P.Z. Myers has offered up this list of books to read about evolution. I recognize most of them, and am happy to concur with his assessment. Some of them I was unfamiliar with, and they have now been added to my personal “Books to Read” list.
However, there were a few books that I found especially useful when I was first learning about this subject that Myers does not mention:
- Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller. I do not agree with Miller's theological ideas, but the book's first half is about as clear an explanation of why creationism and ID are a lot of nonsense as you could hope for. He also shows that thoughtful Christians have nothing to fear from evolution.
- Science on Trial by Douglas Futuyma. An excellent presentation of the evidence for evolution and a strong refutation of the common YEC arguments. This was written before ID replaced YEC as the dominant form of anti-evolution nonsense, but it's arguments are still useful and relevant.
- Ever Since Darwin, The Panda's Thumb, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, The Flamingo's Smile, Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen Jay Gould. These were the first five anthologies of Gould's Natural History essays. They provide fascinating commentary on many aspects of evolutionary theory. Gould's later essay collections were good as well, but they tended to move more towards history of science and away from science. Gould had his hang-ups about certain topics, like sociobiology and selfish genes, but his essays are essential reading nonetheless.
- Darwin's Ghost by Steve Jones. A chapter by chapter updating of The Origin of Species Spekaing of which:
- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. The one that started it all. Surprisingly still interesting and relevant.
- Abusing Science by Phillip Kitcher. A careful and thorough demolition of YEC written by a prominent philosopher.
- Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins. I like this one even better than The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins shows convincingly that complex biological systems show far more evidece of being the products of evolution than of being the products of divine intervention.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll think of others later. But those were a few I found especially interesting and helpful.