As a biology teacher and an evolution educator, I needed this book. For those of us who teach in the K–12 universe, our understanding and consequently our teaching of evolution can tend to be slow to evolve as the resources we use to teach evolutionary concepts are themselves slow to embrace new advances in the field. In the world of teaching introductory evolution, a comprehensive view of evolutionary thinking is likely to include an overview of classic Darwinism followed by a connection to the Modern Synthesis and a mention of modern DNA sequencing as it lends support to ideas of species’ common ancestry as part of the tree of life.

In Tangled Tree, David Quammen tells the next chapter in the development of evolutionary theory as he relates the groundbreaking work of Carl Woese and a wealth of other microbiologists. Woese is best known for his work describing and...

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