution Evidence for Evolution

Authors and affiliations

  • John Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information