Free iPad app – Evolution: Making Sense of Life


Science writer Carl Zimmer and evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen have teamed up to write a textbook intended for biology majors that will inspire students while delivering a solid foundation in evolutionary biology. The free app contains the first chapter of their book, which will be available for purchase on August 15, 2012.

Written By: Carl Zimmer
continue to source article at


  1. This is great, can’t wait to download and will probably buy the whole thing. The authors or someone should record the actual course and put it up on iTunes U or just on a web site. Speaking of which, has anyone found a good intro to evolutionary biology course online? I found one from Yale on iTunes U that was pretty good called Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. Unfortunately, while the class is good the professor uses Powerpoint and the slide projections are absolutely unreadable in the video and he never bothered to put them on the supporting web site.

    And finally, as long as I’m on the topic, on a related note, I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in Game Theory the Intro to Game theory class by Ben Polack also from Yale on iTunes U. The prof in the evolution class is OK but Polack is fantastic. Clear, engaging, and even rather funny at times. And he puts ALL the materials for the class, lecture notes, board drawings, homework and solutions, on the class web site.

  2. The net is crowded? I thought we just added trillions of new IP addresses in June.

  3. For what it’s worth, for a long time when I thought about eBooks it was usually followed with a curmudgeonly “Bah! New fangled gadgets, I like real books!” Then my mom had to go in the hospital and I wanted something I could carry with me to watch videos so I splurged on an iPad. I figured I would use it for my trip to see my mom but once I got home it would sit on the shelf but even at that it would still be worth it. It is no question some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I use it all the time and I have gone from a Luddite to a Zealot in terms of eBooks. It makes such a difference for travel, to be able to take movies and a real library with you. Besides purchasing, the amount of eBooks you can get via many libraries is growing rapidly. I’m travelling right now (in fact typing this on my iPad) and I’ve been checking out eBooks from my library back home.

    I would actually recommend the Kindle format over the Apple iBook format (there is a free Kindle reader for iPad). iBooks aren’t supported by any library I use and also iBooks (how weird is this) can only be read on my iPad not on my Apple laptop or desktop. There is also a free Kindle reader for those devices. I don’t actually want to read eBooks on my desktop but when I’m writing a review, or using a reference, its great to have the book right up on the screen with what I’m writing.

  4. My sister and my nephew bought Kindle ebook readers.  They both carry them everywhere and read at any spare moment.  I borrowed a Kobo from the library to experiment with and accidentally stepped on it.  They charged be the original $200 cost even though the replacement cost is about $75. That has put me off them.  If I were not careful, I could have lost my entire library. You can read very quickly because the columns are narrow, the type any size you want, and the page flip can be done with a button.  I have written essays about them at:
     Nook and

    People definitely read more when they have ebook readers.  I look forward to them becoming cheap enough for the third world. Then we will have a literate world at very little cost. Instead of reading magazines, people read real books because they are approximately the same cost.

  5. That sucks about getting charged for the Kobo. I agree with everything you said about eBooks. I would add another amazing thing that I didn’t realize until I actually started using them is how most of the classics of science and literature are available for free. Darwin, Plato, Tolstoy, etc. if its no longer under copyright and if its a significant work its been put up for free by the Gutenberg project and is available in Kindle and iBook format.

    BTW, regarding the risk of losing your library if the device breaks, I don’t know about the Kindle device but I back my iPad, including eBooks, up to my desktop computer which is in turn backed up to a separate disk drive so my library is pretty secure. All the backing up takes place automatically, all I have to do is remember to conect the desktop and iPad once in a while.

  6. The total price of loading down all the chapters is €70 (!) – on Amazon, the actual book is €52 – why is the electronic version more expensive?!

Leave a Reply